March 21 - April 5

john harrell american shakespeare center antonios revenge

Antonio’s Revenge proves that happily-ever-afters don’t always remain so. Breaking from his supposed reformation, the evil Duke Piero resolves again to destroy the relationship of his daughter, Mellida, and her future husband, Antonio – by any means necessary. Writing around the same time as Hamlet, Marston echoes (or foreshadows) Shakespeare’s great work with themes of familial betrayal, hauntings, and existential questions that rock us to the core.  It’s a little bit like Hamlet, a little bit like Quentin Tarantino, a little bit like a weird Italian horror movie, and a whole lot of fun.

For the first time, ASC audiences will be able to see these closely-connected plays – Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Antonio’s Revenge staged in repertory by the same twelve actors as they revel in the excitement of playing similar stories told by wildly different playwrights.

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Stuff that happens in the play
  • Piero, Duke of Venice, and his henchman Strotzo announce they’ve poisoned Andrugio and murdered Feliche, son of Pandulpho. They plan to use Feliche’s body to frame Piero’s daughter Mellida as a “strumpet.” Piero hates Andrugio because Andrugio married the woman Piero loved, Maria.
  • Piero plans to “poison the father, butcher the son, and marry the mother; ha!”
    Antonio feels foreboding and worry in the form of bad dreams, a blazing comet, and a nosebleed.
  • Antonio welcomes his mother Maria home. Piero rushes in, covered in blood, declaring he killed Feliche when he found him with Mellida. The a messenger announces Andrugio has died.
  • Pandulpho, a stoic, takes the news of his son Feliche’s death with a laugh. Piero tries to get Pandulpho to frame Antonio, but Pandulpho refuses and Piero banishes him.
  • Antonio tells Mellida he believes in her innocence. Mellida tells Antonio it’s all a trap and he should flee.
  • Piero and Strozo plan to frame Antonio at Mellida’s trial.
  • Through trickery and wooing, Piero convinces Maria to marry him.
  • Andrugio’s ghost visits Antonio. He orders Antonio to avenge his murder and discloses Piero’s guilt and Mellida’s innocence.
  • Antonio resolves revenge. Piero enters with his young son Julio looking for Maria. Piero leaves Julio alone, and Antonio kills him.
  • Andrugio’s ghost visits Maria and Antonio and advises Antonio to disguise himself. Antonio disguises himself as a fool and starts a rumor he has drowned himself.
  • Lots of dumb shows, plots, and stabbing ensue.