2 hours with intermission.

Ashland New Play Festival 2017

The Kilroys' List 2016

Clauder Gold Prize, 2016

Finalist, O'Neill Playwrights' Conference, 2016

Semifinalist, Princess Grace Award, 2016

Honorable Mention, The Kilroys' List, 2015

Semifinalist, Shakespeare's Sister Award, 2014

Semifinalist, Lark Playwrights’ Week, 2010


After studying with Michelangelo, 27-year-old Sofonisba Anguissola boards a ship from Italy to Spain to paint for King Philip II. Her 20 years at the Royal Court are one long chess game, since Sofonisba must play to and against the expectations of the king, the bishop, the fool, a lovelorn knight, and a 14-year-old queen. What negotiations and sacrifices did she make in the service of her art, and how did she navigate the tricky waters of court politics as an unmarried woman? A play about the hunger for creation--of birth and of art--and what it costs.

The Spanish Court of King Philip II, 1560-1571. And two ships, 20 years apart.


  • SOFONISBA ANGUISSOLA. Italian. 27 when the play starts. 47 when it ends. Court painter to King Philip II of Spain.
  • QUEEN ISABEL. French. 14 when the play starts. Queen of Spain, Philip’s second wife.
  • BISHOP ESPINOZA. Spanish. Late 50s. His paternalism is benign and suits the time.
  • KING PHILIP. Spanish. 32 at the start of the play. A good husband, but still a king.
  • DON FRANCISCO FABRIZIO DE MONCADA PIGNATELLI DEL PATERNO. Sicilian. Around 40. He is the son of a prince. Tragically earnest.
  • THE FOOL. Scottish and ageless.
  • ORAZIO LOMELLINO. Italian. 30s. Handsome and strong.

Production & Development History

Workshops and readings at Dramatic Repertory Company, Little Festival of the Unexpected (Portland Stage Company), Lark Play Development Center, Florida Studio Theatre, The Farnsworth Museum (with Everyman Repertory Theatre), National Museum of Women in the Arts (with Washington Stage Company), Project Y, Electric Pear Productions, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington Stage Company). Written with a grant from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation.