Cover photo by Richard Termine


Alfred de Musset, adapted by John Strand
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Alfred de Musset’s 1832 play depicts Lorenzo de Medici, the 16th-century Florentine nobleman who killed his tyrannical cousin but did not establish a republican government afterwards and was forever disgraced by a debaucherous past.

Production Info

Cast: 12 total (4 female, 8 male)
Full Length Drama (about 100 minutes)
Multiple Sets
Period Costumes
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Press Quotes

“Impressive. A sleek, stirring adaptation … LORENZACCIO is a civic tragedy, charting the cruel decline of a formerly free city-state … Recounted by … playwright John Strand with clarity and directness, Musset’s story of a society cowed by and despairing over its political leadership seems an apt one to tell just now. Its bitter conclusion is designed as a final dagger to the spirit … LORENZACCIO speaks to our time, loud and clear.” —Peter Marks, The Washington Post

“Inherently dramatic, the stakes being so high and the game so dangerous. [Yet] humor still finds its way to the surface through Strand’s script … LORENZACCIO may be a play for our time in the way that it was in 1833. But whether we choose to see it in a modern light, the play is a masterpiece for all times.” —Margaret Lawrence, The Star-Exponent

“The play connects electrically and viscerally to our times … Splendid, powerful and affecting … Strand hits just the right mark in this almost grand guignol tale of power, politics, murder, courage and betrayal in Renaissance Italy.” —Gary Tischler, The Georgetowner

“If only George W Bush could have seen the gripping 19th-century French drama LORENZACCIO before being sworn in as commander–in-chief. Musset’s play centers on the assassination of a tyrant. There’s an occupying army detested by its citizenry. And there’s the utter lack of a day-after plan once the repressive regime has been toppled, plunging the country into chaos. Sound familiar?” —Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun

“French playwright Alfred de Musset’s LORENZACCIO has long been a fixture in French theater but the 1833 play is seldom performed in the US. One chief reason is the absence of an English translation that addresses its unwieldy structure. Consider the problem fixed in this nicely accessible version from playwright John Strand. A welcome addition to American theater of one of France’s cultural pillars.” —Paul Harris, Variety

About the Author


  • Alfred de Musset

    Alfred de Musset (1810 – 1857) was a French Romantic poet, playwright, and novelist. LORENZACCIO, written in 1834 and produced in 1896, was based on the murder of the Florentine tyrant Alessandro de' Medici by his cousin Lorenzo, known as Lorenzaccio. The author of over a dozen plays, de Musset is considered, along with Racine and Molière, to be among France's most important dramatists.

  • John Strand

    John Strand is the author of LINCOLNESQUE, a comedy about politics and madness in Washington, D.C. (The Cleveland Play House, directed by Michael Bloom) and LORENZACCIO, his adaptation of Alfred de Musset's 1834 French classic (The Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, D.C., directed by Michael Kahn). Strand also wrote the book for the musical THE HIGHEST YELLOW, with a score by Michael John LaChiusa, at Signature Theatre, Arlington, VA. His other plays include LOVERS AND EXECUTIONERS, Arena Stage, winner of the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play; THE DIARIES, commissioned by Signature Theatre and nominated for the MacArthur Award; and TOM WALKER, commissioned by Arena Stage. Additional plays are OTABENGA, directed by Michael Kahn at Signature Theatre, and nominated for the MacArthur; an adaptation of Molière's THE MISER set in Reagan-era America, at Arena Stage; THREE NIGHTS IN TEHRAN, a comedy about the Iran-Contra affair, Signature Theatre; THE COCKBURN RITUALS, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co. Mr. Strand spent ten years in Paris, where he worked as a journalist and drama critic, writing in English and French, and directed New York University's Experimental Theater Wing in Paris. His plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing, New York.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 2/1/2007
Pages 80
ISBN 9780881453270

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:

Originally produced by The Shakespeare Theater, Washington DC

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Lorenzaccio is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC