Project Description

Sponsored by Sydelle and Lee Blatt

Gertrude and Claudius

A New Play

Based on the novel by JOHN UPDIKE

Boyd-Quinson Mainstage

Passion. Deception. Power. A love story for the ages based on the brilliant book by John Updike, told through the uncanny lens
of Mark St. Germain. A provocative prequel to Hamlet.
2018 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award Winner.

This play runs approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes.

This play contains mature content.
Sponsored in part by Hildi and Walter Black & Susan and David Lombard

We must not speak of love.

No, we must not.

This is sin.

Not by the laws of love. There are sins against the Church, and sins against nature. Our sin has been these many years one of denying our natures.

“The most theatrically engaging and emotionally complete production I’ve seen…this summer”
—Albany Times-Union

“an absolute masterpiece…To miss this show would be a tragedy on par with the one that we see unfold onstage.”
—In the Spotlight

“a bold, handsome production…visually stunning.”
—Curtain Up

“This is a stunning production directed by Julianne Boyd who has taken her cues from the script to present us with perfect pictures of these people and their relationships.”
—Berkshire Bright Focus

“Julianne Boyd’s production is brisk and engrossing, a costume drama driven by breathless tension.”
—Valley Advocate

“Director Julianne Boyd…and her design team have created a sumptuous production”
—Berkshire On Stage

“Masterful playwright Mark St. Germain has brought Gertrude and Claudius to the stage in a magnificent production at the Barrington Stage.”

“This very new play…was undoubtedly written by only one man, the gifted Mark St. Germain.”
—Berkshire Record

What They Did for Love

with Mark St. Germain

Discussion will focus on John Updike’s Gertrude and Claudius and the leading characters risking all for passion.

Sunday, July 28

2 pm at the Wolfson Theatre Center (122 North St.)


ELIJAH ALEXANDER* (Claudius) BSC: The Inconstant Lovers. Recent — Berkeley Repertory Theatre: The Good Book (Qasim). Theatre — South Coast Rep: Shrew (Petruchio), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theseus/Oberon). Broadway: Metamorphoses. Off Broadway — Shopping and Fucking (New York Theatre Workshop); BAM: Throne of Blood; Royal Shakespeare Company: Tantalus; Guthrie Theatre/Berkeley Repertory Theatre: Watch on the Rhine (Kurt Muller); Oregon Shakespeare Festival 5 seasons: Fingersmith, Hamlet, Pride & Prejudice, Henry VIII; Utah Shakespeare Festival 4 seasons: Richard III, Julius Caesar, Gaslight, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Art; California Shakespeare Theater 3 seasons: Man and Superman, Restoration Comedy, An Ideal Husband; Arizona Theater Company: Disgraced; ACT Seattle: The Invisible Hand (Gregory Award). Film: Mr & Mrs Smith, Amazing Love. TV: Touch, Awake, JAG, Summerland. Training M.F.A. Yale School of Drama; Fox Fellowship Recipient.
NICK LAMEDICA* (Hamlet/Yorick) BSC debut. National Tour and Tokyo: War Horse. Off Broadway: The Price of Thomas Scott (Mint). Regional: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Regional Premiere, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis/Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); Hand to God (City Theatre Company & Hartford Theaterworks); How I Learned to Drive (Cleveland Play House/Syracuse Stage); As You Like It & Benediction (Denver Center); Much Ado About Nothing (Two River Theater); Romeo & Juliet (Florida Shakespeare Theatre). NY: Titus Andronicus (American Globe Theatre). Film: Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, Fine China. Television: Mysteries at the Museum, Mysteries at the Castle. BFA: Marymount Manhattan College.
KATE MACCLUGGAGE* (Gertrude) BSC debut. Broadway: The Farnsworth Invention. Off B’Way: The 39 Steps (New World Stages); The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing (TFANA); Happy Birthday, Wanda June (Wheelhouse); In Quietness (Dutch Kills); Primal Play (New Georges); Three Sisters (The Assembly). Regional: Williamstown, Denver Center, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf, The McCarter, The Kitchen, Syracuse Stage, Westport Country Playhouse, Shakespeare Theater of NJ, Virginia Stage, Portland Center Stage. Television: The Knick, Chicago Justice, Turn: Washington’s Spies, Law & Order: SVU, Red Oaks, Rachel Dratch’s Late Night Snack. MFA: NYU Graduate Acting. BA: Wesleyan University. Upcoming: Greater Clements by Samuel D. Hunter at Lincoln Center.
DOUGLAS REES* (Amleth) BSC: West Side Story, The Cake, 10×10 New Play Festival (2016). He has performed at numerous theatres throughout the country, but particularly enjoys being at BSC because it affords him the opportunity to spend the summer at his cabin above Queechy Lake! NYC: many appearances at The Mint Theatre Company and the New York City premiere of Michael Hollinger’s Opus at Primary Stages (having performed in the world premiere at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia). TV appearances include 30 Rock. As ever, for Janet.
ROCCO SISTO* (Polonius) BSC: The Birds, His Girl Friday. Broadway: The King and I, Seminar, To Be or Not To Be, A Month in the Country, The Comedy of Errors. Recent Off Broadway: Julius Ceasar, The Light Years, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Loot, Volpone, Measure for Measure. Television: Madame Secretary, Bluebloods, Law & Order(s), The Sopranos, CSI, Star Trek TNG. Film: Donnie Brasco, Frequency, Lorenzo’s Oil, Eraser, Far and Away, A Bird of the Air and many independent films including the cult hit, The American Astronaut. Awards include three Obie Awards including one for sustained excellence. Drama League Award and Drama Desk Nomination. Student of Peter Kass.
MARY STOUT* (Herda) BSC: A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Anne-Marie). On Broadway she is best remembered for her work in Jane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast. Mary has many regional credits, film and television, particularly her work on AMC’s series Remember Wenn where she played the organist “Eugenia Bremer” for four seasons. Other TV: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Odd Mom Out and in four episodes of the upcoming season three of Search Party. Thank you Julianne for the opportunity to grow!
GREG THORNTON* (King Rorik) BSC debut. He appeared in the world premiere of Gertrude and Claudius at Orlando Shakes. He has worked extensively with many of the Tony Award-winning regional theatres throughout the U.S. He was a resident actor with McCarter Theatre and was an Associate Artist with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. He recently completed filming Son of the South, produced by Spike Lee, written and directed by Barry Alexander Brown. He was the Founding Artistic Director of the Cloverdale Playhouse in Montgomery, Alabama, now in its eighth season. He has been a narrator of recorded books for


MARK ST. GERMAIN (Playwright) BSC: Typhoid Mary (2018), Camping With Henry and Tom (2016Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards), Dancing Lessons (2014), Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah (2013), Dr. Ruth, All the Way (2012), The Best of Enemies (2011), Freud’s Last Session (2009/2010), The Collyer Brothers/Period Piece (2008), The God Committee (2004) and Ears on A Beatle (2003). The Best of Enemies received its world premiere on the Mainstage at BSC in 2011 and became the theatre’s best-selling play of all-time. Mark wrote Freud’s Last Session, which became Barrington Stage Company’s longest running play and moved Off Broadway where it played for two years. Other plays include Out of Gas on Lover’s Leap, Relativity, George Washington’s Teeth and Wednesday’s Child, which premiered this season at Sarasota’s Florida Studio Theater. With John Markus, Mark wrote the musical comedy The Fabulous Lipitones. Mark co-wrote the screenplay for Carroll Ballard’s Warner Brothers film, Duma. He directed and co-produced the documentary My Dog, An Unconditional Love Story. Television credits include Writer and Creative Consultant for The Cosby Show, Life Stories and Dick Wolf’s Crime and Punishment. With Randy Courts, he has written the musicals The Gifts of the Magi and Johnny Pye and the Foolkiller. His musical, Stand By Your Man, was created for Nashville’s Ryman Theater and has toured nationally. Mark wrote the children’s book Three Cups. He is member of the Dramatists Guild and the Writers Guild East. Mark is also a Founding Board Member of the Barrington Stage Company.

JOHN UPDIKE (1932–2009) is the author of over fifty books, including The Poorhouse Fair; the Rabbit series (Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit is Rich; Rabbit at Rest); Marry Me; The Witches of Eastwick, which was made into a major feature film; Memories of the Ford Administration; Brazil; In the Beauty of the Lilies; Toward the End of Time; Gertrude and Claudius; and Seek My Face. He has written a number of collections of short stories, including The Afterlife and Other Stories and Licks of Love, which includes a final Rabbit story, Rabbit Remembered. His essays and criticism first appeared in publications such as The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books, and are now collected into numerous volumes. His novels, stories and non-fiction collections have won have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the American Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Award and the Howells Medal.

JULIANNE BOYD (Director) For bio, please click here.

BARBARA ALLEN (Choreography) is a NYC-based choreographer. She is currently part-time faculty for Barrington Stage’s MTC program. Barbara has served as guest lecturer at Skidmore College and CAL ARTS and Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s MFA program and NYU — undergraduate Drama. Barbara is a NEA Choreography recipient and SDC associate member.

GEOFF BORONDA* (Production Stage Manager) BSC: The Chinese Lady, Typhoid Mary. New York: Ain’t No Mo’, Mobile Unit—Romeo & Juliet, Mobile Unit—The Comedy of Errors, Buzzer, Ping Pong, Under the Radar Festival, The Urban Retreat, The Great Immensity, Fortress of Solitude (The Public Theater); The Undertaking (The Civilians); generations (Soho Rep). Regional: Shakespeare in Love, Jazz (Baltimore Center Stage); A View from the Bridge (Center Theatre Group); Hamlet, A Doctor in Spite of Himself (Yale Repertory Theatre); Appropriate (Westport Country Playhouse). Education: MFA Stage Management from the Yale School of Drama.

ANNE FORD-COATES (Wig Designer) BSC: Gaslight. Broadway: Makeup design for Frozen, A Bronx Tale, On Your Feet!, Disaster!, On the Twentieth Century, It Shoulda Been You. Selected recent designs: hair & makeup for Silent Night (Atlanta Opera), Dead Man Walking (Washington National Opera), The Wolves (Playwrights Realm), The Guilty Mother (On Site Opera), Káťa Kabanová (Juilliard). Hundreds of productions for American and international opera companies: highlights include Lost in the Stars (Glimmerglass Festival), The Music Man (Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman), Phillip Glass’ Appomattox, Wagner’s Ring Cycle and Daughter of the Regiment featuring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the Duchess of Krakenthorp (Kennedy Center).

JENNY GIERING (Composer) just got home from The Orchard Project where she was working on Alice Bliss (book by Karen Hartman, lyrics by Adam Gwon), a commission for Playwrights Horizons. In September she heads to Theater Aspen for a showing of her one-woman musical about her journey through chronic illness called What We Leave Behind. Jenny writes incidental scores and musicals and is proud to say Julianne Boyd directed her first professional production at Barrington Stage in 1998. Jenny is delighted to be working with her again after all this time. More info at

BRANDON HARDY (Puppet Designer) BSC: Into the Woods. Select Broadway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Associate Puppet Design), Disney’s Frozen, Oh, Hello!, The Pee-Wee Herman Show, The Addams Family. Off Broadway: Basil Twist’s The Rite of Spring (Associate Director), Arias With A Twist, Sisters’ Follies: Between Two Worlds. Additional productions include: Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale (Assoc. Puppet Design), Un Tramway Nommé Désir at The Comedie Francaise (Assoc. Scenic Design), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (US and Australian Touring Companies), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Int’l Tour. On Television: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Billy on the Street. Associate Designer to MacArthur Fellow Basil Twist and Resident Artist in his studio. Brandon directs his own segment of the NYC Village Halloween Parade featuring 70+ Puppets annually.

LINDSAY JONES (Sound Designer) BSC: A Doll’s House, Part 2. Broadway: Slave Play, The Nap, Bronx Bombers, A Time To Kill. Off Broadway: Privacy (Public); Bootycandy (Playwrights Horizons); Rx (Primary Stages) and many others. International: Royal Shakespeare Company (England), Stratford Festival (Canada). Regional: Arena Stage, Goodman, McCarter, Old Globe, Steppenwolf, Guthrie, Hartford Stage, Chicago Shakespeare, La Jolla Playhouse and many others. Film scoring: The Brass Teapot for Magnolia Pictures, A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin (2006 Academy Award Winner) for HBO Films. Awards: seven Joseph Jefferson Awards and 24 nominations; two Ovation Awards and three nominations; LA and SD Drama Critics Circle Awards, among many others.

DAVID LANDER (Lighting Designer) BSC: West Side Story. Broadway: The Heiress with Jessica Chastain, The Lyons with Linda Lavin, Master Class with Tyne Daly, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo with Robin Williams (Drama Desk Award; Tony and Outer Critics Nominations), 33 Variations with Jane Fonda (Tony and Outer Critics nominations.), I Am My Own Wife (Drama Desk and Outer Critics nominations) among others. Off Broadway: The Public Theater, Roundabout Theatre, Signature Theatre, The Vineyard Theatre, among others. Regional: Arena Stage, Goodman Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Hartford Stage, Huntington Theatre, Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, among others. International Theatre and Opera: Dublin, Delhi, London, Melbourne, Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, among others.

LEE SAVAGE (Scenic Designer) NYC: Surely Goodness and Mercy (Keen Company); Natural Shocks (Women’s Project); Somebody’s Daughter (Second Stage); Imagining the Imaginary Invalid (Mabou Mines); The Lightning Thief (TheatreworksUSA); Satchmo at the Waldorf (Westside); Muscles in our Toes, Sunset Baby and Thinner Than Water (Labyrinth); Rx (Primary Stages); All-American (LCT3); The Dream of the Burning Boy and Ordinary Days (Roundabout Underground). REGIONAL: ACT, Asolo Rep, Baltimore Centerstage, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Chautauqua, Dallas Theater Center, Glimmerglass, Goodman, Guthrie, Huntington, Long Wharf, Old Globe, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature, PlayMakers, Trinity Rep, Two River, Washington National Opera, Wilma, Yale Rep and others. AWARDS: Helen Hayes, NAACP and Connecticut Critics Circle. AFFILIATIONS: Wingspace Theatrical Design. EDUCATION: MFA (Yale School of Drama) and BFA (Rhode Island School of Design).

SARA JEAN TOSETTI (Costume Designer) BSC: West Side Story, Company, Ragtime, Much Ado About Nothing, American Son, His Girl Friday. Opera: Salome (LA Opera), Xerxes, Cato in Utica (Glimmerglass), Radamisto (Juilliard), Carmen, Orpheus in the Underworld, Cendrillon (Central City Opera), As One (BAM). Theatre: A Flea in Her Ear (Westport Country Playhouse), ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore (Duke), The Maids (Red Bull Theatre), Loot (Lortel), The Winter’s Tale (ISF), Manuscript (Daryl Roth), The Heart of Robin Hood, The Rivals, Richard III, The Tempest (Hudson Valley Shakespeare festival). Dance: Phoenix Rising (New Victory), Sediment (Jacob’s Pillow). Awards: Princess Grace Pierre Cardin Design Award, Bel Geddes Design Award. MFA NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

MCCORKLE CASTING LTD; PAT MCCORKLE, KATJA ZAROLINSKI (Casting) (C.S.A.) Casting actors for Barrington Stage for 17 years. Pat McCorkle is pleased to be an Associate Artist at BSC. Broadway: Over 50 productions including On the Town, Amazing Grace, End of the Rainbow, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus, She Loves Me, A Few Good Men. Off Broadway: highlights — Clever Little Lies; Sheer Madness; Tribes; Our Town (Barrow Street); Freud’s Last Session; Toxic Avenger; Almost, Maine; Driving Miss Daisy. Feature film: Premium Rush, Ghost Town, The Thomas Crown Affair, Die Hard with a Vengeance, School Ties, etc. Television: Twisted, St. George, Sesame Street, Hack, Californication, Max Bickford, Chappelle’s Show, Strangers with Candy, Barbershop, etc.

CHARLIE SIEDENBURG (Press Representative) BSC Associate Artist. Charlie joined the Barrington Stage family in 2005 and has represented over 130 BSC productions. His work has led to features in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, USA Today and American Theatre Magazine. He began working as a publicist in 1990 at the Barn Theatre in August, MI, working with folks like Marin Mazzie, Jennifer Garner and Tom Wopat. His many PR credits include the Metropolitan Opera (Live in HD), Paper Mill Playhouse (1999–2004), George Street Playhouse, Hartford Stage, Goodspeed Musicals, Long Wharf Theatre, Surflight Theatre and Two River Theatre Company. A graduate and professor at Wagner College, where he teaches Theatre Appreciation, Charlie recently received the Dr. Kevin Sheehy Alumni Leadership Medal.

Gertrude and Claudius is a prequel to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The King of Denmark, Rorik, decides that his daughter should marry Amleth, a great warrior, a fine man and ruler of a nearby country. Gertrude protests but eventually obeys her loving father who tells her in time she will fall in love with Amleth. When her father dies, Amleth becomes King, Gertrude Queen and she bears Amleth a son, Hamlet. She is a gracious and dutiful Queen and tries to love her husband and son, who both seem remote.

At the time of her marriage Gertrude met Claudius, Amleth’s brother, whom she had an immediate attraction to but Claudius, a world traveler and adventurer, goes off seeking new adventures. After many years, Claudius returns and their love blooms and takes hold. They fall madly in love. Knowing that this relationship is off-limits, Claudius dutifully leaves again and vows never to return. But their passionate, undying love brings him home again (at Gertrude’s request). They are both swept away by their passion and Gertrude feels that she is for once in her life a fulfilled woman charting her own destiny. But Amleth, the ever patient and loyal husband, find out about it and all hell breaks loose.

The final scenes deal with revenge, death and power and brilliantly lead into Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which is where Gertrude and Claudius ends.