Red Bull Theater announces the cast for the benefit reading of THE WONDER OF WOMEN by John Marston, featuring Robert Cuccioli, Derek Smith, and more
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 01:06 pm EST 01/19/22

Red Bull Theater


The Cast for the Benefit Reading of



by John Marston

Directed by Nathan Winkelstein

Featuring Ro Boddie, Robert Cuccioli, Cara Ricketts, Derek Smith, Sarin Monae West and More

Livestream - Monday, January 31st at 7:30 PM EST

RED BULL THEATER (Jesse Berger, Founder and Artistic Director | Jim Bredeson, Managing Director) today announced the complete cast for its online benefit reading of The Wonder of Women (The Tragedy of Sophonisba) by John Marston.

Nathan Winkelstein directs a cast that features Ro Boddie (Seize the King - The Classical Theatre of Harlem, A Play Is a Poem - Atlantic Theater/Center Theatre Group, Pride Plays - Rattlestick, Socrates - Public Theater), Robert Cuccioli (Broadway: Jekyll & Hyde - Tony Award® nomination, Drama Desk and OCC Awards;, Off-Bway: And the World Goes 'Round (OCC Award); The White Devil - Red Bull Theater; Caesar & Cleopatra, Mrs. Warren's Profession - Gingold Theatrical Group); Cara Ricketts (Time and the Conways - Roundabout, Measure for Measure - Theatre for a New Audience), Derek Smith (Broadway: The Lion King, The Green Bird - Tony Award® nomination, and Red Bull Theater's The White Devil, The School for Scandal, and 'Tis Pity She's a Whore), Sarin Monae West (Merry Wives of Windsor - Public Theater, Vanishing Point - NY Fringe Festival), and more to be announced.

"It's wonderful to be able to serve a worldwide audience with an online reading of this phantasmagoric John Marston tragedy! You won't get another chance to take this one in, and - with a crackerjack cast under Nathan's direction - it's sure to be a wild ride," said Jesse Berger, Red Bull Founder and Artistic Director.

Sensational melodrama, overt eroticism, and splashes of wry wit color John Marston's grimly dark Jacobean tragedy-inspired by events from Roman history. A dauntless princess is tested in a crucible of moral absolutes, ruthless ambition, and utter depravity. After her wedding night is interrupted by the onset of war, Sophonisba emerges from a series of conspiracies with heroic virtue as the "just shame of men" and multi-faceted "wonder of women." The Wonder of Women will premiere LIVE on Monday January 31st at 7:30 PM EST. A recording of that livestream will be available until 7:00 PM EST on Friday, February 3rd - then it disappears.

Red Bull Theater is committed to continuing connection during this historic time. Red Bull's online readings offer the unique opportunity to hear rarely-produced classic plays, and brand new plays in conversation with the classics, performed by the finest actors in New York. All of Red Bull Theater's current online offerings are FREE, but advance reservations are recommended. Tax-deductible donations are encouraged to support Red Bull and invest in the vitality of classical theater for a contemporary audience.

On Thursday, February 3rd at 7:30 PM EST, there will be a free online Bull Session: An interactive discussion of the play and its themes with director Nathan Winkelstein, scholar Tanya Pollard, and members of the company.

Scholar Tanya Pollard explains: "Written and staged between severe plague outbreaks, The Wonder of Women joins a cluster of contemporary tragedies in abandoning England for remote worlds. Like King Lear (1606), Timon of Athens (1606), Antony and Cleopatra (1606), and Pericles (1607), it takes place in a distant pagan past; like some of these plays, as well as Othello (1604), it also conjures the foreign spaces of the Mediterranean basin and North Africa. These plays offer, in the words of Coriolanus (1608), the possibility of "a world elsewhere" - an alternative to the claustrophobic urban spaces of plague-ridden London. For better and for worse, these other worlds prove unruly, racially mixed, and unbound by conventional gender norms. Among their marvels - especially in The Tragedy of Sophonisba - is a new model of heroism embodied by women… For all its dark tragic turns, The Wonder of Women sounds a note of triumph in its portrait of a woman whose glory cannot be dimmed."

Red Bull Theater wishes to express its gratitude to the Performers' Unions: ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, AMERICAN GUILD OF MUSICAL ARTISTS, AMERICAN GUILD OF VARIETY ARTISTS, and SAG-AFTRA through Theatre Authority, Inc. for their cooperation in permitting the Artists to appear on these programs.


Red Bull Theater, hailed as "the city's gutsiest classical theater" by Time Out New York, brings rarely seen classic plays to dynamic new life for contemporary audiences, uniting a respect for tradition with a modern sensibility. Named for the rowdy Jacobean playhouse that illegally performed plays in England during the years of Puritan rule, Red Bull Theater is New York City's home for dynamic performances of great plays that stand the test of time. With the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as its cornerstone, the company also produces new works that are in conversation with the classics. A home for artists, scholars and students, Red Bull Theater delights and engages the intellect and imagination of audiences, and strives to make its work accessible, diverse, and welcoming to all. Red Bull Theater believes in the power of great classic stories and plays of heightened language to deepen our understanding of the human condition, in the special ability of live theater to create unique, collective experiences, and the timeless capacity of classical theater to illuminate the events of our times. Variety agreed, hailing Red Bull's work as: "Proof that classical theater can still be surprising after hundreds of years."

Since its debut in 2003 with a production of Shakespeare's Pericles starring Daniel Breaker, Red Bull Theater has served adventurous theatergoers with Off-Broadway productions, Revelation Readings, and the annual Short New Play Festival. The company also offers outreach programs including Shakespeare in Schools bringing professional actors and teaching artists into public school classrooms; Bull Sessions, free post-play discussions with top scholars; and Classical Acting Intensives led by veteran theater professionals. During the pandemic, Red Bull responded swiftly to the shutdown, creating several ongoing programs to serve audiences and artists with our mission: RemarkaBULL Podversations, Online Readings, Seminars, and more.

Red Bull Theater strives to be a home for all artists and theatergoers. We value and practice inclusiveness, equity and diversity in all of our activities, and are committed to antiracist action. All of us at Red Bull Theater are committed to actively working to help realize a more perfect union-a racially and socially just America.

"The classics-shaking Red Bull Theater," as Time Out NY has called it, has presented 20 Off-Broadway productions and nearly 200 Revelation Readings of rarely seen classics, serving a community of more than 5,000 artists and providing quality artistic programming to an audience of over 65,000. The company's unique programming has received ongoing critical acclaim, and has been recognized with Lortel, Drama Desk, Drama League, Callaway, Off Broadway Alliance, and OBIE nominations and Awards.

For more information about Red Bull's Readings, or any of Red Bull Theater's programs, visit www.redbulltheater.com.
Link http://www.redbulltheater.com

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