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Quintessence Theatre Presents DANTON'S DEATH As Part Of Virtual PlayReading Festival

Georg Büchner’s political masterpiece streams November 2 - 6.

Quintessence Theatre Group, Philadelphia's professional classic repertory theatre, is set to livestream Georg Büchner's Danton's Death on November 2, as part of Shout into the Void: A Virtual Play Reading Festival.

During the run-up to this year's election, Quintessence Theatre presents a new reading each week of a classic play that explores power, politics, and prejudice. Danton's Death streams live Monday, November 2 at 7pm EST and the recording will be available through Friday, November 6 at 10pm EST, allowing audience members to choose when they watch. All tickets include a digital program with interviews, articles, and other supplementary materials to enhance the viewing experience.

It is 1794 and the French Revolution has reached its climax. The monarchy has fallen and as the reign of terror covers the country in blood, George Jacques Danton begins to doubt and question the violence he and his movement has unleashed. When Danton challenges Maximilien Robespierre, the fellow revolutionaries and former friends become bitter foes, one calling for comprise, the other for ideological purity. The fate of France hangs in the balance as the two young leaders debate over the soul of their nation, the guillotine the loser's reward. Written in just five weeks when the playwright was 22 years old, Georg Büchner created the "greatest political tragedy ever written" and its impact on the modern theatrical form is undebated.

The reading will be directed by Max Shulman who directed Quintessence's celebrated production of Clifford Odet's Awake and Sing! The ensemble cast stars Jordan Barbour, last seen originating the role of Tristan in Matthew Lopez's The Inheritance on Broadway, as Danton. Opposite him is Michael Zlabinger as Robespierre, who played the titular role of Frankenstein at Quintessence two seasons ago. Oregon Shakespeare Festival veteran Jessica Ko joins as Marion. Fresh off his NYTimes Critic's Pick revamp of Elephant Room, Trey Lyford plays the role of Saint-Just. The reading also features some Quintessence favorites. Eunice Akinola (King Lear, Synge Festival) plays Lucille, J Hernandez (Waiting For Godot, King Lear) returns as Lacroix, Kevin Bergen (Uncle Vanya, Frankenstein) serves as Herault and Ashton Carter (Love's Labor's Lost, The Broken Heart) plays Dumas. Award-winning actor Christina Norris will stream all the way from Denver to play Julie, and DeVon Jackson from Los Angeles to read Collot d'Herbois. The cast rounds out with original Quintessence member John G. Williams as Philippeau and Artistic Associate Lee Cortopassi as Camille.

Visit or call 215.987.4450 to purchase virtual tickets to Danton's Death. This festival is a fundraising event for Quintessence Theatre, so all ticket purchases are considered tax-deductible donations.

"Since Ancient Greece, the theatre has been an essential space for society to gather and debate the moral and ethical issues of the day. While our physical theatre remains closed due to COVID-19, we will gather virtually with a group of world class artists to reignite four classic plays which are as relevant and revolutionary today as when they were first performed," said Quintessence Artistic Director Alexander Burns.

Founded in 2009, award-winning Quintessence Theatre Group uses the classics to explore the fundamental question of what it is to be human in today's world. Through intimate, visceral, and innovative productions of epic theatre, Quintessence pursues its vision to become the Delaware Valley's center for progressive humanism and an engine for radical empathy through the classics.

Quintessence's home is the historic Sedgwick Theater, an Art Deco movie palace designed in 1928 by William Lee and located in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Virtual tickets are available for Danton's Death for $10.

EDUCATIONAL PACKAGES: Special rates are available for teachers to purchase ticket packages for classes or other student groups. For information on educational group sales, please call 215.987.4450, Ext. 1, or email

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