“First-class productions of The White Devil are few and far between in New York … So it is a pleasure to report that Red Bull Theater, the invaluable company which brings very old plays to life, presents a smashing new staging of The White Devil at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. … anyone who enjoys a furious mix of sex, violence, murder, and generally nasty behavior by corrupt elites in high places is likely to get a kick out of The White Devil, especially when such dirty doings are performed so stylishly as Red Bull’s rendition. …

Set designer Kate Noll builds out a thrust stage deeply into the auditorium to shove the action closer to spectators, some of whom in the front rows were observed to flinch from the occasional spatter. Oh, yes—power drills and similar 2019 implements substitute for the daggers of Webster’s era. (And a murder by way of a poisoned helmet is ingeniously updated for today’s pastimes.)

But such trappings might go for naught had not Proske directed a sterling 11-member ensemble so splendidly. This sensational play’s ceaseless shifts in tone between suspense, dark comedy, and horror are challenging to navigate, yet under Proske’s guidance, the actors easily glide over its seismic changes. They also speak the play’s florid language naturally and clearly.” - Michael Sommers, NY Stage Review

The White Devil
by John Webster

produced by Red Bull Theater
March/ April 2019

"In Red Bull Theatre’s rare and wickedly entertaining staging of John Webster’s 1612 comedic tragedy, moral degeneracy rises to the level of high art. … Under Louisa Proske’s gratifyingly twisted direction, the work remains a showcase of human vice in its sundry manifestations, from adultery to murder. … a scorched-earth satire that spares nothing, least of all the self-serving deceptions, hypocrisies, and corruptions of the ruling class." - The New Yorker

"stylish and spry … the figurative language catches the ear like a barbed hook … T.S. Eliot famously credited Webster as showing the skull beneath the skin. The director Louisa Proske’s production shows some skin, too. The set thrusts impudently into the audience and the costumes, by Beth Goldenberg, look like knock-off Versace, appropriate to this sleazy imagined Padua." - The New York Times, Critic’s Pick

"…let’s toss our caps in the air for Red Bull Theater, which is putting on a neatly modernized and fiercely acted account of The White Devil. Savvy director Louisa Proske and her all-female design team … create a thrust stage of modern, minimalist surfaces … The cast is outstanding … Broadway veteran Cuccioli is a masterful study in icy evil as the corrupt cleric." - David Cote, Theater News Online

Cast: 
Vittoria // Lisa Birnbaum
Flamineo // Tommy Schrider
Francisco de Medici // T. Ryder Smith
Cardinal Monticelso // Bob Cuccioli
Lodovico/ Camillo // Derek Smith
Cornelia // Soccorro Santiago
Brachiano // Daniel Oreskes
Isabella // Jenny Bacon
Zanche/ Giovanni // Cherie Corinne Rice
Marcello // Amara Aja James
Gasparo // Edward O’Blenis

Designers: Kate Noll, Beth Goldenberg, Jiyoun Chang, Chad Raines, Yana Biryukova

photos by Carol Rosegg