From the 2012-2013 Season:
Playing November 01, 2012 to November 25, 2012
Shakespeare’s First Tragedy
Directed by Drew Reeves
Human sacrifice. Murder. Rape. Mutilation. Cannibalism and suicide. Beneath Shakespeare’s first tragedy, the tale of an ancient Roman’s descent into madness, revenge and redemption, is the careful crafting of the master. With Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare questions the essence of sanity and explores humankind’s capacity for violence and spiritual purity.
A part of The Shakespeare Evolution Series!
Join the cast and crew members for a lively Question and Answer session on Sunday November 11 after the show!
Read the Plot Synopsis
Two sons of the late Roman Emperor, Saturninus (the elder) and Bassianus, strive to succeed him, but Titus Andronincus, veteran general triumphant against the Goths, is chosen. He has just returned with his prisoners: Tamora, Queen of the Goths, her sons, and Aaron, her Moorish paramour. Heedless of entreaty, Titus orders her eldest son, Alarbus, to be sacrificed to appease the spirits of his own dead sons. He refuses the crown, urging the choice of Saturninus, to whom he gives his daughter Lavinia and yields his Gothic prisoners. Bassianus, secretly pledged to Lavinia, runs off with her; Saturninus, to curb the influence of Titus, announces that he will marry Tamora, who tells him to remain silent while she plans revenge upon the Andronici.
In a rush of events orchestrated by Aaron, Tamora’s sons, Demetrius and Chiron, kill Bassianus during a hunt in the forest. They rape Lavinia, cut off her hands and cut out her tongue. Meanwhile, Aaron manages to implicate the sons of Titus in the murder of Bassianus. They are sentenced to death and another son, Lucius, is banished. Titus, already overcome by the plight of Lavinia, is tricked into losing his hand as fruitless ransom for his sons.
While Lucius is raising a revenging army among the Goths, the mutilated Lavinia, by the manipulation of a staff in the sand, accuses Chiron and Demetrius. Titus behaves like a mad man, dispatching messages to the gods to redress his wrongs.
Tamora has had a black child by Aaron, who removes it for safety; captured by the Gothic army on its way, under Lucius, to attack Rome, he tells the whole story. Tamora, seeking to persuade Titus – whom she regards as merely crazed – to recall Lucius, has come to him dressed as Revenge, with her two sons as Murder and Rape. Having promised to invite “the Empress and her sons” and Saturninus, with Lucius, to a feast, Titus – who has seen through the charade – later kills Chiron and Demetrius and at the banquet serves their flesh baked in a pie. The end is a frenzy in which Lavinia, Tamora, Titus and Saturninus all die. Lucius becomes Emperor and after sentences Aaron to be buried breast-deep and starved to death.
-The Pocket Companion to Shakespeare’s Plays by J C Trewin
Act One - 75 min / Act Two - 75 min
Saturninus - J.C. Long*
Bassianus - Jeffrey Stephenson
Titus Andronicus - Maurice Ralston*
Lavinia - Jennifer Alice Acker
Lucius - Andrew Houchins*
Quintus - Doug Graham
Martius- Nicholas Faircloth
Mutius - Cale Lawton
Marcus Andronicus - J. Tony Brown*
Young Lucius -Will Hodgdon
Publius - Cale Lawton
Sempronius - Doug Kaye*
Caius - Chris Rushing
Emilius - Doug Graham
Tamora - Agnes Harty*
Alarbus - Daniel Carter Brown
Demetrius - Daniel Parvis
Chiron - Jonathan Horne
Aaron - Brian Mayberry
Prisoners - Charles Umeano, Jennifer Lamourt
Nurse - Jennifer Lamourt
Captain - Matt Felten
Clown - Matt Felten
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
Bardometer RatingHow difficult is this Shakespearean play to grasp? On a scale of 1 to 10.
What does rating this mean?
These plays are extremely passionate and heavy on religious, historical and/or political content. There may be increased violence, gore and sexuality (though, unless noted, there is never any nudity). The language is complex and the themes are dark. We provide a synopsis in the Playbill for these plays which will explain any historical or political elements you may need to know.
We recommend this type of play to Shakespeare-geeks, College or Advanced Students, frequent theatre-goers and people who like documentaries or “guy films”.
How to prepare for seeing this kind of play: You may wish to read the synopsis, search the internet for resources, or see a movie-version if one exists.