Last night David and I saw Schiller's play Mary Stuart in a new translation by Peter Oswald at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.
I saw this play in the Phoenix Theatre production in 1957 in New York. The translation was by Jean Stock Goldstone and John Reich and it was directed by Tyrone Guthrie. It featured Eva Le Galliene as Elizabeth and Irene Worth as Mary. An amazing cast!
The play takes place in the last days of Mary's life just before her beheading at Fotheringhay Castle and includes a fictitious meeting of the two queens which never really happened.
In Chicago Shakespeare's production, directed by Jenn Thompson, K.K. Moggie played the role of Mary and Kellie Overbey was Queen Elizabeth. I felt that Ms. Moggie was the stronger actress, but then, her role is much more dramatic and sympathetic. The entire cast was very good but could have used some diction training for the arena stage of the theatre. In this setting it's never a good idea to have actors facing the back wall of the set and expect them to be understood,
In both cases Schiller's poetry was changed into prose, which was probably a good idea. Not my favorite evening in the theatre.