THE INN AT LYDDA
by JOHN WOLFSON
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2023 | 7:30 PM
| 250 West 95th Street
Directed by Ben Prusiner
Featuring Samuel Adams, Amir Arison, Rajesh Bose, Teagle F. Bougere, Leovina Charles, Joe Holt, Anthony Michael Martinez, Alfredo Narciso, Christopher Joel Onken, Jay O. Sanders, and Sam Tsoutsouvas
First produced at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2016, Red Bull proudly presents the American premiere of John Wolfson’s drama of hubris versus humility, drawn from biblical apocrypha and presented in modern verse, of a face-to-face meeting between Caesar and Christ. In The Inn at Lydda, the mortally ill Roman emperor Tiberius Caesar, hearing tales of a miraculous healer in the province of Judea, sets sail for Jerusalem for an audience with Jesus. Pausing en route in the nearby city of Lydda, he learns of the Nazarene's crucifixion only a few days earlier and is devastated, not realizing that an event later known as the Resurrection will make the meeting he seeks a possibility.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Jesus of Nazareth | Amir Arison
John, the Apostle | Christopher Joel Onken
Balthasar | Joe Holt
Melchior | Sam Tsoutsouvas
Caspar | Rajesh Bose
Tiberius Caesar | Jay O. Sanders
Caligula | Samuel Adams
Thrysullus | Teagle F. Bougere
Quintius | Alfredo Narciso
Mnester | Anthony Michael Martinez
Helen of Tyre | Leovina Charles
Messenger / Stage Directors | Leovina Charles
Director | Ben Prusiner
Stage Manager | Jessica Fornear
Producing Director | Nathan Winkelstein
General Manager | Sherri Kotimsky
ABOUT THE PLAY
And it came to pass, as Peter passed through all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.
Acts of the Apostles: IX, 32.
The ancient Biblical town of Lydda was founded by the tribe of Benjamin in the second millennium before Christ. In Christian times it lay on the only Roman trade route between Jerusalem and the sea. There were Christians there from the beginning, and it was in that city that St. Peter cured the paralytic Aeneas. Today, Lydda is known as Lod, and is the home of Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport.
This play was suggested by a book called The Death of Pilate which appears in the New Testament Apocrypha. It tells how the Emperor Tiberius, being afflicted with illness and having heard of a healer named Jesus, sends for him in Judea. Word is brought back to Tiberius of the healer's recent death, whereupon Tiberius orders Pilate's execution.
History does not record that Tiberius journeyed to Judea either before or after the crucifixion, although he certainly could have. Caligula, before becoming Emperor, is reported to have traveled as far west as Greece and Egypt, and may well have passed through Judea on the same journey.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
John Wolfson occupies the position of Curator of Rare books at the Globe Theatre in London. His play, The Inn at Lydda, was produced by the Globe at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in London in September of 2016. His play, The Don, a play dealing with drug smuggling on the Mexican border, was produced at the Hedgerow Theatre in Philadelphia. Other plays done in workshop include The Peace Creeps with Al Pacino and James Earl Jones, Jimmy Paradise with Sam Waterston, and The Lives of Avelar, a reading with Morgan Freeman. Other plays by Mr. Wolfson have been presented by Playwrights Horizons and Break a Leg Productions. John Wolfson's annual talk on Shakespeare is a popular feature of the Globe Theatre's summer education program.