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University of Minnesota, Morris production The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade (Marat/Sade) Peter Weiss directed by Michael Shiller.

Synopsis: In the Charenton Asylum in 1808, the Marquis de Sade stages a play about the murder of Jean-Paul Marat by Charlotte Corday, using his fellow inmates as actors. The director of the hospital, Monsieur Coulmier, supervises the performance, accompanied by his wife and daughter. Coulmier, who supports Napoleon's government, believes that the play will support his own bourgeois ideas, and denounce those of the French Revolution that Marat helped lead. His patients, however, have other ideas, and they make a habit of speaking lines he had attempted to suppress, or deviating entirely into personal opinion. The Marquis himself, meanwhile, subtly manipulates both the players and the audience to create an atmosphere of chaos and nihilism that ultimately brings on an orgy of destruction.

Publication Date



Theatre and Performance Studies

Primo Type

Text Resource

Marat/Sade, February 22-25, 1995