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Directors’ Workshop Projects at the Stratford Festival
Studio Theatre
November 26-27, 2022

Written by: Friedrich Schiller
Translated by: Joseph Mellish
Directed & Adapted by: Bryn Kennedy
Stage Managed by: Brian Scott
Set Design by: Jawon Kang
Lighting Design by: Christian Horoszczak
Sound Design by: Adam Campbell
Costume Design by: Madeline Ius

Cast: Hilary McCormack & Lindsay Wu

History is written by the victors. Or so the saying goes. Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, fleeing rebellion in her homeland for the shelter of England, has been imprisoned by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, on charges of complicity in a suspected assassination plot against the crown. In this scene, after years of Mary begging Elizabeth to meet with her, the two monarchs come face to face for the first and only time in the play, and in their lives. Instead of the victor, what emerges, when the dust settles, is the lesson that most of history is fighting battles you didn’t start, for profit you’ll never live to see. The hatred Mary and Elizabeth have for each other has been engrained since birth; Stuart versus Tudor, Scottish versus English, Catholic versus Protestant, all expounded by the pressure of female competition. They have been set up against each other long before they knew how to walk or talk, all while struggling to hang on to their own grip on their respective thrones, their own tenuous grasp at safety. While the story is old, this theme of indoctrination is as present as it ever was. This set up for failure, this tragic opposition, this binary of us versus them is the most damning thing about humanity. And in this play, Mary and Elizabeth are caught up in it, pushed to a battle of wits to determine which of them will emerge with their life.

Set Inspiration Collage by Jawon Kang
Set Design Sketch by Jawon Kang

“[Bryn is] one to watch. A fierce imagination and a keen sense of theatre. There was a piece of business that had the place gasp in shock. Keep your eyes out for Bryn Kennedy.”

Lynn Slotkin, Slotkin Letter