Conceived and directed by Michael Rader, the reading features five different women sharing the title role of Mary, each representing how different cultures around the world view her.
Tony winner Adriane Lenox is joined by Lynn Cohen, Jill Paice, Elizabeth Kemp and Thursday Farrar. The five women share the title role of the mother of Jesus, a part that was originally played by Fiona Shaw in the Broadway and London productions.
The New York production was met with protests from Catholic groups: Catholic Protesters Return for Broadway Opening of The Testament of Mary
The stage production is based on Tóibín's novella of the same title, which, according to press notes, "explores Mary’s interpretation of her son’s life, one in which she questions his death, divinity and followers in the years following his crucifixion."
Rader said in a statement, "This new interpretation of The Testament of Mary will make you rethink your perception of the mother of Jesus, and will offer you an astonishing insight into the world’s current frightening and fractional religious environment. This is an astonishing piece of theatre, ready to be developed, nurtured, and explored for a brand new audience.”
Joe Grandy of Reclaimed Road Productions produces the reading.