June 26 through August 24, 2024
Door Shakespeare is pleased to announce the second only known reading in the United States of one of J. M. Barrie’s rarest of works.
Shakespeare’s Legacy was first produced at Drury Lane Theatre, London, on April 14, 1916, at a matinee for the benefit of the Young Women’s Christian Association for funds to provide hostels, canteens and restrooms for the munition and other war workers. J. M. Barrie gave permission for twenty-five copies of the play to be printed by English journalist and editor Clement King Shorter for distribution to his friends.
There are only three known copies of Shakespeare’s Legacy in the United States. The Folger Library in Washington, DC, is in possession of two copies, and The University of Chicago’s Special Collections Research Center has copy number seven, part of a trove of Barrie’s work donated by a retired Chicago accountant in 1969.
The 26-page absurdist comedy follows a newly married man who finds out that his wife grew up in a house scattered with previously undiscovered manuscripts written by Shakespeare. In addition to revealing Shakespeare to be a Scot who definitely did not rely on Sir Francis Bacon as a coauthor, one of the lost works contained the cosmic secret to enduring physical beauty—virtue, charity, and sacrifice. The husband is pleased his wife will remain angelic inside and out, until he realizes one of her acts of charity may have been giving up a handsomer suitor to “complete that perfect face.” —Helen Gregg, The University of Chicago Magazine, Winter 2017
Shakespeare’s Legacy is directed by Door Shakespeare’s Producing Artistic Director, Michael Stebbins, and features Amy Ensign, Isabelle Kralj, Jarrod Langwinski, and Rayne Kleinofen.