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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


The Drowned Girl


Congressman Davy


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

Music by Dean Schlabowske (Waco Brothers, Wreck) 

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Plays Pandemical


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 

Edited Image 2019-04-23 16-20-37

An Evening

with Lola Montez


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

World premiere:  

July 2019 at the Capital Fringe Festival 




"[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 - WSC/Avant Bard

Recent Writing 

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

(The New Republic) 


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

The Wilson Quarterly


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

(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)

(C) 2023 by Richard Byrne 

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