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Hotel Mayflower

True story: Before finding fame as a writer, Beat Generation icon William Burroughs met a German Jewish woman named Ilse Herzfeld Klapper in Dubrovnik. A year later, they were married.
 
Ilse Burroughs received a U.S. visa from this marriage and arrived in New York in 1939, where she worked for exiled anti-fascist German writer Ernst Toller.

Hotel Mayflower imagines how these three lives intersected in a Manhattan hotel in 1939 - a landscape of political refugees, growing fascism, and attempts to rewrite history. 

 

Semifinalist, 2019 Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference

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The Drowned Girl

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Congressman Davy

A new musical about Davy Crockett's political rise and fall.

Music by Dean Schlabowske (Waco Brothers, Deano & Jo, Wreck) 

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An Evening with Lola Montez

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"One of the most fascinating Fringe shows I've seen..." -- Broadway World

"[T]he crafty script weaves through the circuitous passages in Lola’s rise to international acclaim." -- DC Theatre Scene

World premiere: July 2019 at Capital Fringe Festival 

Nero/Pseudo

"[A] bona-fide hit musical, from the pen of Richard Byrne." - Broadway World

"... a fun romp that effortlessly links ancient themes of imperial deification & the 20th century cult of rock and roll." -  MD Theatre Guide

World Premiere: May 2014 at WSC/Avant Bard

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Plays Pandemical

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Six broadside-style monologues, filmed at various moments in 2020, reflect on how COVID-19 rippled through our lives. How did pandemic change our views of science, history, art, government -- and ourselves?

Featured in the Vancouver and Prague Fringe Festivals

All works filmed in a socially-distanced manner, in collaboration with Pandora Machine and Mind the Gap Theatre.

"[A] series of short monologues for YouTube that have captured a world wide following." -- DC Theatre Scene 

Recent Writing 

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The amazing story of how two American women became war correspondents in 1897 Greece.  

(The New Republic) 

Meet Ilse Burroughs. The true story  of William Burroughs' first wife and his 1937 marriage.

Stage Write

How the Velvet Revolution - and an American grad student - sparked a classic book by Bohumil Hrabal. 

The Wilson Quarterly

Ivan Sviták,  the Soviet invasion of Prague in 1968 -- and the continuing relevance of his thought in a post-truth age. 

(The New Republic)

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How did the streets of Hong Kong become a teeming laboratory for protest in a surveillance state?

(The Wilson Quarterly)

(C) 2024 by Richard Byrne 

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