Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette

by  David Adjmi

Full Length Play, Drama  /  6m, 3f, 1boy(s)

A theatrical and stylistic retelling of the life and final days of Marie Antoinette.


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Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette

by  David Adjmi

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    6m, 3f, 1boy(s)
  • Duration

    Duration

    90 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Docudrama/Historic
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

In David Adjmi’s contemporary take on the young queen of France, Marie is a confection created by a society that values extravagance and artifice. But France’s love affair with the royals sours as revolution brews, and for Marie, the political suddenly becomes very personal. From the light and breezy banter at the palace to the surging chants of “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!” in the streets, Marie Antoinette holds a mirror up to our contemporary society that might just be entertaining itself to death.

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Accolades

  • David Adjmi is the 2010 recipient of the Whiting Award for Drama

Reviews


REVIEWS

"Mr. Adjmi has set himself the task of translating this gilded-cage life into the contemporary language of the spoiled and empty-headed rich, with...Marie sounding rather like the pampered teenage heroine of the movie 'Clueless.' He does so with the empathy that has always leavened his politically judgmental plays...MR. ADJIMI IS ONE OF SEVERAL ADVENTUROUS YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS NOW...who rather than avoiding clichés are embracing them to find out what enduring truths and lies still lurk beneath their threadbare exteriors."
- The New York Times, Read More

"David Adjmi’s jagged yet elegant historical riff... This tough-minded play doesn’t offer a middle path... Adjmi complicates the satire by imbuing his doomed protagonist with intellectual vibrancy and genuine compassion..." (Four Stars, Critic's Pick)
Time Out New YorkRead More

"From Valley Girl comedy (“the linzer tarts omigod”) to mad-scene finale,...David Adjmi’s [Marie Antoinette is a] marvelous, disturbing, revisionist take. (Critics’ Pick) 
New York Magazine

"In Adjmi's work, even the most innocent-seeming sweetmeats have bitter fillings—brutality, acid, blood... Macarons cede to just deserts, gowns to rags, quips to insane ramblings, gilded dream to caustic nightmare. And still the degradation continues. We are powerless to stop the violence, and what we may have once desired we now deplore. Or, Adjmi asks, do we?"
Village Voice, Read More

"David Adjmi’s pivotal work... he resembles artists as diverse as Luis Bunuel and Rainer Werner Fassbinder... Adjmi’s brilliance is to use trashy vernacular speech to allude to the way history trashes us."
- The New Yorker, Read More

RELATED ARTICLES ON BREAKING CHARACTER

Too Much Cake:  Inside Steppenwolf Theatre Company's Production of MARIE ANTOINETTE
by Leela Singh
March 11, 2015

High Energy, And Higher Passion
by Courtney Kochuba 
January 16, 2015

Videos

  • Steppenwolf Marie Antoinette Trailer
  • Robert O'Hara on Marie Antoinette
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes
  • Caution Nudity Nudity/Partial Nudity

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 18th Century
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: Versailles, Paris & Environs. 1770’s – 90’s.
  • Additional Features: No intermission
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

6m, 3f, 1boy(s)
MARIE ANTOINETTE - Queen of France
LOUIS XVI - Her husband
JOSEPH - Her brother
AXEL FERSEN - A family friend she’s attracted to
THE DAUPHIN - Her 10-year-old son
YOLANDE DE POLIGNAC - A false friend
THERESE DE LAMBALLE - A true friend
MR. SAUCE - A shopkeeper (can double with Joseph)
MRS. SAUCE - His wife (can double with Polignac)
A SHEEP
ROYALIST
REVOLUTIONARY 1,2,3 (can all be played by one man)
TWO GUARDS (double with Revolutionary and Joseph)
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Cast Attributes

  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Features Children
  • Flexible casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

Casting Notes

Doubling is suggested in the Character Descriptions. 

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Authors

David Adjmi

David Adjmi was called "virtuosic" by the New York Times and he was listed as one of the Top Ten in Culture for 2011 by The New Yorker magazine. His play Marie Antoinette received a critically acclaimed world premiere co-production with A.R.T. and Yale Rep. The play won 3 Connecticut Critics Circle Awards including Bes ...

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Marie Antoinette premiered at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts in September, 2012. The play had its New York premiere at SoHo Rep in October, 2013 under the direction of Rebecca Taichman.  

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