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Department of Theater and Dance

The Duchess of Malfi

November 11-13 and 18-20

This “beautifully perverse” poetic masterpiece, set in the corrupt court of 16th century Amalfi, Italy, follows the young Duchess, a wealthy widow, as she makes her first appearance at court. Her greedy, morally-bankrupt brothers, covetous of her riches, demand she never marry. To further their schemes, the brothers secure the services of a notorious spy. But love will not be denied as The Duchess defies her brothers and, attended by her loyal lady-in-waiting, marries her lowly household steward. Her actions releases a torrent of emotions that journeys “into the heart of darkness.” A story of love, greed, intrigue, murder and redemption, this rarely performed adaptation by Bertolt Brecht and W.H. Auden conceives John Webster’s Jacobean revenge masterwork, meant as a warning of puritanical fanaticism, as a “romantic and politically subversive” poetic tragedy. Director Denise Gillman proudly reprises her critically acclaimed 1998 Los Angeles World Premiere staging of this adaptation.

Duchess of Malfi
Duchess of Malfi
Duchess of Malfi

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