Red Bull Theater Has Announced the Cast for First of 2019-'20 Season of Revelation Readings: James Shirley's THE TRAITOR

By: Nov. 06, 2019
Red Bull Theater Has Announced the Cast for First of 2019-'20 Season of Revelation Readings: James Shirley's THE TRAITOR

Red Bull Theater (Jesse Berger, Artistic Director | Jim Bredeson, Managing Director) today announced the cast for the first of the 2019-'20 season of REVELATION READINGS, its OBIE Award-winning series: James Shirley's The Traitor, directed by Nathan Winkelstein, will star Oge Agulue, Keith Hamilton Cobb, Christian Coulson, Sarah Herrman, Hubert Point-Du Jour, Daniel Jose Molina, Max Gordon Moore, Nneka Okafor, Antoinette Robinson, Socorro Santiago, and more to be announced.

This rarely heard Early Modern gem paints a macabre picture of Lorenzo de Medici, a licentious duke who works his means through a mass of intrigue to achieve his most passionate ends. This event will take place on Monday November 18th at 7:30pm at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street, between Bleecker and Hudson Streets).

"James Shirley's plays are some of the best and least known of the post-Shakespearean period of dramatic literature. With this superb cast under Nathan's excellent direction, audiences are in for a rare treat," said Mr. Berger.

James Shirley was born in London in 1596 and educated at the famous Merchant Taylors' School before taking degrees at Oxford and Cambridge. Shirley wrote over thirty plays before the closing of the public theaters in 1642. Among these plays were a handful of tragedies, numerous witty and graceful city comedies, and many pastoral tragicomedies. Shirley wrote most of his plays for Queen Henrietta's Men, although from 1636 to 1640 he lived in Dublin and wrote for the Werburgh Street Theatre. During the Interregnum Shirley survived by writing poetry and helping with John Ogilby's translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey. He died immediately after the Great Fire of London in 1666.

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 on Monday evenings (7:30PM) at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street between Bleecker & Hudson Streets), and subsequent Readings will include:

Monday December 16th: Beaumont & Fletcher's Love Lies A-Bleeding, directed by Carl Cofield, featuring Zach Appleman, Susan Heyward, Ezra Knight, Howard Overshown, Bhavesh Patel, Cara Ricketts and more to be announced. This Jacobean romance doesn't just tug at the heart-strings, it tears them to pieces in the byzantine tale of Philaster, a disinherited prince, living in the court of an unfriendly king.

Monday January 27th: Thomas Middleton's Women Beware Women, directed by José Zayas, featuring Juliana Canfield, Kathleen Chalfant, Robert Cuccioli, Zachary Fine, Sam Lilja, Julia McDermott, Matthew Rauch, Laila Robins, David Ryan Smith and more to be announced. A playful parody of serious sexual games, this wicked social satire speaks with a shockingly contemporary voice about abuse of power and the effects of gender inequality.

Monday February 10th: Kate Hamill's The Scarlet Letter, based on the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, directed by Sarna Lapine, featuring Kelley Curran, Kate Hamill, Olivia Oguma and more to be announced. This brand new adaptation of the classic novel sheds new light and laughter on the sin, shame, and utter insanity of a puritanical society.

Monday March 16th: Ana Caro's The Courage to Right a Woman's Wrongs (Valor, Agravio y Mujer), a brand new translation directed by Melia Bensussen, featuring Carson Elrod, Lorenzo Pisoni, Matthew Saldivar and more to be announced. Presented in association with Diversifying the Classics | UCLA. Spanish Golden Age playwright Ana Caro Mallén de Soto presents a witty critique of society through the story of Leonor, a woman who sets out to find her one-time lover (Don Juan, naturally) and bring him to justice.

Monday April 6th: John Milton's Paradise Lost, adapted by Michael Barakiva. Cast to be announced. With its exquisite language and Shakespearean scale, Milton's epic poem poses and seeks to answer a fundamental question of the human experience: What is evil? Note: This reading will be of an edited version of the first half of Milton's poem, primarily focused on the fall of Satan.

Monday May 18th: Anchuli Felicia King's Keene, directed by Ethan McSweeny, featuring Clifton Duncan and more to be announced. Presented in association with American Shakespeare Center. New York Premiere. In this brand new play, dreams merge with reality as a graduate student pursues his thesis on Ira Aldridge, possibly the first black man known to perform the role of Shakespeare's Othello.

Monday June 15th: Lynn Rosen's The Claudias, directed by Meredith McDonough, featuring Ben Chase, Jennifer Mudge, Jeanine Serralles, Danielle Skraastad, and more to be announced. Commissioned by Red Bull Theater. This new play ecstatically and hilariously exhumes the stories of historical women named Claudia, whose tales were buried by the powerful men who dominated their lives and the world.

Coming this Spring: Red Bull's next mainstage production of the season will be The Alchemist by Jeffrey Hatcher adapted from Ben Jonson, directed by Jesse Berger. This will be the World Premiere of a Red Bull Theater commission from the same team that created the acclaimed hit The Government Inspector. Following recent acclaimed productions of Keith Hamilton Cobb's American Moor, Erica Schmidt's Mac Beth, John Webster's The White Devil, and David Ives's The Metromaniacs, The Alchemist brings the greed and absurdity of Jonson's Jacobean London to brilliant contemporary life in this brand new adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher, whose version of inane corruption à la Gogol delighted New York audiences in The Government Inspector. Performances begin in May at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Cast and design team will be announced shortly.

This Summer, Red Bull will present The 10th Annual Short New Play Festival, the annual 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. Red Bull Theater's annual Short New Play Festival has generated over 1,000 new short plays of classic themes and heightened language, presenting over 60 of them in performance with some of New York's finest actors and directors.

Red Bull Theater, hailed as "the city's gutsiest classical theater" by Time Out New York, 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. 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 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 Master Classes in classical acting led by veteran theater professionals.

"The classics-shaking Red Bull Theater," as Time Out NY 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.

A Red Bull subscription offers you the best seats at the lowest price to your choice of performances - subscribers receive access to tickets before anyone else, at substantial savings. Subscribers will also enjoy no additional processing fees and bonus discounts throughout the season. Subscribing is the easiest way to support Red Bull Theater and secure superb seats while saving up to 30%. To subscribe, call Red Bull Theater Monday-Friday from 11am-5pm at 212/343-7394 or visit

For tickets and more information about Revelation Readings or any of Red Bull Theater's productions and programs, visit


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