Kelley Curran & More to Star in THE DUCHESS OF MALFI Revelation Reading at Red Bull Theater

This event will premiere live in person at 7:30 PM ET on Monday November 14th at CSC Theatre.

By: Oct. 20, 2022
Kelley Curran & More to Star in THE DUCHESS OF MALFI Revelation Reading at Red Bull Theater

RED BULL THEATER has announced the cast for the next offering of a new season of in-person OBIE Award-winning Revelation Readings, The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster, directed by Jesse Berger. Kelley Curran (HBO's "The Guilded Age;" Red Bull Theater: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore; Broadway: Present Laughter; Off-Bway: Dracula - CSC; The Winter's Tale - TFANA; Twelfth Night, What You Will - Bedlam; The Atmosphere of Memory - LAByrinth; Angels in America - Signature Theatre) will tackle the titular role. The cast will also include Shirine Babb (Broadway: The Piano Lesson - currently; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Macbeth - LCT; Off-Broadway: The Merchant of Venice, Timon of Athens - TFANA); Gerrard James (Red Bull Theater debut); Steve Maurice Jones (Red Bull Theater debut); Heather Lind (Broadway: The Merchant of Venice [Theater World Award], The Nap - MTC; Off-Bway: Othello, The Merchant of Venice - Public Theater/Delacorte; Incognito, Of Good Stock - MTC); Alfredo Narciso (Broadway: Time and the Conways, A Streetcar Named Desire -Roundabout; The Motherf**ker with the Hat; Off-Bway: The Merchant of Venice - TFANA, Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow - MCC Theater, Tiny Beautiful Things - Public Theater, The Way West - LAByrinth); Bhavesh Patel (Broadway: War Horse, Present Laughter; Indian Ink - Roundabout; The Nap - Manhattan Theatre Club); Lorenzo Pisoni (Broadway: Equus; Off-Bway: Humor Abuse - Drama Desk, Obie and Outer Critics Circle Awards; The Explorers Club, Golden Age, Measure for Measure, All's Well That Ends Well, Henry IV); Matthew Rauch (RBT: The Duchess of Malfi - Callaway Award, Edward the Second, The Revenger's Tragedy; Broadway: The Great Society, Junk, The Merchant of Venice, Prelude to a Kiss, Proposals; Off-B'way: The Merchant of Venice, The Winter's Tale - Public Theater/Shakespeare in the Park; Expats, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - The New Group; TV: " Banshee," "Law & Order SVU," "Chicago PD," "Blue Bloods"); Derek Smith (RBT: The White Devil, The School for Scandal, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore; Broadway: The Lion King, The Green Bird - Tony Award® nomination); and Raphael Nash Thompson (F*cking A - Signature Theatre; Pericles - dir. Trevor Nunn, TFANA; Red Bull Theater: Volpone, The Witch of Edmonton, Edward II).

A great romance turns to horror as the Duchess of Malfi seeks true love in a world of forbidden passions. This explosive drama of Italian intrigue examines sexual repression, honor, class, and the true value of the human spirit. Red Bull Theater's acclaimed Off-Broadway production of Webster's play ran in the winter of 2010.

Berger, who also directed that production, says "Since 2003, we've been in the vanguard of bringing the finest artists together to shine a light on rarely produced classics in New York City. Two years ago, we found ourselves at the forefront of bringing live performance and our unique mission online to audiences around the world. And now, we're thrilled to be bringing the majority of this season's work to audiences in-person and online, simultaneously. And there's no better way to begin than with one of the plays at the very heart of our mission, The Duchess of Malfi, the timeless tale of a woman who pursues love and truth against all odds. It has been over a dozen years since we first produced Webster's romantic and psychologically vertiginous love tragedy. I am very excited to delve back into this play - perhaps the best known of all the Jacobean tragedies next to Shakespeare's - and to share it with new and returning audiences for a fresh look, especially with this incredible cast of classical virtuosos!"

This event will premiere LIVE in person at 7:30 PM ET on Monday November 14th at CSC Theatre (136 East 13th Street). The performance will be simulcast that evening for online audiences and the subsequent recording will be available until Sunday November 20 at 11:59 PM ET. For in-person tickets, click here. To purchase tickets for the online broadcast click here.

Scholar Mario DiGangi explains, "In Renaissance tragedy, women who assert their sexual independence often meet a bad end: think of Juliet, Gertrude, Desdemona, and Cleopatra. Webster's Duchess of Malfi, who secretly marries her steward in defiance of her brothers' commandments, could be placed in this company, but she also has a unique status as a titular tragic hero, a status she earns through the conviction of her right to act on her erotic desires. This is not to claim that The Duchess of Malfi (1614) is concerned with sexuality alone. If Webster is drawing from love tragedy such as Romeo and Juliet and Othello, he is also drawing on the theatrical styles and ideological concerns of violent revenge tragedy such as Hamlet, of sentimental domestic tragedy such as Heywood's A Woman Killed with Kindness, and of political tragedy such as King Lear. In the Duchess' bold assertion of will-"If all my royal kindred / Lay in my way unto this marriage, / I'd make them my low footsteps"-Webster even echoes Marlowe's Tamburlaine, the archetype of aggressive masculine ambition."

John Webster

(1578-1634) is best known for his great tragedies of courtly corruption, The White Devil (1612) and The Duchess of Malfi (1614). It's possible that as a young man he was a member of the Middle Temple, one of the London law schools. Evidence of his dramatic writing for the London stage begins in 1602. Although he collaborated throughout his life with popular contemporary playwrights such as Thomas Dekker, Thomas Middleton, and John Heywood, Webster wrote The White Devil and The Duchess of Malfi alone. Both plays are violent tales of sexual and political intrigue centered on an elite woman and her kin. In his poem "Whispers of Immortality," T.S. Eliot wrote, "Webster was much possessed by death, / And saw the skull beneath the skin."


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.

Red Bull Theater 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.

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