Reading and Panel: The Alcestiad and The Drunken Sisters

Join us for a special evening of events dedicated to Wilder’s The Alcestiad and The Drunken Sisters.

The Alcestiad and The Drunken Sisters Reading
On Monday, May 19th, award-winning New York City-based Red Bull Theater will present a reading of Thornton Wilder’s The Alcestiad and its accompanying satyr play, The Drunken Sisters, directed by Wendy C. Goldberg with Michael Cerveris, Maryann Plunkett, and Jay O. Sanders. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Playwrights Horizons Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, 416 West 42nd Street, NYC. To purchase tickets and for more information, please visit the Red Bull Theater website.

The Alcestiad Panel
Prior to the reading, please join us at 4pm for a reception and lively discussion of The Alcestiad: Death & Immortality, Romance & Revenge in Thornton Wilder’s Ageless Classical Play. Distinguished guests include Tappan Wilder (Thornton Wilder’s nephew and literary executor); Professors of Classics Judith Hallett (University of Maryland, College Park), Mary English (Montclair State University) and Thomas Buck (University at Buffalo, State University of New York); and Mark Bly (Adjunct Professor of Playwriting Fordham/ Primary Stages MFA Program and At Large Member Board of Directors National New Play Network). This event is free, but reservations are requested. Please contact the Thornton Wilder Society at to request your reservation. Hosted by Samuel French, Inc. (235 Park Ave S, 5th Floor, NYC).

The Alcestiad premiered (as A Life in the Sun) at the Edinburgh Festival, Scotland, 22 August 1955, directed by Tyrone Guthrie, but never had a New York production. It was posthumously published in 1977. Written in the tradition of early Greek tragedies (specifically, Aeschylus’s trilogy The Oresteia), The Alcestiad tells the story of Admetus, King of Thessaly, his wife Alcestis, and the triumphs and tragedies they endure as favorites of the god Apollo. The extent of Apollo’s involvement in their marriage is further explored in Wilder’s accompanying satyr play, The Drunken Sisters. In addition to Alcestis and Admetus, characters include Apollo, Death, Hercules, and the Three Fates.