E2

Recently crowned, Edward II struggles to lead England while navigating a relationship that could bring about his downfall. A contemporary reimagining of Christopher Marlowe's EDWARD II. E2 premiered at Maryland's Rep Stage in November of 2019.

"Playwright Bartlett ... skillfully distills Marlowe’s large cast of courtiers, clerics and other characters to just a handful of figures,...
Recently crowned, Edward II struggles to lead England while navigating a relationship that could bring about his downfall. A contemporary reimagining of Christopher Marlowe's EDWARD II. E2 premiered at Maryland's Rep Stage in November of 2019.

"Playwright Bartlett ... skillfully distills Marlowe’s large cast of courtiers, clerics and other characters to just a handful of figures, the protagonists in an engrossing, romantic saga that also reflects meaningfully on homophobia, privacy, social inequality and political corruption." -- Celia Wren, Washington Post

"An imaginative and beautifully executed production ... Striking design, unforgettable performances and superb artistry in Bartlett's poetic new play." -- The Baltimore Sun

"Bob Bartlett’s new play E2 certainly proves it can make a head-turning entrance. This bold and sensuous take on the oft-told tale of King Edward II unfolds against a techno-punk frieze of video lighting and color-form columns that turn even austere 14th century stone into a cushy setting for a Studio 54-style blowout." -- DC Metro Theatre Arts

"... [this] dance party on the edge of the apocalypse works smashingly, with brilliant light, looming digital portraits of the characters that are Robert Mapplethorpe-like in their black and white starkness, sumptuous fabrics and a modern, linear set design that rivet the eye." -- DC Theatre Scene
  • Recommend
  • Download
  • Save to Reading List

E2

Recommended by

  • Tina Esper:
    3 May. 2019
    This brilliant reimagining of Marlowe's Edward II stuns and surprises with its adroit humor, clever twists and touching humanity. E2 stradles period drama and contemporary issues with a deftness and skill that had me captivated throughout. A truly luminous play.
  • William Triplett:
    1 May. 2019
    Today, there's much talk about equal rights, dignity and respect for all, but does it really apply to everyone? Aren't certain leaders -- like kings -- still held to outdated standards because they symbolize the identity of a nation? Bartlett explores these questions through his marvelous updating of Marlowe's Edward II, whose homoerotic relationship with a friend since childhood is perceived as a threat to the state. An epic re-telling that resonates with the present.
  • Donna Hoke:
    29 Apr. 2019
    What would happen if the King of England were gay? Even in today's more accepting world, nobody's safe until everybody's safe--especially when the stakes are high--and Bob has done a beautiful job illustrating that with this modern adaptation of Marlowe's EDWARD II. Bravo!

Character Information

  • King Edward II
    mid to late 20s,
    White
    ,
    Male
    the King of England, Edward of Carnavan
  • Piers de Gaveston
    mid to late 20s,
    Black, Latino, or a person of color
    ,
    Male
    Earl of Cornwall and a favourite of the King
  • Isabella
    30s,
    Black, Latina, or a person of color
    ,
    Female
    daughter of the King of France and wife (Queen Consort) of the King of England
  • Roger Mortimer
    mid to late 30s,
    White
    ,
    Male
    advisor to the King of England; a soldier and paramour of the Queen
  • Prince Edward/Edward III
    pre-teen,
    Mixed
    ,
    Male

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Rep Stage - The Kennedy Center's Page-to-Stage Festival
    ,
    2019
  • Workshop
    ,
    Rep Stage
    ,
    2019
  • Commission
    ,
    Rep Stage
    ,
    2018
  • Workshop
    ,
    Rep Stage
    ,
    2018

Production History

  • Professional
    ,
    Rep Stage
    ,
    2019