A horse-riding accident has left a wealthy Italian nobleman scarred with a strange delusion—he believes himself to be Emperor Henry IV of Germany. For twenty years his friends and servants have pandered to his fantasy, dressing as medieval courtiers and disguising his Umbrian villa as Henry’s royal palace. At last the clouds of amnesia seem to be lifting, and Henry recovers part of his memory. But will he be able to regain his former identity, or is Henry trapped in the realm of his imagination, forever doomed to play the king? Pirandello’s tragicomic masterpiece will be presented in new adaptation by Robert Brustein.
Twenty years ago, a group of friends costumed themselves as historical characters and rode in cavalcade. A young aristocrat, dressed as the Holy Roman Emperor Enrico IV, fell from his horse and hit his head, fixing his assumed identity. Frozen as Enrico, he has lived for the last decades as an Emperor surrounded by his servants. In his castle he installs great effigies of himself and his lover, dressed as Enrico and Matilda of Tuscany, the historical Enrico’s rival.
After two decades of isolation, a group of outsiders—his nephew, the woman he once loved, her lover, her daughter, and a doctor—burst into his fantasy world. They plan to shock Enrico into a realization of reality by substituting a live body for the faux-Matilda. Enrico, though, has a few surprises up his sleeve, and he and his visitors see their identities warp and shift as madness proves catching.
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1927 – 2023
As founding director of the Yale Repertory and American Repertory Theaters, Robert Brustein supervised well over two hundred productions, acting in eight and directing twelve. He wrote eleven adaptations for the American Repertory Theater and was the author of many books on theater and society. Mr. Brustein also served for twenty years as director of the Loeb Drama Center, was a Professor in Harvard’s English Department, was a Senior Research Fellow at Harvard University, and drama critic for The New Republic. He was inducted as a member in to the American Theatre Hall of Fame, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and received numerous awards including the George Polk Award in Journalism, the Commonwealth (Massachusetts) Award for Organizational Leadership, and the Eugene O’Neill Foundation’s Tao House Award for serving the American theater with distinction, and the National Medal of the Arts.
At A.R.T., his produciton of Six Characters in Search of an Author won the Boston Theatre Award for Best Production of 1996. His play Demons, which was broadcast on WGBH radio in 1993, had its stage world premiere as part of the A.R.T. New Stages. His play Nobody Dies on Friday was given its world premiere in the same series and was presented at the Singapore Festival of Arts and the Pushkin Theatre in Moscow. His play Spring Forward, Fall Back was performed in 2006 at Theater J in Washington, D.C., and at the Vineyard Playhouse; The English Channel was produced in 2007 in Boston and at the Vineyard Playhouse, and played at the Abingdon Theatre in the fall of 2008, receiving a nomination for a Pulitzer Prize.
Brustein also wrote Shlemiel the First, based on the stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer and set to traditional klezmer music, which was directed and choreographed by David Gordon. After the original presentation in 1994 at A.R.T. and in Philadelphia at the American Music Theatre Festival, which co-produced the show, Shlemiel the First was revived several times in Cambridge and subsequently played at the Lincoln Center Serious Fun Festival, the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, and toured theaters in Florida and in Stamford, Connecticut. The play has also been produced at Theater J in Washington, DC. His short plays Poker Face, Chekhov on Ice, Divestiture, AnchorBimbo, Noises, Terrorist Skit, Airport Hell, Beachman’s Last Poetry Reading, and Enter William Shakespeare were all presented by the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. Brustein was also the author of Doctor Hippocrates Is Out: Please Leave a Message, an anthology of theatrical and cinematic satire on medicine and physicians, commissioned by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement for its 2008 convention in Nashville.
Brustein served as a Professor of English at Harvard University, Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Suffolk University in Boston, drama critic for The New Republic, and former dean of the Yale School of Drama. In 2003 he served as a Senior Fellow with the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University, and in 2004 and 2005 was a senior fellow at the National Endowment for the Arts’ Arts Journalism Institute in Theatre and Musical Theatre at the University of Southern California.
He was the Founding Director of the Yale Repertory Theatre and the American Repertory Theater and served for twenty years as director of the Loeb Drama Center, where he founded the American Repertory Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. He retired from the artistic directorship of A.R.T. in 2002 and subsequently served as Founding Director and Creative Consultant.
During his tenure at A.R.T., Brustein wrote eleven adaptations, including Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck, The Master Builder, and When We Dead Awaken, the last directed by Robert Wilson; Three Farces and a Funeral, adapted from the works and life of Anton Chekhov; Luigi Pirandello’s Enrico IV; and Brustein’s final production at A.R.T., Lysistrata by Aristophanes, directed by Andrei Serban. He also directed numerous adaptations while at A.R.T. including a Pirandello trilogy: Six Characters in Search of an Author, which won the Boston Theatre Award for Best Production of 1996, Right You Are (If You Think You Are) and Tonight We Improvise; as well as Ibsen’s Ghosts, Strindberg’s The Father, and Thomas Middleton’s The Changeling.
Over the course of his long career as director, playwright, and teacher, he participated in the artistic development of such theater artists as Meryl Streep, Christopher Durang, Christopher Walken, Cherry Jones, Ted Talley, Michael Feingold, Sigourney Weaver, James Naughton, Mark Linn-Baker, Henry Winkler, James Lapine, Tony Shalhoub, Tommy Derrah, Rocco Landesman, Linda Lavin, Michael Yearga, William Ivey Long, Derek Maclane, Steve Zahn, Peter Sellars, Santo Loquasto, Tom Moore, Albert Innaurato, and many others.
Mr. Brustein was the recipient of many distinguished awards, including:
- Fulbright Fellowship to the University of Nottingham
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
- Twice winner of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism
- George Polk Award for Journalism (Criticism)
- The 2nd Elliot Norton Award For Professional Excellence in Boston Theatre (formerly the Norton Prize), presented by the Boston Theatre District Association
- New England Theatre Conference’s Major Award for outstanding creative achievement in the American theatre
- American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts
- Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters
- Association for Theatre in Higher Education Career Achievement Award for Professional Theatre
- The Commonwealth Award for Organizational Leadership
- Inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame
- United States Institute for Theatre Technology Lifetime Achievement Award
- National Corporate Theatre Fund Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Theatre
- Gann Academy Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts
- Eugene O’Neill Foundation’s Tao House Award for serving the American theatre with distinction
- National Medal of the Arts
- Players Club Hall of Fame
from a literal translation by
from a literal translation by
Gloria Pastorino (Translator of Enrico IV) is a PhD student at Harvard University, currently writing about the physicality of Dario Fo's language on stage. She has made several professional translations (including coordinating workshop and on stage translations for the A.R.T./MXAT Institute for Advanced Theater Training in Forlì, Italy), and published articles on Pirandello, Fo, Heaney, and science fiction.
Karin Coonrod (Enrico IV) previously directed The Idiots Karamazov at the American Repertory Theater. She adapted and directed Henry VI, Parts 1 and 2, at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, where she also directed a workshop production of Moilère's The Imaginary Invalid in 1996. She is the founding director of Off-Broadway's Arden Party and director of more than twenty Arden Party productions, including Christmas at the Ivanovs (a co-production with CSC); Lear (Ohio Theatre); Love's Labour's Lost; Dangerous Clowns (NADA); Waiting for Godot; Ubu Roi; Antigone; The Beggar's Opera; Romeo and Juliet; The Threepenny Opera; The Chairs (Count Basie Theatre); The Importance of Being Earnest; and Victor or Children Take Over (for which she received Encore's Outstanding Director Award).
Ms. Coonrod has also been a guest director for numerous New York University productions, including Brecht's A Respectable Wedding and Lear. She directed a workshop of Naomi Iizuka's award-winning play Polaroid Stories for En Garde Arts in New York. She also directed two of Chiori Miyagawa's plays, Nothing Forever and Yesterday's Window, for New York Theatre Workshop. Currently, she is collaborating with playwright Nilo Cruz on a new translation/adaptation of Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba and also recently returned from working on a project based on the writings of Flannery O'Connor for the University of Iowa. She is currently preparing a production of King John for Theatre for a New Audience.
A 1995/1996 artist-in-residence at the Public Theater, Ms. Coonrod received her BA in English from Gordon College and an MFA in directing from Columbia University. She has also studied French at the Université de Grenble, did post-graduate work in medieval literature and language at Durham University in England, and has an acting certificate from British Theatre Institute in Cheltenham, England.
Set design by
Set design by
A.R.T.: Over twenty productions, including most recently, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, Jagged Little Pill, The White Card, Arrabal, Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Prometheus Bound, Best of Both Worlds, The Seagull, Julius Caesar, Britannicus, and Marat/Sade. Broadway: Indecent, The Gin Game; The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess; The People in the Picture; Caroline, or Change, National Theatre London; Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, Old Vic; Topdog/Underdog, Royal Court; Bells Are Ringing; Parade (directed by Hal Prince, Tony, Drama Desk nominations); Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk, The Tempest. Recent productions include: Dreaming Zenzile, Light Shining…, NYTW; The Skin of Our Teeth, TFANA; The Invisible Hand (Henry Hewes Design Award); Red Speedo (Drama Desk Nomination); Grounded (directed by Julie Taymor). International: Théâtre du Châtelet, Avignon (Cour d’honneur Palais des Papes); Oslo, National Theatre; Abbey Theatre. Recipient, Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Design. Hernández is an Associate Professor and Co-Chair of the Yale School of Drama.
Costume design by
Costume design by
Catherine Zuber has created the costumes for Richard II, The Doctor's Dilemma, and over forty other A.R.T. productions including Three Farces and a Funeral, Antigone, Loot, The Idiots Karamazov, Ivanov, Phaedra, The Merchant of Venice, Valparaiso, The Imaginary Invalid, The Taming of the Shrew, Peter Pan and Wendy, The Bacchae, Man and Superman, The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, Woyzeck, The Wild Duck, The Naked Eye, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Tartuffe, Ubu Rock, Waiting for Godot, The Oresteia, Shlemiel the First, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, A Touch of the Poet, What the Butler Saw, The Cherry Orchard, and Orphée. Ms. Zuber's credits include work at Lincoln Center, The Joseph Papp Public Theater, Goodman Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Houston Grand Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera, among others. Her Broadway credits include The Triumph of Love (Connecticut Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk nomination), Ivanov (Drama Desk nomination), The Sound of Music, Twelfth Night, The Red Shoes, London Assurance, The Rose Tattoo, and Philadelphia Here I Come. Ms. Zuber was the recipient of the 1997 Obie Award for sustained achievement in design. She is the costume designer for La Fête des Vignerons de 1999, the massive Festival of the Winegrowers in Vevey, Switzerland.
Lighting design by
Lighting design by
A.R.T.: Marie Antoinette, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, The Seagull, Britannicus, Island of Slaves, Orpheus X, Olly’s Prison, Oedipus, La Dispute, Uncle Vanya, Enrico IV, Misalliance. Broadway: Rocky, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Tony nomination), End of the Rainbow, Superior Donuts, Top Girls, 110 in the Shade (Tony nomination), Shining City, Rabbit Hole, Talk Radio, Awake and Sing (Tony nomination), Seven Guitars (Tony nomination), The Light in the Piazza (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and Henry Hewes Awards).
Sound design by
Sound design by
Sound designs by David Remedios have been heard in Sexual Perversity in Chicago/The Duck Variations, Romance, Trojan Barbie, Endgame, The Seagull, The Communist Dracula Pageant, Let Me Down Easy, When It’s Hot It’s Cole, Cardenio, Julius Caesar, Copenhagen, Donnie Darko, A Marvelous Party, No Man's Land, Oliver Twist, Britannicus, The Onion Cellar, The Island of Slaves, Orpheus X, Romeo and Juliet, No Exit, Three Sisters (2005), The Keening, Amerika, Olly's Prison, Desire Under the Elms, Dido Queen of Carthage, The Provok'd Wife (original music and sound), The Miser, A Midsummer Night's Dream (2003), Snow in June, Lady with a Lapdog, The Sound of a Voice, Pericles, Highway Ulysses, Uncle Vanya, Lysistrata, Absolution, Marat/Sade, Stone Cold Dead Serious, Enrico IV, Othello, Animals and Plants, The Doctor's Dilemma, Mother Courage and Her Children, Three Farces and a Funeral, Antigone, Nocturne, How I Learned to Drive, and Man and Superman. He has also toured regionally and internationally with the A.R.T. Other credits include Farragut North and Yankee Tavern (Contemporary American Theater Festival), The Merchant of Venice (Actor’s Shakespeare Project), Ah, Wilderness! (CenterStage Baltimore), The Diary of Anne Frank (New Rep), The Scottish Play (La Jolla Playhouse), Leap (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Daughter of Venus, Action Jesus and Dressed Up! Wigged Out! (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), Sideways Stories from Wayside School, All of a Kind Family and The Fabulous Invalid (Emerson Stage), Samson Agonistes (92nd St. Y), Our Town (Boston Theatre Works), Far East (Vineyard Playhouse), Only You (Efron Entertainment). Dance soundscapes include works for Concord Academy Dance, Snappy Dance Theater Company, and Lorraine Chapman. Awards: 2007 Connecticut Critics Circle Award (No Exit, Hartford Stage), 2001 Elliot Norton Award (Mother Courage and Her Children, A.R.T.), seven Independent Reviewers of New England Award nominations.
|David Patrick Kelly
|Matilde Spina, a marchesa
|Frida, her daughter
|Carlo di Nolli, a young marchese
|Tito Belcredi, a baron
|Dionisio Genoni, a doctor
|Landolfo, a secret counselor
|Arialdo, a secret counselor
|Ordulfo, a secret counselor
|Bertoldo, a secret counselor
|Giovanni, an old servant