Red Bull Theater Announces 20th Season, Featuring ARDEN OF FAVERSHAM, THE KNIGHT OF THE BURNING PESTLE & More

The season will also feature the Short New Play Festival, Red Bull’s renowned annual festival of classically inspired ten-minute plays, featuring world premieres & more.

By: Aug. 17, 2022
Red Bull Theater Announces 20th Season, Featuring ARDEN OF FAVERSHAM, THE KNIGHT OF THE BURNING PESTLE & More

Red Bull Theater has announced details of its 20th season, including two Off-Broadway productions; a new season of OBIE Award-winning Revelation Readings (offered both in-person and online); the third installment of Red Bull's acclaimed Hispanic Golden Age Classics, this year examining the work of Lope De Vega; an all-star benefit performance of the hit Off-Broadway Musical Your Own Thing; and an all-new season of its popular RemarkaBULL Podversations, intimate conversations with great artists. And as it has for the past twelve years, summer will feature the Short New Play Festival, Red Bull's renowned annual festival of classically inspired ten-minute plays, featuring world premieres by some of the most exciting established and emerging writers from across the country. *

"What a joy to be able to invite artists and audiences to gather together again in person! In the coming year we will offer many exciting opportunities, in-person and online, to experience our unique work. I look forward to sharing Off-Broadway productions of Arden of Faversham and The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Revelation Readings of Phèdre with Jennifer Ehle, The Relapse with Michael Urie, Titus Andronicus with Patrick Page and John Douglas Thompson, and other outstanding artists and work.

"Since the spring of 2020, Red Bull has been at the vanguard of bringing the finest theater artists together to share work live online. In the fall of 2021, we were among the first to return to in-person theater with our production of The Alchemist. Now, all of us at Red Bull are thrilled to be coming back full force with a dynamic slate of productions, readings, and more - in-person and online. If the past two years have taught us anything, it's how deeply we missed the human connection, that special magic that only exists when we are together, artists and audiences sharing acts of imagination with meaningful stories. And, for those who can not join us in person, we are thrilled to be able to continue to share our work online - a terrific way to explore the unique plays we do, from wherever you may be in the world.

"As Red Bull Theater approaches its 20th birthday, I couldn't be more grateful to all the artists and audiences who make our work possible. Now - no matter where you are in the world - Red Bull Theater is your destination for dynamic performances of great plays that stand the test of time and new work that continues that tradition. I look forward to greeting you online and in-person, soon," said Mr. Berger.

Red Bull Theater continues the exploration of the Hispanic Golden Age Classics with Lope De Vega and his play The Capulets and the Montagues (Castelvines y Monteses), his fascinating take on the world's most famous star-crossed lovers. Presented in collaboration with Diversifying the Classics | UCLA, this three-part series of online-only events will feature a new translation of Lope De Vega's play by Dakin Matthews (LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Adaptation for The Capulets & the Montagues; dramaturg for the Broadway revival of Julius Caesar starring Denzel Washington and the Lincoln Center production of Macbeth starring Ethan Hawke; Drama Desk Award Special Award for his adaptation of Henry IV). Based on the same source material Shakespeare used for Romeo and Juliet, Lope takes the audience on a different and altogether delightful journey in his tragicomic telling of the classic tale.

The program begins with "Lope De Vega & Shakespeare," an interactive discussion with translator Dakin Matthews and members of UCLA's Diversifying the Classics, on Thursday, September 8th. This will be followed by the online reading of Lope De Vega's The Capulets and the Montagues (Castelvines y Monteses) on Monday, September 12th (and streaming on-demand through September 18th). Directed by Melia Bensussen, the cast will feature Ro Boddie, Anita Castillo-Halvorssen, Grantham Coleman, Carson Elrod, Topher Embrey, Ryan Garbayo, Paco Lozano, Dakin Matthews, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Cara Ricketts and more to be announced. And finally, the Bull Session, an interactive discussion of the play and its themes with members of the creative team, on Thursday, September 15th.

Revelation Readings offer the unique opportunity to hear rarely-produced classic plays, and brand new plays in conversation with the classics, performed by the finest actors in New York. This year's slate of readings is sure to delight audiences all season long. Revelation Readings will take place online and in-person at various venues around NYC, and will include:

The Relapse, or Virtue In Danger

by John Vanbrugh, directed by Marc Vietor, featuring Michael Urie

Monday October 24th at 7:30pm

Online & in-person at Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space

A riotous Restoration comedy, in which a reformed rake succumbs to temptation with a new love affair while his wife is subjected to a determined seduction attempt. Meanwhile, the fabulous Lord Foppington flamboyantly flirts about town before leaving to marry a country wife - but his rakish brother is determined to get there first.

The Duchess of Malfi

by John Webster, directed by Jesse Berger, featuring Matthew Rauch, and more.

Monday, November 14th at 7:30pm

Venue to be announced

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.

Animal Magnetism

by Elizabeth Inchbald, directed by José Zayas. Presented in partnership with R/18 Collective

Monday January 23rd at 7:30pm


Lady Constance and her maid Lisette are locked away by a quack Doctor. Their lovers, a persistent Marquis and his servant, trick their way to love by pretending to use "animal magnetism," the pseudo-science of mesmerism popularized by the real-life quack, Franz Anton Mesmer. This delightful farce, by an actress and one of the most popular playwrights of her day, satirizes the follies of fake medicine-and of the men who try to control smart, young women.


by Jean Racine, Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, featuring Jennifer Ehle.

Presented in partnership with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)

Monday February 20th at 7:30pm

Online & in-person at Florence Gould Hall at FIAF

A tale of forbidden love strong enough to bring down a kingdom, Phèdre's overwhelming passion for her stepson is brought to vibrant life in this masterpiece of tension, pathos, and dramatic power.

Kit Marlowe

by David Grimm, directed by Emma Rosa Went.

Monday April 3rd at 7:30pm

Venue to be announced

Set in the seedy underworld of Elizabethan England, the story of the meteoric rise and fall of Kit Marlowe - playwright, poet, spy, and sexual outlaw - charts the ambitions of youth in a cold and unforgiving world. Performed by an all-women and non-binary company, we reexamine the play's explosive, urgent questions about art, love, depravity, redemption, and the cost of genius.

Titus Andronicus

by William Shakespeare, directed by Jesse Berger, featuring Patrick Page and John Douglas Thompson

Sunday April 23rd at 7:30pm (Shakespeare's birthday!) at the Lucille Lortel Theatre

One of Shakespeare's earliest and bloodiest plays explores the desperate nihilism of a world where an unstoppable cycle of revenge has begun. Titus is Rome's greatest general and the head of a noble Roman family. When his armies vanquish the Goths, their defeated queen, Tamora - with her paramour Aaron the Moor - unleashes a fury that brings Rome, Titus, and his family to their knees. The play's exploration of humanity's capacity for inhumanity is shockingly contemporary.

Medea: Re-Versed by Euripides

Freely adapted by Luis Quintero, directed by Nathan Winkelstein, featuring Jacob Ming-Trent

Sunday May 21st at 7:30pm at the Lortel Theatre (IN-PERSON ONLY)

An ice-cold, high-octane adaptation of Euripides' play written in Battle Rap verse, this brand new hip hop version of Medea sheds contemporary light on the classic tragedy This story reignites the sacred rage of our ancestors and explores the destruction that comes when a society suppresses and silences women.

Join celebrated star of stage and screen F. Murray Abraham when he joins Associate Artistic Director Nathan Winkelstein, for a conversation, focused on Shylock from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice to kick start another exciting series of RemarkaBULL Podversations, Livestreamed online on Monday, October 3rd. RemarkaBULL Podversations are informal, online conversations that investigate approaches to essential passages from the Shakespearean and Jacobean canon and beyond. You can watch recordings of past conversations with Kate Burton, Grantham Coleman, André De Shields, Lisa Harrow, Chukwudi Iwuji, Dion Johnstone, Elizabeth Marvel, Patrick Page, Matthew Rauch, Jay O. Sanders, Michael Urie, and more at FREE!

A special highlight of the 2022-'23 Season will be the one-night-only all-star benefit performance of the Off-Broadway award-winning musical Your Own Thing, the hit rock musical inspired by Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, on Monday December 12, at the Peter Norton Symphony Space, in-person only. With music and lyrics by Hal Hester and Danny Apolinar, with the book adaptation by Donald Driver, the original production opened on January 13, 1968, at the Orpheum Theater where it ran for 933 performances. In the late 1960s, a raging storm shipwrecks a young music duo, twins Viola and Sebastian. The pair end up in the land of Illyria, which looks very much like New York City, and the rest is Shakespeare's Twelfth Night-well, kind of. This hit rock musical ran Off-Broadway while Hair played uptown. The New York Times called it "Cheerful, joyful, and blissfully irreverent to Shakespeare and everything else...." and Red Bull will give it its first New York presentation in decades with this one-night-only, in-person-only, benefit.

Coming Off-Broadway this Spring:

Arden of Faversham

adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher & Kathryn Walat, directed by Jesse Berger

Opening Monday March 20th at the Lucille Lortel Theatre

The first true-crime story. A tale of illicit passion and slaughter that rocked the Elizabethan world. Valentine's Day, 1551. Alice and her ambitious lover Mosby plot to murder her husband, engaging a cluster of inept killers to do the deed. It's Macbeth meets Double Indemnity meets Fargo, featuring one of the strongest and most mercurial female protagonists in early drama. And - did Shakespeare write it? See this new version of a rarely staged classical thriller.

The Knight of the Burning Pestle

by Francis Beaumont

In association with Fiasco Theater

Opening Monday May 1st at the Lucille Lortel Theatre

One of the first parodies of the English theater, this Elizabethan comedy is a joyful romp that celebrates our collective capacity to improvise and natural desire to be center stage. A play about the elopement of star-crossed lovers called The London Merchant is about to be performed when an unexpected interruption occurs. The actors adapt and invent a new story - an outrageous quest called The Knight of the Burning Pestle - which takes over the stage in hilariously disruptive ways. Everyone shares in the triumph of love, adventure, and the anything-can-happen nature of live theater.

Come Summer, Red Bull will present the 13th Annual Short New Play Festival, the yearly festival of 10-minute plays of heightened language and classic themes, featuring two commissions from established writers, alongside six new plays that have been chosen from hundreds of submissions from emerging playwrights across the country, writing classically-inspired plays in response to this year's theme: "Forbidden Love." Over the Short New Play Festival's twelve-year history, Red Bull Theater has inspired the writing of over 4,000 new short plays of classic themes and heightened language, presenting nearly 100 of them in a one-night-only Festival performance with some of New York's finest actors and directors. Commissioned playwrights have included Larissa Fasthorse, Marcus Gardley, John Guare, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Jeremy O. Harris, David Ives, Ellen McLaughlin, Dael Orlandersmith, Theresa Rebeck, José Rivera, Anne Washburn, Doug Wright, and winning entries by writers such as Anchuli Felicia King, Patricia Ione Lloyd, Lynn Rosen, and Jen Silverman. Stage Rights has published a 5-volume collection of the plays from the first 10 years of Red Bull Theater's annual Short New Play Festival as Red Bull Shorts.


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.

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