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The Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter
Written for the Stage by Liam Macik

November 1, 2019 - November 10, 2019

The courage and strength of Hester Prynne will lift your spirits and captivate you in this timeless classic that is relevant today.

Audio Descriptive Interpreted Performance Sensory-Friendly

  • Audio Described Performance - Friday, November 8th
  • Sensory-Friendly Performance - Saturday, November 9th (1 PM)
  • Interpreted Performance - Saturday, November 9th

Article: Hester Prynne is a Heroine

What will you discover by coming to see this new adaptation?

It’s a powerfully unique twist on a familiar tale!

Liam Macik, the playwright and director, shares how this production takes the story told in the Hawthorne’s 1850 novel a few steps further.

“In this new production, Hawthorne himself is a character,” said Macik. “An actor playing Hawthorne will explain to the audience the steps he went through while writing the novel, as the story unfolds onstage.”

He continued, “Prime Stage is known for bringing literature to life, so my objective is for audiences to experience exactly that by providing the author’s point of view throughout, based on what we know about Hawthorne’s writing process. This approach is something that’s rarely if ever been executed, and I believe audiences will be fascinated to learn how an author works, both the high and low points of creating a story. In this case, it’s how he created a story that people have been reading for nearly 170 years.” The courage and strength displayed by Prynne is uplifting and captivating as audiences see Hester and the town for “who they really are" in this timeless classic that still rings true today.

Interesting facts about The Scarlet Letter

Though Hawthorne achieved fame, he was shy and avoided making eye contact with people. At home, he was likely to head out the back door if he knew a guest had arrived at the front door. At times he was playful, almost childlike, and unconcerned about appearances. Yet he was a good friend to other authors, including Herman Melville, who dedicated Moby Dick to him.

The Scarlet Letter was considered very risqué in the mid-1800s

Hawthorne claims The Scarlet Letter is a true story: ... While Hester Prynne and her illegitimate daughter Pearl never existed, Hawthorne, who read extensively about Puritan history, may have based his novel on the story of Mary Bailey Beadle.

Hester Prynne has been called "among the first and most important female protagonists in American literature".

The Puritans really did make people wear letters for adultery.

In the town of York (now in Maine) in 1651, near where Hawthorne’s family owned property, a woman named Mary Batchellor was whipped 40 lashes for adultery and forced to wear an ‘A’ on her clothes. She was married to Stephen Batchellor, a minister over 80 years old. Sound familiar?

The Scarlet Letter was one of the first novels to be mass produced.

Mass production of books was just taking off in the United States when The Scarlet Letter was published. Before the rise of mechanized printing in the mid-19th century, many books were handmade and sold in small quantities. The first printing of The Scarlet Letter included 2,500 copies, which sold out in 10 days.

Hawthorne's wife wept when he read the final chapter of The Scarlet Letter to her.

When Hawthorne finished the final chapter of The Scarlet Letter in February 1850, he read it out loud to his wife Sophia, who began to weep. "It broke her heart," said Hawthorne.

2019-2020 SEASON

"See Me for Who I Am"


Box Office: 412.608.2262

Main Stage performances are at the New Hazlett Theater Center for Performing Arts

Performances are typically 2 hours long plus one intermission.

Phone: 724.773.0700

Showtimes: Friday &; Saturday @ 8:00 PM
Sunday @ 2:30 PM

Parking only $7 (Cash Only)

On-street parking is available at no cost after 6:00 pm, Monday-Saturday and all day Sunday. Paid parking is available in the Allegheny Health Network garage for evening events and weekend matinees. Parking in the garage is $7 (cash only)

To find the garage:
- Drive past the theater and follow Allegheny Square East as if you were going back out onto East Commons. The Allegheny Health Network garage will be on your left.
- Pull in and a uniformed parking attendant will collect your fee.
- Parking in the garage is $7 (cash only)

NOTE: The lot will close one hour after the show.

For various events, security is on site to direct you to available parking options. Parking for sporting events impact space available near the Theater. Please check your local listings to see if the Theater’s event conflicts with our local sports teams.

Preview: Adults: $20/$20
Preview: Youth*/College: $20/$20
Adults: $30/$35
Senior^: $20/$25
Military/1st Resp/Artists: $15/$20

^Senior - 63 plus
*Youth under 18