Brave Spirits Theatre is dedicated to plays from the era of verse and violence which contrast the baseness of humanity with the elegance of poetry. By staging dark, visceral, intimate productions of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, we strive to tear down the perception of these plays as proper and intellectual and instead use them to explore the boundaries of acceptable human behavior.


Text: We are unabashedly obsessed with language. We believe the text itself holds all the clues we need to perform an early modern play with truth and vitality. We examine imagery, verse, rhetorical devices, and embedded stage directions. Shakespeare and his contemporaries wrote beautiful imagery, but they also used language that was bawdy, gritty, and realistic; we embrace both with equal relish. In short, we trust the text and it is the basis of our work. Click here to download a copy of our text work handbook.

Actor: We are a company that believes the actor is at the center of the artistic process. We seek out artists who are willing to take creative risks, who are bold and courageous, who are ensemble-driven, and who are professionally-minded in their commitment to the art. The actor is the vessel through which the text comes to life, and as such the actor must be intellectually, emotionally, and physically adept.

Women: Brave Spirits believes we have an ethical responsibility to address the disparity of the female presence in classical theatre. Though women make up 51% of the population, only 16% of Shakespeare’s characters are female. By engaging in cross-gender casting and re-gendering characters, we seek to increase women’s access to and voice in the canon of great dramatic works. We also strive to stage productions that focus on the traditionally silenced female narrative and question the patriarchal constructs present in these works.

Audience: We feel that the audience is the final ingredient needed to bring the play to life. In keeping with the early modern aesthetic, there is no fourth wall, and we welcome the audience as an active participant in the world of the play. Actors may invite the audience to turn into a raucous mob, their confidants, or the butt of a joke. By playing with the audience rather than to them, we make these plays exciting, accessible, and relevant.

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It is a play so rarely staged that the fact Brave Spirits is mounting it would be reason enough for DC-area Shakespeare geeks to see it; the fact that it is staged so intelligently and acted so deftly is reason for everybody else to check it out, too.
— Eric Minton -

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