Cover art anon, Flemish, circa 1520


Niccolò Machiavelli, adapted by Peter Maloney
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Machiavelli's 16th-century comedic classic. Callimaco wishes to bed Lucrezia, though she is the wife of the aging Nicia. Consequently trickery and deceit are in order if Callimaco is to obtain his desire. A plan is hatched involving a plant, the “mandragola,” with supposedly magical powers. Nicia is fooled, but will Lucrezia prove as gullible?

Production Info

Cast: 7 total (2 female, 5 male)
Full Length Comedy (about 130 minutes)
Single Set
Period Costumes
Categories: , Tags: ,

Press Quotes

“So you don’t think Machiavelli had a sense of humor? Then go see the rollicking production of his comedy MANDRAGOLA at the Shakespeare Theater … MANDRAGOLA, adapted by Peter Maloney, is filled not only with Machiavelli’s rather questionable wisdom, but with a surprising amount of wit … If comedy seems an unlikely métier for Machiavelli, the action of MANDRAGOLA is of the any-means-to-an-end variety … These days, when Machiavellian strategy is being taken all too seriously, it’s refreshing to laugh at the old boy.” —J. Wynn Rousuck, The Sun, Washington, DC

“A naughty comedy by that great Italian Renaissance guy, Machiavelli … performed with great flair and precision … a very funny, bawdy play … a farce about lust, both physical and financial … A hilarious and lively visit to the streets and gutters of 16th century Florence.” —Jane Horwitz, WTTG TV, Washington, DC

“Machiavelli’s realistic and unflattering opinion of human nature, expressed most notably in his classic The Prince, is given full voice here, but to obvious farcical effect.” —American Theater

“In this Renaissance sex-comedy human greed is the motor which drives the characters to chase each other around and around during a day and a night in old Florence.” —Play Source, Theatre Communications Group

About the Author


  • Niccolò Machiavelli

    Niccolò Machiavelli (1469 – 1527) was a Florentine essayist, dramatist, historian, sketch writer, biographer, dialogist, writer of novellas, poet, statesman, and political theorist. Among his many writings, he authored two plays THE MADRAKE (MANDRAGOLA) and LA CLIZIA. His most famous work is his treatise on political conduct and the application of power, The Prince (Il Principe).

  • Peter Maloney

    Peter Maloney's plays have been published by Broadway Play Publishing Inc, Samuel French, Inc, and Faber and Faber. LEASH (part of his ABU GHRAIB TRIPTYCH) was chosen as one of the Best American Short Plays 2003 – 2004 and published by Applause Books. LEASH has also been published by Joyce Carol Oates in her quarterly Ontario Review. In its first production, by Signal & Noise Theater, ABU GHRAIB TRIPTYCH was called "a shocking dramatic success as well as a rare example of art confronting our present national dilemma." IN THE DEVIL'S BATHTUB was published in the Kenyon Review. Mr Maloney has performed four autobiographical pieces, ACCIDENT, MY FATHER'S FUNERAL, ACCORDION DREAMS and KOLOSSAL HERO, at Ensemble Studio Theater. He directed Sandra Bullock in Larry Ketron's NO TIME FLAT, Kevin Bacon in John Byrne's THE SLAB BOYS, Tommy Lee Jones in Jack Gilhooley's TIME TRIAL, and Lois Smith and Thomas Gibson in Romulus Linney's JULIET. He starred with Estelle Parsons in David Hare's THE BAY AT NICE, and with Brooke Adams in THE CHERRY ORCHARD. He has been seen on Broadway in JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG, with Maximilian Schell; STANLEY, with Sir Antony Sher; Pavel Kohout's POOR MURDERER, with Maria Schell; Eugene O'Neill's HUGHIE, with Ben Gazzara, and in the Lincoln Center Theater productions DINNER AT EIGHT, ARCADIA, CAROUSEL, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS, and OUR TOWN. He has appeared in forty-seven films, including K-Pax, Boiler Room, Requiem for a Dream, The Crucible, Washington Square, J F K, Desperately Seeking Susan, and John Carpenter's The Thing! Mr Maloney is a Fox Foundation fellow, a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Actors Studio, and an alumnus of New Dramatists.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 1/1/2009
Pages 104
ISBN 9780881454154

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:

First produced by The Shakespeare Theater, Washington DC

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