By Edward Einhorn
Directed by Henry Akona March 2010
At the Bohemian National Hall
The story of a bisexual, bipolar emperor in 1600 Prague obsessed with alchemy, astronomy, his longtime mistress, and his newest lover and valet, a converted Jew. The production used the vast expanse of the Bohemian National Hall to create an environmental production in the center of its ballroom space, with live choral singing from the balconies accompanying the action.
Rudolf II’s thirst for knowledge, whether artistic, scientific, or mystical, was insatiable—as was his desire for lovers of both sexes. He was surrounded by visionaries like Tycho Brahe and Arcimboldo, plagued by visions of Libuše, and constantly attended by the mistress who had borne his only children, and his valet, a converted Jew whose secret relationship with Rudolf makes him the emperor’s most valued confidant.
Set entirely in Rudolf’s bedroom, the play is a portrait of an emperor who was both extraordinary visionary and self-destructive, as he confines himself and those closest to him to an increasingly suffocating atmosphere of paranoia and mounting madness.
Dramaturg: Karen Lee Ott
Assistant Director: Tom Berger
Costumes: Carla Gant
Lighting: Ian W. Hill
Costume Assistant: Candace Lawrence
Lighting Assistant: Romo Hallahan
Stage Manager and Props: Berit Johnson
Assistant Stage Manager: Lindsey Carter
With: Rosalynd Darling, Adriana Disman, Joe Gately*, Romo Hallahan, James Isaac, Eric Oleson, Shelley Ray*, Timothy McCown Reynolds*, Yvonne Roen*, Jack Schaub, Phoebe Silva and Sandy York*
* Member of Actors’ Equity Association