Arden of Faversham and The Knight of the Burning Pestle to Play Off-Broadway | Playbill

Off-Broadway News Arden of Faversham and The Knight of the Burning Pestle to Play Off-Broadway

This will be one of the first New York stagings of potentially one of William Shakespeare's first artistic endeavors.

Red Bull Theater Company has announced two new productions of the classic plays Arden of Faversham and The Knight of the Burning Pestle, which will reopened the newly renovated Lucille Lortel Theatre.

Arden of Faversham, often attributed to Shakespeare, is adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher and Kathryn Walat, and will be directed by Jesse Berger. The production will begin performances March 6, and continue through April 1, with opening night set for March 16.

As scholar Tanya Pollard explains; "Printed in 1592 with no authorial attribution, Arden of Faversham has long been seen as the most famous anonymous play from the Elizabethan era. In recent years, however, its authorship has become a topic of heated critical debate. Scholars have generally agreed that the play was written collaboratively, as was typical of early modern drama in general and especially at the time of Arden’s composition. New work with computational stylistic analysis has supported a growing consensus that the play was written by two authors: one possibly Thomas Watson, and the other, responsible for many of the play’s middle scenes, William Shakespeare. If Shakespeare contributed to Arden, as seems increasingly likely, it would be one of the earliest plays in which he had a hand—possibly the earliest. As such, it introduces suggestive details about his early artistic development. In particular, its unusually substantial and complex female leading role offers a haunting pre-history for later Shakespearean creations such as Rosalind, Lady Macbeth, and Cleopatra. This production compounds the play’s collaborative voices with two newer additions: Jeffrey Hatcher and Kathryn Walat.”

Arden of Faversham will feature scenic design by Christopher Swader and Justin Swader, costume design by Mika Eubanks, lighting design by Reza Behjat, and original music and sound design by Greg Pliska.

The Knight of the Burning Pestle by Francis Beaumont will be presented in association with Fiasco Theater. The production will begin performances April 17, and continue through May 13, with opening night set for April 27.

The Elizabethan comedy follows a group of players who struggle to parse the tale they are expected to tell, when their story of star crossed lovers is hijacked by a grocer, his wife, and their would-be-star apprentice.

Fiasco Theater company members Noah Brody and Emily Young will direct the production. The creative team will consist of costume designer Yvonne Miranda, set designers Christopher Swader and Justin Swader, and lighting designer Reza Behjat 

Casting for both productions will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit

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