2021 Season: June through August
A Tragical-Comical-Historical in Two Acts
By David Davalos
Directed by Marcella Kearns
The critics speak:
“While Wittenberg ends where Hamlet begins, Mr. Davalos does more than toss the occasional — or more than occasional — Shakespeare pun into his play. (Faustus’s office? Room 2B.) The sight of Hamlet wrestling with Luther’s notions about purgatory casts new light on his subsequent reluctance to kill Claudius mid-prayer, while Faustus’s rather disingenuous protests of humility serve as a welcome counterweight to Polonius’s palaver.” ~ The New York Times
“In the pot, Davalos throws fiction and fact, real historical figures and those from literature, and with Tiggerish enthusiasm gives it a stir. The japes come thick and fast. Who really nailed Luther’s 95 theses to that church door? Will it be Hamlet or Laertes who is the victor in the Wittenberg versus Paris college tennis tournament? How many Poles does it take to make the world go round?”
~ The Guardian
“A cocktail of brainy allusions, absurdist plot twists, sly wordplay and disarming anachronisms, fortified with serious ideas, Wittenberg should delight Tom Stoppard fans, recovering English majors, disillusioned academics and anyone who has ever wondered what Helen of Troy was like in the sack.” ~ The Washington Post
What is Wittenberg about:
It is October 1517, the fall semester at the University of Wittenberg. New student, Hamlet, is struggling with his faith (and his tennis game). Not to worry, as his two primary professors will educate and counsel him. They are: Dr. John Faustus, professor of theology, and Professor Doctor Reverend Father Martin Luther, professor of theology. And, thus begins a battle for young Hamlet’s soul. Add to the colorful cast of characters one Eternal Feminine, who embodies the all-encompassing idea of woman – from Gretchen (a working girl), to Helen of Troy, to the Virgin Mary, to (Lady) Voltemand (also featured in Hamlet) – and watch the story unfolds with both heartfelt and hilarious results.
Wittenberg is a battle of wits between Reason and Faith, full of witty repartee, mountainous references to William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, and to the Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther’s Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences aka the “95 Theses.”
Meet playwright David Davalos:
Playwright David Davalos was born in Auburn, Alabama, and grew up in San Antonio, Texas. He attended the University of Texas at Austin and received his BFA in Theatre, and received his MFA in Theatre from Ohio University’s Professional Actor Training Program. He moved to New York City, where he spent 15 years working as an actor, director and writer. He now resides in Colorado with his wife Elaine and daughter Delphi.
Wittenberg’s premiere production at Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre received the 2008 Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play. The play also garnered six Helen Hayes Award nominations when it was produced at Rep Stage, in Columbia, Maryland. At the time, Door Shakespeare’s Michael Stebbins was the producing artistic director of Rep Stage. He also played the role of Martin Luther.Get Tickets Donate