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Speak Of The Devil - Archive



A comedy-drama about
“The Great Agnostic” Robert Ingersoll


Sunday  February 8th at 3PM

520 Eighth Avenue, 3rd Floor, NYC

by Richard F. Stockton

Revised by Marsha Lee Sheiness


Directed by Robert Kalfin


“The Devil was personally represented
on this planet between the years of 1833 and 1899 by a zealous, exasperating, confounding Bible quoting advocate, the Billy Sunday
of Freethinkers.” The Clergy


In Robert Ingersoll’s Own Words:

“If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal,
If a man would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane.”

“It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education, than to have education without common sense.”

Speak of The Devil dramatizes what happens when a man rich with native wit, robust humor, love of family and extreme courage will not put a padlock on his tongue nor shackles on his brain at extreme risk to himself. 

SPEAK OF THE DEVIL is a two-act comedy-drama by Richard F. Stockton, revised by Marsha Lee Sheiness. Based on the life of the 19th century "Great Agnostic", Robert Ingersoll, the play encourages people to lead active, thoughtful, responsible and independent lives, rejecting interference from a religious right committed to insinuating ideology into politics, civil rights, education, our health care systems, and our daily lives. SPEAK OF THE DEVIL dramatizes what happens when a man, rich with native wit, robust humor, love of family and extreme courage, refuses -- at risk to himself and those he holds dear -- to neither put a padlock on his tongue, nor shackles on his brain.

SPEAK OF THE DEVIL is a call for conscientious, caring decisions, not only for ourselves but for society at large.


Richard F. Stockton (playwright) The first American Playwright to receive a world premiere at the Abbey, Ireland’s National Theatre for his play Prisoner of the Crown, co-produced by Sir Alfred Drake. Subsequent Productions include The Virginia Museum Theatre, directed by Sir Alfred Drake; The Milwaukee Rep, directed by Nagle Jackson; and The Irish Repertory Theatre in New York directed by Ciaran O’Reilly. Seven other full length plays include Speak of the Devil produced twice in New York: at the Lambs Theatre under the title One World at a Time; and at The Chernuchin under the title Royal Bob starring Larry Bryggman; Love Among the Platypi (Bucks County Playhouse), Till The Day Break (Old Salem Corporation), The Trial of Captain John Brown, (Louisville Little Theatre), The House Shall Tremble (UCLA), The Weed Bouquet (The Playwrights Showcase in New Orleans); and The Litter of Flowers (The Little Theatre of Jacksonville). Seven Short Plays (UCLA and The Tokyo English Theatre). The books for musical adaptations of classics: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Town Hall); The Prince and The Pauper; Androcles and The Lion, produced by The National Theatre Company and toured nationally by Fran and Barry Weissler. Numerous Television Dramas for CBS, The Great Adventure, CBC, and The U.S. Steel Hour, starring James Whitmore, Anne Baxter, Jeanne Crain, Mona Freeman, Barry Sullivan, and Jack Klugman. A dozen Radio Plays produced internationally for The BBC, CBC and New Zealand Radio. Samuel Goldwyn Creative Writing Award for The House Shall Tremble. First Prizes: The Samuel French National Playwriting Competition, and The Bellows Prize For Drama.

Marsha Lee Sheiness (revised version) plays have been produced Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, Television, Regional, Community, University, and High Schools, also in Japan, Canada, England, and New Zealand. Awards: National Endowment for the Arts for Playwriting: Director, Playwriting teacher. Member: Dramatist Guild, WGE, PEN, AEA, SAG. Publishers: Dramatic Publishing, Samuel French, ArtAge Publications. Represented by Leo Bookman, (212) 472-8976. See Marshasheiness.com

Robert Kalfin (director) Founder of New York's Tony Award-winning Chelsea Theater Center, Robert Kalfin has directed over 200 plays, including productions on Broadway, Television, Off-Broadway, American and Canadian regional theaters, and many countries abroad. The book, “Chelsea on the Edge” details his contributions to the American Theater.

Broadway credits include HAPPY END with Meryl Streep and Christopher Lloyd; YENTL with Tovah Feldshuh; the Gospel Musical TRULY BLESSED (A Celebration of Mahalia Jackson); STRIDER (The Story of a Horse); and as Chelsea Co-Producer of the Harold Prince production of CANDIDE. His television production of THE PRINCE OF HOMBURG starring Frank Langella for PBS’s Theater In America “Great Performances” Series is now available on DVD.

Representative work includes the off-Broadway productions of A BRUSH WITH GEORGIA O'KEEFFE [also performed at the Smithsonian Museum]; MARIE ANTOINETTE --THE COLOR OF FLESH; ANNA CHRISTIE [Metropolitan Playhouse]; THE SHANGHAI GESTURE [Mirror Repertory Company]; TO PAY THE PRICE at the Mint Theatre; THE DISPUTATION starring Theo Bikel at the Coconut Grove Playhouse; OTHELLO for the Cornell Schwartz Performing Arts Center and GALILEO for the NYU Skirball Center for the Arts. 


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