The world premiere of Michael Yates Crowley’s The Rape of the Sabine Women, By Grace B. Matthias opens September 10 at The Duke on 42nd Street, following previews that began August 25. The new play, which blends satire and dark comedy, examines the history of rape culture in American society.
The production from the Playwrights Realm is directed by Tyne Rafaeli. Susannah Perkins, who was last seen at The Duke in the Realm’s acclaimed production of The Wolves, stars as Grace. Completing the cast are Jeff Biehl, Alex Breaux, Chas Carey, Doug Harris, Eva Kaminsky, Andy Lucien, and Jeena Yi.
The story follows high school student Grace, whose world is thrown into chaos after she is raped by a friend. The play travels back and forth from Ancient Rome to contemporary America, tracing the extensive history of undocumented sexual violence against women.
“Crowley moves rapidly between Grace’s story and that of the Sabine women, using Ancient Rome as a backdrop against which the fallibility of high-school education and judicial systems come to light. Within the coliseum-like media circus, Grace is watched, judged and misinterpreted as she attempts to understand and contextualize her experience,” read production notes.
The creative team includes Arnulfo Maldonado (scenic design), Ásta Bennie Hostetter (costume design), Barbara Samuels (lighting design), Mikaal Sulaiman (sound design), Anna Demenkoff (props design), Michael Rossmy (fight direction), Chris De Camillis (production stage manager), and Rachel Kartiganer (assistant stage manager).
Performances continue through September 23.