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Two River Theater

The Scarlet Letter

World Premiere

By Kate Hamill
Based on the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Directed by Shelley Butler

The Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater


Hester Prynne dares to strive for a better life for herself and her daughter. Kate Hamill (Pride and Prejudice, Little Women), one of American theater’s most celebrated contemporary playwrights, reimagines Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic tale of courage. This world premiere, directed by Shelley Butler (Beautiful: The Carol King Musical, A Doll’s House Part 2), showcases the strength of a woman who will not let the rules of an unjust society define her.

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Kate Hamill

Kate Hamill is a playwright and actor based in NYC. She has spent multiple seasons on the most-produced playwright list in American Theatre Magazine. Her most recent work includes MS. HOLMES & MS. WATSON-#2B at Kansas City Rep/Portland Center Stage, EMMA at The Guthrie, DRACULA at Classic Stage Company, LITTLE WOMEN at Primary Stages/Jungle Theater and MANSFIELD PARK at Northlight Theater.

Kate’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s SENSE & SENSIBILITY (in which she originated the role of Marianne Dashwood) had its world premiere off-Broadway, produced by Bedlam. It was named one of the “Top Ten Plays of 2014” by both Ben Brantley of the New York Times and by the Huffington Post, which called it “the greatest stage adaptation of this novel in history.” It reopened in New York in 2016 at the Gym at Judson where it ran for almost 300 performances.

Other plays include VANITY FAIR which debuted at The Pearl Theater with an extended run and was seen in a co-production between Shakespeare Theater in DC and American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. Her adaptation of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE started at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in a production that moved to Primary Stages. She is published by Dramatists Play Service and TRW Plays.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne, (born July 4, 1804, SalemMassachusetts, U.S.—died May 19, 1864, Plymouth, New Hampshire), American novelist and short-story writer who was a master of the allegorical and symbolic tale. One of the greatest fiction writers in American literature, he is best known for The Scarlet Letter (1850) and The House of the Seven Gables (1851).

Shelley Butler
Shelley Butler has over forty Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional credits to date. She has worked extensively with writers on new plays and musicals and has directed over two-dozen new works including the world premiere of Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House Part 2 (South Coast Repertory) and the Japanese premiere of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Shelley currently serves as Artistic Director for the South Carolina New Play Festival. Shelley has directed and developed work at prestigious companies nationwide including: Ars Nova, Primary Stages, E.S.T., WP Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, Milwaukee Rep, Hartford Stage, South Coast Repertory, Denver Center Theatre Company, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Geva, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Pioneer Theatre Company, Contemporary American Theater Festival, New York Stage and Film, Partial Comfort, New Georges, The Playwright’s Realm, Keen Company and New Dramatists. Shelley is the recipient of a Drama League Fall Directing Fellowship, a 2018 Drama League Directing Resident, a 2005 Director’s Guild of America Trainee, a member of SDC, the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab and the WP Directors Lab. Learn more at