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Journal of the Plague Year

Daniel Defoe's
Journal of the Plague Year
Adapted and performed by Stephen Legawiec

Directed by Dana Wieluns
Lighting by Leif Gantvoort
Set and costumes designed by Stephen Legawiec

Sound design by Kimberly Behrendt
Stage Manager: Arika Rene
Artistic Consultant: Steven Leon
Dialect coach: Moira Quirk
The Town Crier: Lorin Eric Salm
The Girl: Scout Taylor-Compton, Britney Tuba, Jessica Stone


The plague of 1665 was a true event in which a third of London was destroyed. Because of its scope and enormity, the event has taken on mythic status.

Through the eyes of a London saddler, who chooses to stay in the city while thousands fled, the audience meets the full range of humanity as it deals with a profound event: Thieves, angels, cowards and heroes, a cross section of London is lain bare and comes to vivid life as countless die. However the play is not about death, it is about life—and about the best that we as humans are capable of.

The novel form was in its infancy when Defoe wrote Journal of the Plague Year. Even so, Plague Year could rightly be called experimental. Defoe gave a firsthand account of the plague with many dry facts and very little incident—so much so that his novel is virtually plotless. He was afraid that any plot would subvert his verisimilitude. Whereas I haven’t adapted the story with the elaborateness of a Dickensian factory, I have added a wheel or two.

— Stephen Legawiec


Ziggurat Theatre Ensemble
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