top of page

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

NOW AVAILABLE! A bilingual (English/German) edition of the play from Moloko Print.

Hotel Mayflower COVER.jpg

The Drowned Girl


Congressman Davy

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

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

Lola in Green Room Australia CROP.jpeg

An Evening with Lola Montez

Love. Lies. Riots. Revolution.  Spend the night with a firebrand.


In An Evening with Lola Montez, the famed dancer who brought down Bavaria’s king in 1848 tells her picaresque tale of celebrity, tragedy, beauty and reinvention. This one-woman show offers sharp and poignant reflections on notoriety and fate from an unforgettable figure of the 19th Century.


An Evening With Lola Montez is one of the most fascinating Fringe shows I've seen..." -- Broadway World 


"[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

Edited Image 2018-01-11 02-53-04_edited.

Plays Pandemical

Plays Pandemical Final 1.jpg

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 

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 - inspired  Bohumil Hrabal. 

The Wilson Quarterly

Was Lola Montez a revolutionary figure? An opportunistic reactionary? Both? 

Stage Write

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

(The New Republic)

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

(The Wilson Quarterly)

Prague 1989

Protest and the Muse: The Late Work of Hrabal

Cora Crane & Harriet Boyd

1897: Women War Correspondents in Greece

Ilse Burroughs

Meet Ilse Burroughs

Ivan Svitak

Truth in a "Post-Truth" Age: Ivan Svitak

Lola Montez

Lola Montez: Revolutionary or Reactionary?

Hong Kong Protests

Protests in a Surveillance Age: Hong Kong 2019

(C) 2024 by Richard Byrne 

bottom of page