Rudolf II

rudolf front

Sex, science, and paranoia in 
16th century Prague

By Edward Einhorn
Directed by Henry Akona

March 2010

The Bohemian National Hall
321 East 73rd Street, New York City


Libuše: Adriana Disman

Tycho Brahe: Joe Gately*

Rumpf: Eric Oleson

Elizabeth Jane Weston: Shelley Ray*

Rudolf II: Timothy McCown Reynolds*

Katerina: Yvonne Roen*

Philip Lang: Jack Schaub
Pages: James Isaac, Romo Hallahan
Musicians: Katherine Boynton, Rosalynd Darling, Mike Hill, Parker Scott*. Phoebe Silva*, Sandy York*

* Member of Actors Equity Association

Graphic art by Clinton Corbett


Playwright: Edward Einhorn
Director: Henry Akona
Dramaturgy: Karen Lee Ott

Costume Designer: Carla Gant
Lighting Designer: Ian W. Hill
Stage Manager and Props Designer: Berit Johnson
Assistant Director: Tom Berger
Assistant Stage Manager: Lindsey Carter
Assistant Costume Designer: Candace Lawrence
Assistant Lighting Designer: Romo Hallahan

A journey into the dark side of a tormented psyche in Rudolf II, an intimate drama of delusion, science and sexual experimentation. 

In 1600, Rudolf II, the bisexual and bipolar Holy Roman Emperor, is obsessed with alchemy and astronomy; as well as his longtime mistress and his newest lover and valet, a converted Jew. His enthusiasms establish Prague as a center of artistic, scientific, and sexual investigation.  As he notes with pride, “I have something more than soldiers. I have knowledge.” However, his underfunded army, combined with his constant mood swings and paranoia, threatens to destroy everything he’s tried to build. 

Set completely in Rudolf’s bedroom, the increasingly reclusive Emperor confines himself in a suffocating atmosphere filled with court intrigue. Rudolf’s court was literally the stuff of legend, providing the basis for Goethe’s Faust and the original Golem. The play features several historical figures, including astronomer Tycho Brahe; Elizabeth Jane Weston, Latin poetess and daughter of the original Faust (Edward Kelley); and the spirit of Libuše, the prophetess who founded Prague. 

Performed at the newly refurbished The Bohemian National Hall, the original home of the Manhattan Theater Club. The production uses the vast expanse of the hall to create an environmental production in the center of its ballroom, accompanied by live choral singing from the balconies. This production introduces this beautiful and historic space to New York in its newest incarnation, being the first full run at the theater after over fifteen years of renovation by the Czech government. It is also a part of New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’ festival, Performing Revolution in Central and Eastern Europe.