Photo by Amy Goosens

Lower Manhattan’s Shakespeare Downtown presents a new adaptation of Alexandre Dumas fils “The Lady of the Camellias.” Adapted by Billie Andersson, “The Lady of the Camellias” combines dialogue from Dumas’ novel (considerably different from Dumas’s stage play) with text and structural concepts from the libretto of the opera “La Traviata.” The fully-realized production is performed inside the open-air walls of Castle Clinton. The show is free and plays Thursdays-Sundays at 6:30 p.m. from June 15 – June 25, 2023 at Castle Clinton National Monument at The Battery. Tickets are available at the door at 5:45 p.m. on the day of the performance. Directed by Geoffrey Horne.

In this new adaptation, Dumas’ novel and parts of the libretto from the opera “La Traviata” are combined to tell the tragic love story between Marguerite Gautier (Billie Andersson), a courtesan suffering from consumption, and Armand Duval (Zack Ignoffo), a young bourgeois.

Set in mid-19th century France, a courtesan suffering from consumption named Marguerite (and nicknamed “The Lady of the Camellias” because she wears a red camellia when she is indisposed, and a white camellia when she is available to her lovers), and Armand, a young bourgeois, fall in love. After Armand convinces her to leave her courtesan life to live with him in the countryside, their plan is interrupted by Armand’s father Georges Duval who is concerned with the scandal created by the illicit relationship that will destroy his son’s future. Marguerite agrees to sacrifice herself for Armand’s family and leaves him. When Armand shows up at her deathbed thinking she left him for another man, he pledges to love her even after her death.

The company includes: *Billie Andersson (Marguerite Gautier), Zack Ignoffo (Armand Duval), *Craig Braun (Georges Duval), Chantal van Zyl (Prudence Duvernoy), Sanna Izmirlian (Nanine), Evan Olson (Gaston Rieux), Rickard Claeson (Baron de Varville),  Jazz-Ella Reveilleau (Flora Bervoix),  Archie Colville (Comte de Giray), Prabal Panjabi (Doctor Grenvil).

TICKETS: Free tickets available the day of the performance at Castle Clinton starting at 5:45 p.m.


*Member of Actors’ Equity Association / AEA approved showcase

“The Lady of the Camellias” is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Shakespeare Downtown – Now in its seventh season, SD has a history of producing quality classical theatre accessible to everyone including: Romeo and Juliet (2016), Richard III (2017), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2018), Hamlet (2019), The Three Sisters (2021), and Saint Joan (2022) – serving close to 10,000 audience members.

Geoffrey Horne (Director) – Geoffrey Horne studied acting and directing with Lee Strasberg, and became a member of the Actors Studio, influenced by directors Elia Kazan and Arthur Penn. He was in the first Actors Studio production, Strange Interlude, with Geraldine Page and Jane Fonda. He also studied Shakespeare with John Barton. He worked with directors Harold Clurman, Jose Quintero, and John Houseman in the theatre, and Delbert Mann and Sidney Lumet in television. He appeared on television in The Hitchcock Hour, The Outer Limits, and The Twilight Zone. He was in The Bridge on the River Kwai, Bonjour Tristesse, and The Tempest. He worked with directors – Michelangelo Antonioni, Otto Preminger, and David Lean. He worked with James Bridges, Roger Vadim, and Mike Nichols as assistant to the director. He did many plays on and Off-Broadway, including Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along. He studied at Stanford University and graduated from U.C. Berkeley. He is the co-founder of SD.