Jessie Austrian, Royer Bockus & More to Star in THE KNIGHT OF THE BURNING PESTLE at the Lucille Lortel Theatre

The Knight of the Burning Pestle, an Elizabethan comedy by Francis Beaumont will begin performances Monday April 17th.

By: Mar. 13, 2023
Jessie Austrian, Royer Bockus & More to Star in THE KNIGHT OF THE BURNING PESTLE at the Lucille Lortel Theatre

RED BULL THEATER and FIASCO THEATER have announced the cast for The Knight of the Burning Pestle opening April 27th at the newly renovated Lucille Lortel Theatre. The Knight of the Burning Pestle, an Elizabethan comedy by Francis Beaumont will begin performances Monday April 17th at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street between Bleecker and Hudson Streets). This limited engagement will continue through Saturday May 13th only.

The production will be directed by Fiasco Theater company members Noah Brody and Emily Young. The cast will feature Jessie Austrian, Royer Bockus, Tina Chilip, Paul L. Coffey, Devin E. Haqq, Teresa Avia Lim, Darius Pierce, Ben Steinfeld, Paco Tolson, and Tatiana Wechsler.

"We couldn't be happier to be partnering with Fiasco Theater for The Knight of the Burning Pestle. It's a play about the power of improvisation, and Fiasco is known for its ensemble-driven work and joyful creativity. This play seems to have been written for their unique talents--400 years before they were founded. As Red Bull Theater approaches twenty years since our founding, we couldn't be more grateful to all the artists and supporters of artists who make our work possible," said Mr. Berger. "With the wonderful cast and creative team assembled to bring this delightful comedy to life, it's a real joy to invite our audiences to join us this spring for what promises to be a truly special treat!"

Jessie Austrian, Co-Artistic Director of Fiasco Theater says,"Fiasco is thrilled to partner with Red Bull Theater on Pestle - a show that celebrates the spirit of collaboration, improvisation, ingenuity and thinking-outside-the-box that theater can achieve. This collaboration allows us to both bring this delightful and surprising show to audiences and make our core value of sustainability primary to the creation of work; by sharing, recycling and reusing physical resources with Red Bull's production of Arden of Faversham, we are creating a process (and budget) that considers the production's impact on the earth, air, land, water and people around it."

The Knight of the Burning Pestle will have scenic design by Christopher Swader & Justin Swader (Seven Deadly Sins - Tectonic Theater Project; Seize the King, Antigone, The Bacchae - Classical Theatre of Harlem; Last Stop on Market Street - Atlantic Theater; The 7½ Mysteries of Toulouse McLane - Park Avenue Armory); costume design by Yvonne Miranda (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theatre Center); and lighting design by Reza Behjat (Good Enemy - Audible Theater; Wish You Were Here - Playwrights Horizons; The Vagrant Trilogy - Public Theater; Out of Time - NAATCO/Public Theater; Henry VI - NAATCO; English - Atlantic Theater/Roundabout). Fiasco Theater is using this production to work towards an explicit goal to create an off-Broadway production that minimizes its environmental impact and explores a model of environmental sustainability in the theater; and to create a case study of the process for others to reference. Red Bull Theater is delighted to join them in this effort. The team has created a set of strict parameters for the production as a whole and for each design department, to reduce waste created by the production and lighten its impact on the planet. "Creative constraints are part of what makes theater the dynamic, resourceful, inventive art form that it is," said Ms. Austrian. "The audience's imagination is Fiasco's favorite (and 100% renewable) resource."

The Knight of the Burning Pestle is a joyful celebration of the universal capacity to improvise. This delightful Elizabethan comedy is a rough and rowdy romp. As a group of players gather to present a play about the elopement of star-crossed lovers, they are abruptly interrupted by a grocer and his wife. They have a different kind of play in mind-an outrageous hero's quest of derring-do...The Knight of the Burning Pestle. And they know just the fellow to star-their apprentice, Rafe. This new subplot-invented on the fly-takes over the stage in surprising and disruptive ways. Everyone shares in the triumph of love and the singular, anything-can-happen adventure that is live theater.

Tickets for The Knight of the Burning Pestle are now on sale. Tickets are $75 - $110. Discounts are available for groups. To purchase tickets visit, call 212/343-7394, or visit the Lortel box office in person.

COVID Protocols: Vaccinations and boosters are strongly recommended but not required. If requested, patrons should be prepared to wear a mask for the duration of their visit, beginning from their arrival on site, except when actively eating or drinking. Thank you for helping keep everyone safe! Masks are required for Monday evening and Saturday matinee performances.

This production is made possible through special arrangement with THE Lucille Lortel THEATRE FOUNDATION. For the calendar of all upcoming activities, a history of the theater, and more, please visit


Red Bull Theater brings rarely seen classic plays to dynamic new life for contemporary audiences, uniting a respect for tradition with a modern sensibility. Named for the rowdy Jacobean playhouse that illegally performed plays in England during the years of Puritan rule, Red Bull Theater is New York City's home for dynamic performances of great plays that stand the test of time. With the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as its cornerstone, the company also produces new works that are in conversation with the classics. A home for artists, scholars, and students, Red Bull Theater delights and engages the intellect and imagination of audiences, and strives to make its work accessible, diverse, and welcoming to all. We value and practice inclusiveness, equity, and diversity in all of our activities, and are committed to antiracist action. Red Bull Theater believes in the power of great classic stories and plays of heightened language to deepen our understanding of the human condition, in the special ability of live theater to create unique, collective experiences, and in the timeless capacity of classical theater to illuminate the events of our times. Variety agreed, hailing Red Bull's work as: "Proof that classical theater can still be surprising after hundreds of years." Since its debut in 2003 with a production of Shakespeare's Pericles starring Daniel Breaker, Red Bull Theater has served adventurous theatergoers with Off-Broadway productions, Revelation Readings, and the annual Short New Play Festival. The company also offers outreach programs including Shakespeare in Schools bringing professional actors and teaching artists into public school classrooms; Bull Sessions, free post-play discussions with top scholars; and Classical Acting Intensives led by veteran theater professionals. During the pandemic, Red Bull created several new and ongoing programs to serve audiences and artists with our mission: RemarkaBULL Podversations, Online Readings, Seminars, and more. "The classics-shaking Red Bull Theater," as Time Out NY has called it, has presented 20 Off-Broadway productions and nearly 200 Revelation Readings of rarely seen classics, serving a community of more than 5,000 artists and providing quality artistic programming to an audience of over 65,000. The company's unique programming has received ongoing critical acclaim and has been recognized with Lortel, Drama Desk, Drama League, Callaway, Off-Broadway Alliance, and OBIE nominations and Awards.


Fiasco Theater is an ensemble that creates dynamic, joyful, actor-driven theater, and offers affordable training for emerging artists. Fiasco believes the performer, the text, and the audience's imagination are the primary elements required to create great theater. They have recently presented work through three development series - Open Your Ears, Some Of Its Parts, and Without A Net, and offered digital access ticketing to their fall 2021 Without A Net production of Imogen Says Nothing. Fiasco's most recent full production, Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Merrily We Roll Along, was presented through their residency at Roundabout Theatre Company and was nominated for Drama Desk and Off-Broadway Alliance awards. The Fiasco Conservatory training program, which offers 15 emerging artists the chance to train full-time in text, clown, movement, and more with the company's members and associated artists, is a living and growing program. Beginning in 2019 with a 6 Week program, the Conservatory was most recently offered in the spring of 2022 as a 9 Week initiative, and it will continue to expand in years ahead. Fiasco also frequently offers free training programs, workshops, masterclasses, and more, and mentors alumni around the country.


Francis Beaumont was born in Leicestershire in 1584 and moved to London to enter Inner Temple in 1600. While studying to be a lawyer, Beaumont published the erotic poem Salmacis and Hermaphroditus (1602), but soon turned his hand to the stage. A friend and acolyte of Ben Jonson (for whose Volpone he wrote commendatory verse), he went on to form one of the most famous playwriting partnerships in English literary history with John Fletcher. The pair collaborated on a series of plays for The King's Men (Shakespeare's company), which were performed at The Globe, The Blackfriars, and the court of James I. Yet it is the solo-authored The Knight of the Burning Pestle, apparently a flop on its first performance by the Children of the Revels at Blackfriars in 1607, upon which Beaumont's reputation as a playwright rests. Beaumont left London around 1613, and died in 1616, the same year as Shakespeare.


Noah Brody is an actor, director, teacher, and writer, and is co-artistic director of Fiasco Theater. For Fiasco he has directed Merrily We Roll Along (Roundabout). He co-directed and acted in Fiasco's productions of Into the Woods (McCarter, Old Globe, Roundabout, Menier Chocolate Factory), The Imaginary Invalid (Old Globe), Measure for Measure (New Victory, Long Wharf), Twelfth Night (Classic Stage Co.), and Cymbeline (TFANA, Barrow St. Theatre). For Fiasco he has also appeared in Fiasco's production of Two Gentlemen of Verona (Folger Theatre, TFANA) and co-directed the national tour of Fiasco's production of Into the Woods. As a writer, he co-conceived the new musical Pleasure Never Lies with Marshall Hagins; is currently co-creating a musical adaptation of My Antonia with Jessie Austrian and the Kilbanes and a stage adaptation of Bartleby the Scrivener with Paul L. Coffey.

Emily Young is an actor, musician, writer, director and educator. She is one of Fiasco Theater's original company members. For Fiasco: Queen/Belaria, Cymbeline; Little Red Riding Hood/Rapunzel, Into the Woods; Isabella/Mistress Overdone, Measure for Measure; Sylvia/Lucetta, Two Gentlemen of Verona; Toinette, Imaginary Invalid; Viola, Twelfth Night; Gussie, Merrily We Roll Along; Broadway: How I Learned to Drive u/s, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; Off-Broadway: The Servant of Two Masters, Romeo and Juliet, Colorado. Regional: Trinity Repertory Company, Folger Theater, McCarter Theater, Old Globe, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Illinois Shakespeare Festival. As a director: Spring Awakening at Ohio Northern University, Fiasco readings, The Lucky Chance, Sight Unseen. TV/Film: Living With Yourself, The Knick, God of Love.

For more information about any of Red Bull Theater's programs, visit For more information about Fiasco Theater, visit


Jessie Austrian (she/her) is a multi-hyphenate-theater-maker, educator and parent. She is a co-founder and co-artistic director of Fiasco Theater. Broadway: The Importance of Being Earnest, Lend Me a Tenor. Off-Broadway: Merrily We Roll Along, Cymbeline, Into the Woods, Measure for Measure, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Twelfth Night, The Marriage of Bette and Boo. Regional: lots. TV: a little. Directing: Ken Ludwig's Sherwood, Playmakers Rep; Two Gentlemen of Verona, Folger and Theater for a New Audience; The Imaginary Invalid, Old Globe. She teaches at Fiasco's Conservatory and NYU Gallatin. BA & MFA Brown University.

Royer Bockus (she/her) Recently: Workshop of Diamond Alice with Fiasco. In six seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream; Helen in All's Well That Ends Well; Emily in Revenge Song; Laurey in Oklahoma!; Jaquenetta in Love's Labor's Lost; Rapunzel in Into the Woods (OSF, Wallis Annenberg Center); Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew; ensembles of Hairspray, My Fair Lady, The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Other theaters: Peter Pan, A Play; The Little Prince (Lookingglass Theatre Company); Oklahoma!; A Midsummer Night's Dream (Trinity Repertory Company); Fly By Night (Jungle Theatre). Northwestern University grad.

Tina Chilip. Off-Broadway credits include Fiasco's Twelfth Night (Classic Stage Company); A Delicate Balance (Transport Group); Mothers (Playwrights Realm); Golden Child (Signature Theater); House Rules, Flipzoids (Ma-Yi Theater); A Dream Play (NAATCO). Regionally she has performed at The Old Globe, Huntington Theatre, Guthrie, Hudson Valley Shakespeare, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Portland Center Stage, Berkeley Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, Syracuse Stage, Trinity Rep, and others. TV: "Jessica Jones," "It's Bruno," "Law & Order: SVU," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "FBI: Most Wanted," "Good Fight," "Elementary," "Deception," "Madam Secretary." Film: Miguel Wants to Fight. Training: MFA, Brown/Trinity Rep. Company member of Fiasco Theater, and The Actors Center.

Paul L. Coffey Off-Broadway: Merrily We Roll Along and Into the Woods at Roundabout Theatre Co., Twelfth Night at Classic Stage Co., The Two Gentlemen of Verona at Theatre for a New Audience and Cymbeline at TFANA/Barrow Street Theatre. Regional theater: Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Old Globe, McCarter Theatre Center, Long Wharf Theater, Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Trinity Repertory Co., Berkshire Theatre Festival, Vineyard Playhouse, The Theater at Monmouth, Peterborough Players. Film: Late Night and The Jew of Malta. Television: "Blue Bloods." Other theater: Into the Woods at London's Menier Chocolate Factory. Additional Credits: Paul is a graduate of the Brown/Trinity MFA Acting Program, a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and a company member of Fiasco Theater.

Devin E. Haqq is an Emmy-nominated producer, a member of the Roundabout Directors Group Cohort 4, a member of the Fiasco Theatre Acting Company, an IFP alumni, and a Finalist for the 2020 HBOAccess Directing Fellowship. He has appeared Off-Broadway at the Barrow Group, Epic Theatre Ensemble, HERE Arts Center, BRIC Arts Media, and in the New York premiere of David Harrower's Knives in Hens at 59E59 Theaters (NY Times Critic's Pick). He's appeared in numerous regional theater productions including Fiasco Theatre's Measure for Measure (Actor's Theatre of Louisville) and As You Like It (Arden Theatre). Devin has narrated documentaries for Lion TV, Disney Studios, and the PBS series "NOVA." And during the playoffs, lends his voice to the NFL and the NBA.

Teresa Avia Lim. Broadway: Ayad Akhtar's Junk at Lincoln Center. Other works: Snow in Midsummer at Classic Stage, The Alchemist at Red Bull Theater, Once Upon a Korean Time with Ma-Yi Theater, Caesar & Cleopatra for Gingold Theatrical Group; Shakespeare in the Park's all female production of Taming of the Shrew, NAATCO's Awake and Sing!, Macbeth and Call and Response with the Mobile Shakespeare Unit at The Public Theatre. Teresa originated her roles in Peerless, Water by the Spoonful, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, and Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West. TV/Film: "Bupkis," "Monsterland," "The Code," "Ray Donovan," "Blue Bloods," "Limitless," "Unforgettable," "Law and Order: Criminal Intent," and Monster. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and an inaugural recipient of the Jerome L. Greene Foundation Scholarship

Darius Pierce is overjoyed to work with Fiasco Theater and Red Bull Theater for his Off-Broadway debut. Regionally, he has performed at Portland Center Stage, Artists Repertory Theatre, Woolly Mammoth (world premiere of Stupid F%&king Bird), Folger Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Broadway Rose Theatre Company, Portland Playhouse, and more. He is a co-founder of the Anonymous Theatre Company and a company member at Third Rail Repertory Theatre. Film/TV credits include Pig, Timmy Failure, "Leverage," "Grimm," "The Librarians," "Documentary Now!," and others.

Ben Steinfeld. Broadway: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Cyrano de Bergerac. For Fiasco as actor and director: Into the Woods (Roundabout/London's Menier Chocolate Factory/Old Globe/McCarter); Cymbeline (TFANA/Barrow Street Theatre); Measure for Measure (New Victory/Long Wharf); Twelfth Night (CSC); Merrily We Roll Along (Roundabout). Off-Broadway: Public Theater; One Thousand Nights and One Day (Prospect/ART-NY); The Two Gentlemen of Verona (co-director, TFANA/Folger). Additional regional: Williamstown, Westport, Trinity Rep. Film/TV: HBO's Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight, "The Good Wife," "The Deuce," "Power Book III: Raising Kanan," "Law & Order: CI." Training: Brown/Trinity Rep MFA program.

Paco Tolson. Fiasco productions include Twelfth Night (Classic Stage Company) and Measure for Measure (Actor's Theater of Louisville) as well as workshops of Diamond Alice, A Streetcar Named Desire, Pericles, The Lucky Chance, Imogen Says Nothing and The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Paco recently led the world premiere of Kimber Lee's to the yellow house at La Jolla Playhouse. Collaborations on new work with Manhattan Theatre Club, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, Ma-Yi, Playwrights Horizons, Two River Theatre, Vampire Cowboys, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and South Coast Rep. Film and TV: "Billions," "Law & Order: Organized Crime," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Prodigal Son," "Search Party," "The Good Fight," "Madam Secretary," "Happy!," "The Code," and 7 Day Gig.

Tatiana Wechsler is a Brooklyn based actor, singer/songwriter, and creative. Fiasco: Pericles, readings of Diamond Alice and Imogen Says Nothing. Broadway: Mr. Saturday Night. Off-Broadway/NYC: X: Or Betty Shabazz V. The Nation, Julius Caesar, Othello (The Acting Company), The Golden Bride (National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene). Regional: first woman to play Curly in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, Love's Labor's Lost (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), world premiere of Love in Hate Nation (Two River Theatre), Benny & Joon (Paper Mill Playhouse), The Legend of Georgia McBride (Marin Theatre Company). Film: award-winning short film Netuser. Many readings, workshops, and concerts, including solo show Dusk at 54 Below. BFA: NYU. @tatiwex