Presented in collaboration with Shakespeare BASH’d. Facilitated by Julia Nish-Lapidus and James Wallis.
A New Way to Pay Old Debts
By Phillip Massinger
Precarious marriage and class relations are explored in Massinger’s comedy, which mirrors the theme of male skepticism in All’s Well That Ends Well. Full of wit, suspense, and many surprises, this “city comedy” examines the hypocrisy of people and the connection between gratitude and charity, culminating in a lot of fun and some great come-uppance. The reading is performed by members of the Festival company.
The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
By Christopher Marlowe
Shakespeare’s most important contemporary, Christopher Marlowe, wrote this opus of magic and sacrifice in the 1590s, and its story of the will of a driven individual seeking power at all costs remains relevant today, much like Shakespeare’s Richard III. This play continues to push the exploration of what we are willing to sacrifice for corporal power and invincibility, challenging the relationship between man and the divine with its creative audacity. The reading is performed by members of the Festival company.
The Spanish Tragedy
By Thomas Kyd
A definite source of inspiration for Hamlet, The Spanish Tragedy created and popularized the “revenge tragedy” genre for Elizabethan theatre. Hieronimo must avenge his son’s death and navigate the hypocritical court of the Spanish king. This originator of many of the English Renaissance’s most memorable tropes is a bloody fantasy of death, desire, and ghostly vengeance. The reading is performed by members of the Festival company.