The Duchess of Malfi

Written by John Webster

Directed by Christopher Marino  

  January 14 to  February 27, 2016

   It’s an evening of huge emotions, visceral and gloomy sensations. Moreover, it’s stuffed with stunning theatrical moments crafted by director Christopher Marino, his technical team and talented cast”

 RECOMMENDED! The Fourth Walsh

DUCHESS Lyndsay and the guys


Jon Beal, Casey Chapman, Simina Contras, Kevin Cox, John Kahara, Lyndsay Rose Kane, Emily Lotspeich, Mike Mazzocca, Pavi Proczko, J. Keegan Siebken, Mike Steele, Kevin Webb

John Webster (Playwright) was born sometime around 1580. Little is known of his early years but it is thought that he was a practicing lawyer. At the beginning of the 17th century Webster collaborated with Thomas Dekker on Westward Ho. He produced nothing between 1605 and 1611, and then he wrote The Duchess of Malfi, which was performed both at the Globe public theatre and Blackfriars playhouse. The play is considered to be among the finest of all Jacobean tragedies and a referenced example of extreme violence from the literary time. Webster was not afraid of tackling the darker side of human nature and the extremes to which human beings are prepared to go in pursuit of their ends. However, although Webster’s plays include adultery, murder,treachery, and Machiavellian plots, he doesn’t write that way to jolt: his plays show the real, unpleasant, truths about life. His plays are shocking, gripping and enthralling. The visceral and heightened theatricality of Webster’s vision in Malfi, a playwright who as TS Eliot once remarked “was much possessed by death/And saw the skull beneath the skin,” should prove a natural fit for TrapDoor Theatre. This play hailed as the origin of macabre and Gothic literature, has influenced a wide range of artists from TS Elliott to PD James, Stephen King to Echo and the Bunnymen.

Christopher Marino (Director) The Duchess of Malfi is the third in a trilogy of Jacobean plays Christopher has directed this year; starting with his critically acclaimed productions of Macbeth and Tis Pity She’s a Whore. He is currently on faculty at The University of North Carolina Wilmington. Marino was formerly on faculty at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington DC, teaching master acting classes. He has taught at numerous universities and theatres in the US and England. Schools and theatres include the Shakespeare Theatre Company – Washington DC, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Stella Adler in New York City, George Washington University, University of Maryland – Baltimore County, and Illinois State University. He is a guest lecturer at Rose Bruford Drama School in the UK teaching classical acting technique for the past six years. As an actor he has a career that spans twenty years working regionally and at Shakespeare festivals. Christopher is also a founding member of the Helen Hayes award winning Taffety Punk Theatre Company in Washington DC. He is the former Artistic Director of the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival and was the Assistant Artistic Director at Piccolo Theatre. Christopher is a Certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework. He holds two graduate degrees from the Shakespeare Theatre DC/George Washington University and Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art – London. Visit his website at

Assistant Director Meghan Lewis/ Set Design Mike Mroch / Lighting Design Rachel Levy/Costume Design Rachel Sypniewski/ Composer Mark Winston/ Make-Up Design Zsófia Ötvös /Graphic Design Michal Janicki/ Dramaturge Dr. Charles Grimes /Stage Manager Kristin Davis/Fight Choreography Rick Gilbert and Victor Bayona/ Movement Lyndsay Rose Kane and Simina Contras

Trap Door continues its long held tradition of presenting mature, challenging political theatre for discerning audiences.

TimeOut Chicago, Dan Jakes