Robert Brustein
(© Bachrach)
Robert Brustein
(© Bachrach)
Robert Brustein's new play, The English Channel, will debut at the C. Walsh Theatre at Suffolk University in Boston, September 6-15. The production will be directed by Wesley Savick. After its Boston run, it will transfer to the Vineyard Playhouse on Martha's Vineyard.

The play is set in 1593 when the plague has closed the Elizabethan playhouses and William Shakespeare is taking refuge in the Mermaid Tavern, writing sonnets. The playwright is tangled up in sexual, artistic, and political intrigue with other young Elizabethan men and women - poet and rival Christopher Marlowe, Emilia Lanier, the mysterious Dark Lady, and Shakespeare's patron, the Earl of Southampton.

The cast includes Sean Dugan as Christopher Marlowe, Gabriel Field as William Shakepeare, Merritt Janson as Emilia Lanier, and Alex Pollock as Southhampton. The production will feature set design by Richard Chambers, costume design by Seth Bodie, and lighting design by John Malinowski.

Brustein is joining Suffolk's faculty as Distinguished Scholar in Residence. He is the founding director of both the Yale Repertory and American Repertory Theatres, where he supervised over 200 productions. His plays include Nobody Dies on Friday, Demons, and adaptations of such classic works as Six Characters in Search of an Author, The Wild Duck, and The Master Builder.

The September 6 performance will be preceded at 4pm by a panel discussion on Shakespeare between Brustein and Harvard Professor Stephen Greenblatt, author of Will in the World and the adviser for the Oscar-winning film Shakespeare In Love.