The year is 1593. The plague has closed the Elizabethan playhouses and William Shakespeare is take 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, the mysterious Dark Lady, and Shakespeare's patron, the Earl of Southampton. The English Channel is theatre luminary Robert Brustein's comic and provocative imagining of Shakespeare's coming of age as a playwright. The content of this play is not recommended for children.