Full Length Play
Biography, Period, Docudrama/Historic
Time Period - 16th Century / Elizabethan
Settings Of Play - The action takes place during the plague year, 1593, in a room in the Mermaid Tavern.
FEATURES / CONTAINS
Mild Adult Themes
Appropriate for all audiences
High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Large Stage, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
Nominee for 2008 Pulitzer Prize.
The English Channel examines the murky relationship between great writers and their proclivity to "borrow" ideas and material, tracing Shakespeare's relationship with The Earl of Southampton, the Dark Lady of the Sonnets, and Christopher Marlowe during the turbulent months before Marlowe's death.
The English Channel is the first piece in a trilogy of plays by Robert Brustein about the life of Shakespeare. The second installment is Mortal Terror followed by The Last Will.
"Robert Brustein is the rarest of rare amphibians: a powerful theatre practitioner who is also a powerful critic.... Savvy, fearless, opinionated, and fathomlessly curious, he is at once steeped in the classics and alert to the most recent tremors on the cultural seismograph." - Stephen Greenblatt
"How did Shakespeare do it? It’s an irresistible question for scholars, artists and critics, and while Robert Brustein, one of the true Renaissance men of the modern stage, has played all of these roles, he approaches the subject with humility." - New York Times
"Including digressions into religious, political and social debates of the day, the play imagines Shakespeare as a man very much of his time, preserving the mystery of his genius while presenting him as willing to do anything in the service of his art. It illustrates something Mr. Brustein once wrote: 'Playwriting is not so much a craft as an obsession.'" - New York Times
The English Channel premiered at The Vineyard Playhouse on Martha's Vineyard in September of 2007.