It is 1642 and Hester Prynne has been branded an adulterer by her Puritan village and forced to wear the titular scarlet letter as repentance. However, in this modern adaptation, Hester is unashamed of her actions and proudly subverts society’s rigid standards put upon women to be virtuous and good. Today, as we continue to grapple with these expectations, Hester’s story resonates all the more.
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This adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel is a breathtaking piece of playwriting. I love Academy Award nominee Phyllis Nagy’s interpretation of this universal tale of Hester Prynne and her red letter “A.” As female morality is sadly still questioned in certain parts of the world, I find this play to be strikingly relevant.- Stafford Arima