The University Wits Present The Duchess of Malfi

November 3, 2004

The University Wits will present a staged reading of John Webster’sThe Duchess of Malfion Sunday, November 7 at 8:00 p.m., at the Masonic Building, 13 West Beverly, in downtown Staunton.

The University Wits is the student organization of Mary Baldwin University’s Master of Letters/MFA program in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance in partnership with Shenandoah Shakespeare. The staged reading will be directed by Shenandoah Shakespeare actor James Keegan, and will feature a cast of students from the Mary Baldwin program.

The Duchess of Malfiwas written in 1613 or 1614 by John Webster, a contemporary of Shakespeare. It belongs to the Renaissance tradition of revenge tragedy, of which Shakespeare’sTitus Andronicusis also an example. Its action centers on the Duchess, a widow who remarries, matching herself to a man far beneath her own social station. The plot turns tragic when her two brothers disapprove of her unconventional behavior and exact a terrible revenge.

Admission to the November 7th performance is by Pay What You Will donation, which will go towards future productions of the University Wits, including a production of Shakespeare’sKing Johnwhich will be performed in December. For further information regarding The Duchess of Malfi and other upcoming Wits events, please see the Mary Baldwin University MLitt/MFA student website at