1609 - I AM EMILIA.
Writer. Wife. Lover. Mother. Muse.
I am unheard.
I want education, equality, opportunity, respect. For us all.
We want choice.
We want a voice.
2019 - I AM EMILIA.
400 years ago Emilia Bassano wanted her voice to be heard. It wasn’t. Her story is still our story.
Emilia and her sisters reach out to us across the centuries with passion, fury, laughter and song. Listen to them. Let them inspire and unite us.
Times are finally changing. Not fast enough. It’s up to you. We are all Emilia.
Stand up alongside her and be counted.
Shakespeare’s Globe’s “extraordinarily rousing new play” (The Independent) met with “whoops, cheers, belly laughs, a standing ovation” (Time Out) now explodes at the Vaudeville from 8 March – 15 June 2019. An all-female cast playing both hers and hims rouses “audiences into a pitch of fervour” (The Guardian) in a “magnificent production” (The Stage) filled with “wit, fierce intelligence and heady intensity” (The Times).
Tell Me More
If you’ve ever been suspicious of Shakespeare’s undisputed male privilege, “Emilia” answers all of your burning Elizabethan-era feminist questions. The story delves deep into the treacherous consequences of the universal dominance of the patriarchy in the 1600s, revolving around the real life of poet Emilia Bassano Lanier. As a writer, mother, wife, and muse, Emilia wore loads of hats yet seldom received the credit.
This history play is all about throwing convention to the side. Thirteen women play all the roles — both male and female — and three women play Emilia, illustrating the equitable supportive system embodied by a community of women.
The most prominent effect of this moving play, however, is its ability to reach across the centuries that separate the real life Emilia from the modern audience. This show will not only highlight the incredible abilities of women overlooked, but the fact that those incredible women are still fighting the same fight today.
What To Watch For
- As history’s first female professional poet, Emilia Lanier’s groundbreaking book of poems “Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum” was published in 1611.
- Playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm told the Globe, “‘Emilia’ is by far the most complex play I’ve tried to write” because it has so many layers. Malcolm had to contend with balancing the historical truth of Emilia’s relationship to Shakespeare while also incorporating new research into the feminism and racial constructs of the time period.
- For such a complex play, “Emilia” was conceived and written in a very short time span. After the Globe Theatre commissioned Malcolm to write a play, she only had one year from making the arrangement with the theatre until the first performance to write and develop the entire work.