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Shakespeare's Sister | American Shakespeare Center

Shakespeare's Sister

by Emma Whipday
FEBRUARY 23 - APRIL 7, 2017

Judith Shakespeare has one ambition: to be a playwright. When her debt-ridden father forces her into an engagement, she runs away with the help of dashing actor Ned Alleyn, hoping to join her brother in London. But when Judith arrives in the plague-stricken capital, she finds her brother gone, Ned engaged to another, and her play refused.

Judith befriends the women in a local brothel, and together, they decide to stage her play in secret. But Elizabethan London is a dangerous place to perform an unlicensed play. Judith is arrested, and finds herself in the Tower of London for suspected treason.

Judith and the players confront poverty in an economic depression; a society where women’s freedoms are curtailed; and a government tackling religious extremism in a climate of fear. Judith must choose between succumbing to social pressures, and following her dream, no matter what the cost.

• Pre-show presentation about the play: March 2 and March 15

• TalkBack with actors after each Thursday evening performance