Democracy and Esther

Playwright: Romulus Linney

Director: Herbert Berghof

Cast: Mason Adams, Lily Lodge, Richard Duschinsky, William Prince, Inga Swenson, Ben Piazza, George Grizzard, Leigh Burch, Hurd Hatfield, Uta Hagen, Fritz Weaver, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Tony Weaver

Designer: Jennifer Tipton Production Manager: Marlene Mancini Lighting Assistant: Antonio Canal House Manager: Ann Dallwitz Poster Designer: Ann Raychel Production Assistant: James Hurley and John Santaromite

Democracy and Esther was performed December of the year 1969.


Democracy is an adaptation of two Henry Adams novels, Democracy and Esther and the diaries of General Ulysses S. Grant.  The play premiered in 1974 at the Virginia Museum Theatre in Richmond, Virginia.  Theatre scholar James Seymour commented “Esther’s story focuses mainly on religion, while Madeline’s dilemma centers on the responsibilities of the state.  The common denominator is the remarkable independence and spirit of these two strong women.”  While the play focuses on the two women and their journeys, Linney wrote that “this play is about the childhood of democracy: it’s about youth; it looks at what was wrong with democracy when it was young.”