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Posted: February 22 / 2024

(Sarasota, FL) – Asolo Repertory Theatre, currently celebrating its 65th Anniversary, teams with one of the world’s most produced playwrights, Ken Ludwig, for his newest play Lady Molly of Scotland Yard, based on the detective stories by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. The partnership will launch with a closed reading of the thriller/comedy on Sunday, March 10, 2024. Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director, Peter Rothstein, will direct.

Rothstein, stated “Asolo Rep has a long and successful history of producing Ken Ludwig plays: Crazy For You, Three Musketeers, Murder on the Orient Express, The Games Afoot. It is an extraordinary honor that one of the most celebrated playwrights of our time has chosen the Asolo to develop and produce his latest play. 

“Asolo Rep has staged such wonderful productions of my work over the last several years that I knew there was no theatre in the country better suited to developing Lady Molly of Scotland Yard,” stated playwright Ken Ludwig. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with Peter Rothstein, whose expertise and experience will bring this play so joyously to life.”

In this world premiere reading, Ken Ludwig brings his signature theatricality and brilliant comic flare to a high-octane thriller in which the fate of the world is at stake. London, 1940: the war rages across the Channel. German bombs drop on the city nightly. Scotland Yard detective Lady Molly Robertson and her partner Peg just want a good cup of tea. But when they witness a murder at the swanky Savoy Hotel, the seemingly simple case leads them deep into the British war effort and the top-secret code-breaking operation at Bletchley Park. Going undercover as cryptographers, they discover that Bletchley has more secrets than scientists and uncover a plot that will strike at the very heart of Britain. Lady Molly and Peg must race against time to avert disaster, narrowly avoiding death at every turn, and they ultimately prove that no problem is too difficult for brilliant women to overcome. Five actors play more than 20 characters in this tour-de-force new comedy-thriller.

The reading cast, in alphabetical order, will include Matthew Amendt, Trezure Coles, Dylan Godwin, Aneisa J. Hicks, Ibukun Omotowa, Adelin Phelps and Sally Wingert.

KEN LUDWIG may well be the most well-performed playwright of his generation.  He has had six productions on Broadway and eight in London’s West End. His 34 plays and musicals are staged around the world and throughout the United States every night of the year. They have been produced in over 20 languages in more than 30 countries, and many have become standards of the American repertoire. 

His first play, Lend Me a Tenor, won two Tony Awards and was called “one of the classic comedies of the 20th century” by The Washington Post. Crazy For You was on Broadway for five years, on the West End for three, and won the Tony and Olivier Awards for Best Musical. His play Murder on the Orient Express will shortly begin a tour of China and his musical Crazy For You is currently touring Japan.

In addition, he has won the Edwin Forrest Award for Contributions to the American Theatre, two Laurence Olivier Awards, two Helen Hayes Awards, the Charles MacArthur Award, and the Edgar Award for Best Mystery of the Year. He was also nominated for an Emmy Award for writing the Kennedy Center Honors. His other plays include Moon Over BuffaloLeading LadiesBaskervilleSherwoodTwentieth CenturyDear Jack, Dear LouiseA Fox on the FairwayA Comedy of TenorsThe Game’s AfootShakespeare in Hollywood; and Moriarty. They have starred, among others, Alec Baldwin, Carol Burnett, Tony Shaloub, Joan Collins, and Kristin Bell. 

His book How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, published by Penguin Random House, has been a bestseller and is coming out this year in a new, expanded edition. It won the Falstaff Award for Best Shakespeare Book of the Year. His essays on theatre are published in the Yale Review, and he gives the Annual Ken Ludwig Playwriting Scholarship at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. 

His first opera, Tenor Overboard, opened at the Glimmerglass Festival in July 2022. His most recent world premieres were Lend Me A Soprano and Moriarty, and his newest plays and musicals include Pride and Prejudice Part 2: Napoleon at PemberleyLady Molly of Scotland YardBeginner’s Luck and Easter Parade.  

He has been commissioned to write plays by the Agatha Christie Estate, the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Old Globe Theatre, and the Bristol Old Vic. For more information visit www.KenLudwig.com.

BARONESS EMMUSKA ORCZY, (born September 23, 1865, Tarnaörs, Hungary—died November 12, 1947, London, England), Hungarian-born British novelist chiefly remembered as author of The Scarlet Pimpernel, one of the great literary popular successes of the 20th century.

The only child of Baron Felix Orczy, a noted composer and conductor, she was educated in Brussels and Paris, then studied art in London. She later exhibited some of her work in the Royal Academy. She became famous in 1905 with the publication of The Scarlet Pimpernel, set in the times of the French Revolution, and relating the swashbuckling adventures of the “elusive” Sir Percy Blakeney, whose mission was to smuggle French aristocrats out of the country to safety. Orczy produced sequels—The Elusive Pimpernel (1908), The Way of the Scarlet Pimpernel (1933)—which were less successful than the original. She also wrote several detective stories that revolutionized the genre, including Lady Molly of Scotland Yard (1910) and Unravelled Knots (1925). 

PETER ROTHSTEIN (Producing Artistic Director) Peter is the Producing Artistic Director for Asolo Repertory Theatre where he directed Inherit the WindMan of La ManchaSweeney Todd, and Ragtime

He works extensively as a director of theater, musical theater, opera, and new work development. For 25 years Rothstein served as the Founding Artistic Director of Theater LatteĢ Da, a Minneapolis- based company dedicated to new and adventurous music-theater. Other collaborations include the Guthrie Theater, Children’s Theatre Company, Ten Thousand Things, and Seattle’s 5th Avenue, as well as the Minnesota Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and Chicago Opera Theater. Rothstein is the creator of All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, which had its Off-Broadway debut in 2018 receiving the Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience and has been seen around the globe airing on PBS. Rothstein served on the board of directors for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Alive and Kickin’, and the Twin Cities’ Ivey Awards. He has been a panelist and evaluator for the Playwrights’ Center, the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals. He holds degrees in music and theater from St. John’s University and an M.F.A. in directing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Now in its 65th season, Asolo Repertory Theatre is recognized as one of the premier professional theatres in America and one of the largest in the Southeastern United States. One of the few select theatres in the nation that performs in true rotating repertory, Asolo Rep’s highly skilled acting company and extensive craftsmanship bring to life this unique performance method that gives audiences the opportunity to see multiple productions in the span of a few days. Asolo Rep presents up to 6 productions each season, including contemporary and classic works and provocative musical theatre experiences. A theatre district in and of itself, Asolo Rep is committed to expanding its reach into the community, furthering its collaboration with the best theatre artists working in the industry today and cultivating new artists through its affiliation with the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. Under the new leadership of Producing Artistic Director Peter Rothstein and Managing Director Ross Egan, Asolo Rep’s ambitious theatrical offerings and ground-breaking education and community programming engage audiences and ensure its lasting legacy for future generations. Visit asolorep.org to learn more.