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Ken Ludwig’s The Gods of Comedy

May 11 – June 16, 2019
(Opening night: Thursday, May 16)

Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage
Old Globe Theatre
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center

By Ken Ludwig
Directed by Kathleen Marshall
In association with McCarter Theatre Center

Daphne and Ralph are young classics professors who have just made a discovery that’s sure to turn them into academic superstars: an ancient Greek manuscript of incalculable value. But clumsy Daphne has managed to misplace it, and if she doesn’t find it soon, her career hopes will come crashing down. Despairing, she cries out, “Save me, gods of ancient Greece!”…and the gods actually appear! The Ivy League will never be the same as a pair of screwball deities encounters the carnal complexity of college coeds, campus capers, and conspicuous consumption. Comic playwright Ken Ludwig, who delighted Globe audiences with Robin Hood! and Baskerville, returns with a knockabout world premiere directed by three-time Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall (the Globe’s Love’s Labor’s Lost).


Publicity Photos

Ken Ludwig
The Old Globe presents the world premiere of Ken Ludwig's The God's of Comedy running May 11 - June 16, 2018. Photo by Leslie Cashen.
Kathleen Marshall
Kathleen Marshall. Photo courtesy of The Old Globe.
Artwork courtesy of The Old Globe.
Artwork courtesy of The Old Globe.

Cast and Creative


Ken Ludwig (Playwright, Ken Ludwig’s The Gods of Comedy) is a Tony and Olivier Award–winning playwright who has written over 25 plays and musicals, including six shows on Broadway and seven in London’s West End. His first Broadway play, Lend Me a Tenor, won two Tony Awards and was called “one of the classic comedies of the 20th century” by The Washington Post. His additional awards include the Helen Hayes Award, the 2017 Samuel French Award for Sustained Excellence in American Theatre, the Edgar Award for Best Play, and the Edwin Forrest Award for Significant Contribution to American Theatre. His book How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, published by Penguin/Random House, won the Falstaff Award for Best Book, Publication, or Recording of 2014, and his essays are published by The Yale Review. Mr. Ludwig’s best-known works include Crazy for You (five years on Broadway, Tony and Olivier Awards for Best Musical), Lend Me a Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo, Baskerville, Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood, and a stage version of Murder on the Orient Express, written at the request of the Agatha Christie Estate. His work has been performed in over 30 countries in more than 20 languages and is produced somewhere in the United States and abroad every night of the year.

Kathleen Marshall (Director, Ken Ludwig’s The Gods of Comedy) returns to the Globe after making her Shakespearean debut directing the highly acclaimed Love’s Labor’s Lost in the 2016 Summer Shakespeare Festival. Her Broadway credits include In Transit, Living on Love, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Anything Goes, The Pajama Game, Wonderful Town, Grease, Little Shop of Horrors, Follies, Seussical, Kiss Me, Kate, 1776, and Swinging on a Star. Her Off Broadway and regional credits include Two Gentlemen of Verona (New York Shakespeare Festival), Saturday Night (Second Stage Theatre), Mamma Mia! (Hollywood Bowl), My Paris (Long Wharf Theatre), Ever After (Paper Mill Playhouse), Diner (Signature Theatre Company), Living on Love (Williamstown Theatre Festival), and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (The Muny). She was the Artistic Director of City Center Encores! for four seasons, where she directed and choreographed The Band Wagon, I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road, Bells Are Ringing, Carnival, and Babes in Arms, among others. She also choreographed the musical sequences in the film My Week with Marilyn. Her television credits include Once Upon a Mattress, The Music Man (Emmy Award nomination), and “2 Broke Girls.” She has received three Tony Awards (out of nine nominations), three Drama Desk Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Astaire Award, the George Abbott Award, the Smith College Medal (her alma mater), and the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for the Arts, and she has been named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. She is an Associate Artist of Roundabout Theatre Company and a member of the Executive Board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

McCarter Theatre Center (Co-Producer, Ken Ludwig’s The Gods of Comedy), led by Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, is one of America’s leading regional theatres and is one of the few organizations in the U.S. producing professional theatre while simultaneously presenting major performing artists. The theatre’s world premiere stage highlights include Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (2013 Tony Award), The Brother/Sister Plays, Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, and The Understudy. Its Broadway credits include Translations, Anna in the Tropics (Pulitzer Prize), and Electra. Curated by Special Programming Director William W. Lockwood, the company’s presented engagements include such artists as Lang Lang, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Wynton Marsalis, and David Sedaris. Its community efforts include in-school residencies, adult education classes, and student matinees. McCarter is supported by Princeton University, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. mccarter.org.