SHAKESPEARE BETRAYAL tells the story of Dora, the illegitimate daughter
of the 16th Earl of Oxford, who runs away from home and, disguised
as a young boy, finds employment with the theater company of "Oxford's
Men". The plays are written by Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford,
who takes a special interest in Dora. Dora becomes a successful actor
in the company and soon finds herself involved with her half-brother both
romantically and as a co-writer of the women's roles in the plays.
SHAKESPEARE BETRAYAL begins years later with Dora, now an aged Shakespearean
actress, sharing her story with a troupe of derelicts. The backdrop
is a timeless, tattered mosaic that weaves in and out of Dora's past
and allows her to recreate some of her greatest theatrical triumphs. It
is unclear if Dora is who she says she is, a 400 year old Shakespearean
actress, or rather a slightly
touched older actress of our own time who has
created a vivid history for herself; but the confusion and mystery of Dora's
past creates an unpredictable landscape where Dora can float freely in
and out of the great characters of Shakespearean drama.
SHAKESPEARE BETRAYAL has been workshopped at the Stella Adler Conservatory
and at Musical Theater Works.