In this retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s haunting classic, betrayal, unrequited love, and deception await Fortunato as he follows his longtime friend into the catacombs to fetch a cask of wine.
Schools: This play is a good choice for schools.
In 19thcentury Florence, Italy,tipsy newlyweds Fortunato and Sylvia are hosting an elaborate party to celebrate their recent marriage, when their mutual friend Montresor arrives to pay his respects. The three talk and reminisce of the two men’s long history together as university students and their inherent differences: Fortunato was wild and outrageous— especially when it came to girls— while Montresor remained reserved and quiet. Fortunato is also surprised upon learning that Sylvia grew up a close friend to Montresor, as Montresor never talked about her in the past. Suddenly overcome with a coughing fit, Fortunato excuses himself as Sylvia tells Montresor that her husband has recently been suffering from an “irritation of the lung.” Montresor asks Sylvia if she’s happy being married to Fortunato, and she admits that his obnoxious behavior can be trying, but she believes that he loves her and will take good care of her. When Fortunato returns with more wine, Montresor reveals that he knows of a cask of amontillado hidden beneath his neighbor’s property and he plans to have a gentleman named Luchesi taste it for quality. If it passes, he wants to host a celebration of his own. Fortunato becomes agitated that Montresor did not ask him first to taste the amontillado and, despite multiple protestations from Montresor, he insists that they seek it out that night so he can taste it before Luchesi. Eventually, Montresor relents, and the two men leave Sylvia on their quest for the amontillado.
Once in the catacombs, Fortunato’s lung condition worsens due to the damp nature of the environment. Montresor tries to get them to turn back, but Fortunato won’t hear of it, and subsequently, Montresor offers him a drink to ward off the elements. Fortunato drinks but Montresor, unbeknownst to his friend, does not. As they journey deeper into the catacombs, Fortunato discloses his true love for Sylvia and how it changed him. Montresor repeatedly tries to get them to turn back, but to no avail. They speak of the masonic society and Montresor claims to be a mason, much to Fortunato’s surprise. Montresor then produces a trowel and Fortunato realizes that Montresor was joking and is impressed with the jest. Montresor reveals that he has recently become taken with a widow and Fortunato suggests that Montresor be a close friend to her to let “nature take its course.” Montresor assures him that he will. As the journey continues, Fortunato’s condition becomes worse and he continues to drink, becoming quite intoxicated. Eventually, they reach a niche in a wall with an iron gate in front of it, and Montresor reveals that the cask is inside. Fortunato enters the niche looking for the cask and Montresor closes the gate, locking Fortunato inside. Montresor proceeds to build a wall in front of the gate with the trowel. He reveals his obsessive love for Sylvia and his disapproval of her marriage to Fortunato. Sylvia is to be the widow Montresor plans to win upon Fortunato’s “accidental” death in the catacombs. At the end, Fortunato screams in frustration and desperation when Sylvia suddenly appears out of the darkness, apparently supporting Montresor’s plan to win her love.
Fortunato: Brash, obnoxious and a lover of wine, he’s finally found his true love. He suffers from a chronic cough.
Montresor: Quiet and reserved, he embodies a balance of cunning and social awkwardness.
Sylvia: Beautiful and charming, she hides her inner feelings beneath a lovely façade.
Setting: Florence, Italy. March 1846, the height of Carnival season.
Note: Scene 1 is set in an upscale piazza apart from a lavish party. Scenes 2-4 are all set in the catacombs beneath the city of Florence. The use of light, and more specifically, darkness can be used effectively to suggest a subterranean environment. Minimal sets may be the most effective for a traditional stage production.
Materials: your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date and will include everything necessary for your production and can be ordered in Printed or Digital format. Printed Materials are provided on unbound three-hole punched loose-leaf paper while Digital Materials are provided via email as downloadable PDF files for you to print in-house. All materials are yours to keep! No deposits, no returns.
The required materials forThe Cask of Amontillado include:
Wicked Lit Print Edition - The beautifully designed anthology, available at wholesale costs to sell in your lobby!
Director's Script – Single-sided script with space for director’s notes.
Logo/PR Pack – Includes high-resolution artwork and reference photos. Also, ready-designed posters, reviews and pull quotes, if available.