Buy Tickets From the 2019-2020 Season: William Luce’s Brontë: A Portrait of Charlotte Playing February 28, 2020 to March 08, 2020

$15 General Admission Preview Sunday February 23, 2020
$15 General Admission Preview Thursday February 27, 2020

Mary Ruth Ralston (Photo by Daniel Parvis)

Brontë begins in 1849 with Charlotte returning from Scarborough where she has buried her youngest sister Anne, the last of her living siblings. Now only Charlotte and her ailing father are left in this house of memories and she has resigned herself to the notion that she will now live and die alone. Or has she? As the play unfolds, Charlotte invites the audience into her home to spend an evening reflecting on her life and soaking up her charm and genius. Written by the author of Barrymore and The Belle of Amherst. Starring Mary Ruth Ralston as Charlotte.

“Brontë” is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

Join the cast and crew members for a lively Q&A on Sunday March 1, 2020

Beginning July 2019, our student ticket prices are as follows:
$15 General Admission Tickets on Thursdays
$20 in all sections on Fridays and Sundays
(No student discounts on Saturdays)

Director's Notes

Directed by Kati Grace Brown

“Emily, Anne and I—we had some vague impression that authoresses were liable to be looked on with prejudice.” – Charlotte Bronte in William Luce’s Bronte

What a time to be alive! When female scholars have taken the reins of telling the stories of their predecessors through the uniquely feminine lens. When female artists are entrusted to bring these powerful stories to life without the pretense of a male pseudonym.
Charlotte Bronte is the epitome of feminine strength and genius. And contrary to popularly held belief, while she did provide tremendous insight into the plight of the “spinster” (so beautifully explored in her novel Shirley, for example) let us not make the mistake of believing that she herself was a spinster or that she ever had any intention to become one. In this gripping portrayal of an evening in her childhood home, we invite you to share in her journey to accept love, her pursuit of honest artistic expression and to witness first-hand how she was bearing up during the whirlwind of professional successes punctuated by the devastating losses of those dearest to her. As she will tell you:

You hold out your hand for a pearl, and Fate puts into it a scorpion. Show no consternation. Close your fingers firmly upon the gift.

The depth of her fortitude and her ability to look upon tragedy as a gift is truly inspiring.

Charlotte’s story provides incredible context for the treasured novels and poems that she has left us. It is one of the greatest joys of my career thus far to bring to life for you an evening spent with the woman who gave us Jane Eyre. I hope that you will enjoy the hospitality of our heroine and make yourselves quite at home in her home.

The entire artistic team presents this performance with gratitude to and in memory of its author, William Luce, who recently passed away. We believe that, like Charlotte, his beautiful works will keep his memory alive for generations to come.

Show Information


Act One: 55 minutes
15 minute intermission
Act Two: 50 min
Show will end around 10pm / 9pm Sundays

Show Roles

Performances February 28-March 8, 2020

Charlotte Brontë - Mary Ruth Ralston

Show Times
In general, shows at The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse begin at 7:30pm, except on Sundays, when they begin at 6:30pm.

Bardometer Rating

How difficult is this Shakespearean play to grasp? On a scale of 1 to 10.
What does rating this mean?

You may already know the story and what happens at the end. But even if you don’t, the play is light and the plot is easy to follow. Limited violence, limited bawdiness (see below). There are very few things – historical, religious, or political – that you need to know ahead of time. Just enjoy!

A note about bawdiness in Shakespeare: It exists. Despite what your English teacher taught you, Shakespeare wrote some pretty saucy lines and they pop up from time to time. While there is never any nudity on stage, our actors are trained to make the text clear. If we feel a show contains a plethora of Graphic Elizabethan Poetry (or is very bloody/violent/triggering) we will put that disclaimer in the blurb about the show. It won’t happen often. If this Bardometer lists a play as a 1 or 2, you can rest assured that it is an appropriate show for kids under ten.

Additional Information