Rudolf II is the story of a bisexual, bipolar emperor in 1600 Prague obsessed with alchemy, astronomy, his longtime mistress, and his newest lover and valet, a converted Jew. The production uses the vast expanse of the Bohemian National Hall to create an environmental production in the center of its ballroom space, with live choral singing from the balconies accompanying the action.
Set completely in Rudolf's bedroom, the play is a portrait of an emperor who was both extraordinary visionary and self-destructive, as he confines himself and those closest to him to an increasingly suffocating atmosphere of paranoia and mounting madness. Rudolf's court is literally the stuff of legend--the golem supposedly originated there, and Goethe based his Faust upon the court as well. The play features Tycho Brahe, the famed astronomer; Elizabeth Jane Weston, the Latin poetess and daughter of the original Faust (Edward Kelley); and the spirit of Libuse, the prophetess who founded Prague.