They never met in real life, but in Friedrich Schiller's 200-year-old Mary Stuart, Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots face one another, as Boston audiences will see when Huntington Theatre Company revives the drama March 10-April 9.
Rene Augesen plays the title role in the German-penned drama set among the political and religious turbulence of 16th century England. The 1800 play remains one of Schiller's best-known and most-produced works in English-language theatres. The Huntington translation is by Michael Feingold. Official opening is March 15.
The staging originated two years ago at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre sans Augesen, a Yale Drama School alum seen in January and February in the world premiere of Howard Korder's The Hollow Lands at South Coast Repertory Theatre. Carey Perloff directs Mary Stuart, using some of the same cast seen at ACT. Rehearsals are in San Francisco and Boston.
In the drama, reigning monarch Elizabeth is challenged by a dicey problem -- the fate of her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, imprisoned for alleged conspiracy to seize the Virgin Queen's throne and restore Catholicism to Britain. Advisors circle Elizabeth. To execute or not to execute?
Perloff, ACT's artistic director, has helmed Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love and Indian Ink, Euripides' Hecuba (a production she also directed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival), Antigone, The Tempest and Uncle Vanya, among others. The cast for Mary Stuart includes Caroline Lagerfelt as Elizabeth and Marco Barricelli as Leicester. Lagerfelt received the Outer Critics Circle Award for her performance on Broadway in Lend Me a Tenor and also appeared in the Broadway productions of The Real Thing, Small Family Business, Betrayal and Otherwise Engaged, among others. Barricelli's work has been seen on such stages as Missouri Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville and Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
The cast also includes Huntington veterans Dan Hiatt, Larry Paulsen, Firdous Bamji, Tommy A. Gomez, Cristine McMurdo-Wallis, Richard Ooms and Peter Silbert.
Designers are Ralph Funicello (sets), Deborah Dryden (costumes), Peter Maradudin (lights), Garth Hemphill (sound), with original music by composer David Lang.
Following Mary Stuart, the Huntington Theatre Company's 1999 2000 season will conclude with the East Coast premiere of August Wilson's King Hedley II, May 19-June 18.
Mary Stuart tickets are $10-$52. Call (617) 266-0800 or try the Huntington website at www.bu.edu/huntington.
-- By Kenneth Jones