In the centuries since her execution in 1567, Mary, Queen of Scots has remained an object of public fascination. She is the subject of operas, sonnets, rock songs and, most recently, the 2018 film Mary, Queen of Scots, which starred Saoirse Ronan as the titular queen and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I, her cousin and eventual rival.

Mary Stuart

Pioneer Theatre Company

Jan. 10-25

Mondays-Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets and info here.

Even in 2020, Mary’s life remains the perfect bit of palace intrigue. (Harry and Megan’s recent decision to “step back” is interesting, but, knock on wood, nobody will lose their head.) Mary’s story has family drama, national tensions, violent feuds and a prison break. No wonder it’s a story we can’t seem to stop telling.

One of the most famous depictions of Elizabeth and Mary’s power struggle, the play Mary Stuart, is now coming to Pioneer Theatre Company. An English adaptation of Friedrich Schiller’s original German play, Mary Stuart is a female-centered story that’s unique to the era. In a press release, PTC Artistic Director Karen Azenberg said, “The story of these two powerful women, from a time where women were not typically found in positions of leadership, is a compelling one.” PTC’s production will star Anne Bates (Elizabeth I) and Erika La Vonn (Mary of Scotland), along with a cast of both PTC alums and actors new to the company.

L-R: Jamen Nanthakumar (Sir Edward Mortimer), Erika LaVonn (Mary of Scotland), Robert Mammana (Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester), Anne Bates (Elizabeth of England), and Fenton Li (Sir William Davison). Photo courtesy Pioneer Theatre Company.

Mary Stuart is not exactly a comedy, but compared to the anxiety of watching our current leaders navigate politics, this play almost qualifies as light entertainment.

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