"Music, lighting, dance, and inventive staging combine with a wise script, a unique aesthetic, and powerful acting to create the ultimate ‘total work of art.’"

-Erin Khan about The Life & Death of Queen Margaret at Theater for the New City, NYC, in StageBuddy (2017)

one weekend only:


by Gracie Gardner

Directed by Ellen Morbyrne

Starring Rachel Hall (Tilly in She Kills Monsters 2017 & 2018) and Syl Simmons (Natalie in When Last We Flew 2018)

Stage managed by Ezekiel Baskin

Two young fencers. One dedication to training. Endless opportunity for connection and collision.

“Wily and entertaining.” - Village Voice

“A deadly serious comedy about ambition, success, and owning your superiority. In its delicate ferocity, it shows a playwright who is full-throttle funny and wise beyond her years.” - The New York Times

thursday, october 24-sunday, october 27 at 7pm

matinee sunday, october 24 at 1pm

at ape@33 Hawley

(in the Flex Space inside the Northampton Community Arts Trust Building at 33 Hawley Street, Northampton MA)


Please check out our generous lead sponsor Pioneer Valley Fencing Academy in Easthampton!

Rachel Hall as Athena

Rachel Hall as Athena

Syl Simmons as Mary Wallace

Syl Simmons as Mary Wallace

director Ellen Morbyrne

director Ellen Morbyrne

a new project in development:

women making big noises

RLT’s Toby Vera Bercovici launches a new work, devised in collaboration with a team of guest artists and RLT members. The working title of the piece is Women Making Big Noises. It lifts language, ideas, and story from Shakespeare’s King Lear and places them in a contemporary context, a day in the life of a family dealing with early onset Alzheimer’s. It explores the relationship of Sound to Time and Mortality: the big, free sounds we make when we are born and as we die, and the moments sound is stifled in between; sound as a radical, feminist act; sound as a means by which we leave our mark upon the world. The language in the piece will be contemporary and is emerging out of situation-based improvisations. The piece is process-driven as much as it is product-oriented, and is grounded in female collaboration. The team consists of Real Live Theatre members Toby Vera Bercovici (adaptor/director), Myka Plunkett (Goneril), and Linda Tardif (Cordelia), with Liz Stanton* (Lear/Composer), Carolyn Goelzer* (Fool), Abigail Killeen* (Kent), and Annelise Nielsen (Regan/Choreographer).

We spent time at the Dragon’s Egg Studio in June 2019, laying the groundwork for the piece, and will gather again in December of this year to further deepen and clarify our premise. We plan to have another discovery/creation week in Summer 2020, and then begin the process of sculpting and rehearsing the piece by the end of next year.

*members of Actors’ Equity Association


far reaches

a new play

by ellen morbyrne

One Raft Person. One Witness. One world covered in endless ocean.

What do we remember? And how? What does it mean to survive, and what is survival worth to us? Two people from completely different backgrounds make their way towards understanding, following memories and stories as they seek some kind of truth.

After our fantastic script-development residency week at APE@33Hawley in Northampton this summer, we turn our attention to a fully staged production of Far Reaches in the coming season. Stay tuned for details!



a patchwork of Shakespeare's text as funneled and augmented by Toby Vera Bercovici and Dan Morbyrne
directed by Toby Vera Bercovici

During the 100 Years’ War between England and France, just after the time of Joan of Arc, a young French princess is torn from her home and sent to a foreign land to become its queen. Surrounded by powerful men who resent her for her gender and origins, and coupled with a king both weak-willed and prone to madness, she forms an alliance with her new lover to take down critics and seize control of the kingdom. When battle lines are drawn, can she lead the country in war and protect the crown for herself, her king, and her heirs?

The Life and Death of Queen Margaret follows the story of Margaret of Anjou, a fierce, strong-willed, and independent woman who was both a historical figure and also one of Shakespeare's greatest characters. Her rise to leadership and subsequent downfall, portrayed through bitingly relevant and alarmingly prescient 400-year-old texts, hold a necessary mirror up to our modern society.

In a time when women's rights have been under attack by those in positions of supreme power, Real Live Theatre brings you this 'new' Shakespeare play which examines what really goes on when women rise to power inside patriarchal systems.

Real Live Theatre's The Life and Death of Queen Margaret features an all-female cast of eight. The show is available for touring performances to colleges, universities, and producing venues. We are also available for residencies and concurrent workshops/class visits focused on speech, movement, devised ensemble, and Shakespeare's language.


Check this page frequently for updates on current productions!


To see images and excerpts of past productions please visit Photos & Videos. You can also view our complete production history here.