By Margaret Atwood

Adapted for the Stage by Jennifer Blackmer

Directed by RTE Co-Founder Karen Kessler

A world premiere adaptation of Atwood’s acclaimed novel, Alias Grace takes a look at one of Canada’s most notorious murderers. In 1843, 16-year-old Grace Marks was accused of brutally murdering her employer and his housekeeper. Imprisoned for years, Grace still swears she has no memory of the killings. A doctor in the emerging field of mental health arrives to try to find out the truth of the matter. Alias Grace is a fascinating study of memory, culpability, and the shadowy spaces within the human mind.

Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood, © 1996 O.W. Toad Ltd.
Published by Nan A. Talese, an imprint of Doubleday Books
Currently available in an Anchor Trade Paperback edition
Permission for adaptation and performance granted by Author.

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Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa, and grew up in northern Ontario and Quebec, and in Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master’s degree from Radcliffe College.
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her latest works include Hag-Seed, a novel revisitation of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, for the Hogarth Shakespeare Project, and Angel Catbird – with a cat-bird superhero – a graphic novel with co-creator Johnnie Christmas.
The Door is her latest volume of poetry (2007). Her most recent non-fiction books are Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2008) and In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (2011). Her novels include The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy and will be released in the fall as a series on Netflix; and The Robber Bride, Cat’s Eye, The Penelopiad, and The Handmaid’s Tale – now available as a TV series on Hulu.
Margaret Atwood will be receiving the Carl Sandburg Literary Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation on October 11, 2017.
A full bibliography can be seen here, along with further details on Ms. Atwood’s website.
Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.

Cast announcement coming soon!

Jennifer Blackmer (Playwright) is the 2015 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre Award winner for Emerging American Playwright. Her plays have been seen in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Berkeley and St. Louis, and include Human Terrain, Unraveled, Alias Grace, Delicate Particle Logic, and Borrowed Babies. In 2016, Jennifer’s screenplay for Human Terrain won the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Foundation prize through the Tribeca Film Institute, and the film is currently in pre-production. Jennifer has also been a finalist for the Sundance Film Institute Sloan Prize, the David Charles Horn Prize for Emerging Playwrights, the Fratti-Newman Political Play Contest, the Firehouse Festival of New American Theatre, and The O’Neill National Playwrights’ Conference, and her writing has been short-listed for both the Princess Grace Award and the Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship. Her work has been developed by Seven Devils, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, The Playwrights’ Center, The Lark and Activate Midwest. Jennifer is a Professor of Theatre and Associate Provost for Entrepreneurial Learning at Ball State University. Visit Jennifer’s website at


Karen Kessler (Director) is excited to return to Rivendell Theatre, a company she was part of starting, to get to work on Alias Grace with Jennifer Blackmer. She is a member of the ensemble at A Red Orchid Theatre where she most recently directed a production of Jennifer Healy’s The Nether. Amongst Karen’s directing credits are: Wrens (1996 and 2012), The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, Hamlet, and Ten Tiny Fingers, Nine Tiny Toes at Rivendell; Solstice, Blasted, Gagarin Way, and Mr. Kolpert at Red Orchid; A Number, God of Hell, Into the Woods, and War at other theatres around Chicago; Glengarry Glen Ross at the Northern Stage Ensemble in Newcastle, UK; Macbeth, Scapin, The Three Musketeers, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew and All’s Well That Ends Well at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Karen is a professor of directing and Shakespeare at Ball State University.

Sandburg Award Honors Margaret Atwood, Dave Eggers

“Authors Margaret Atwood and Dave Eggers will receive the 2017 Carl Sandburg Literary Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation and Chicago Public Library. … The Carl Sandburg Literary Award is presented annually to an acclaimed author in recognition of outstanding contributions to the literary world and honors a significant work or body of work that has enhanced the public’s awareness of the written word.”


An Adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace Is Heading to TV

“As with any Atwood adaptation, expect to see political themes, issues of gender and class, and questions regarding the treatment of mental illness woven throughout a plot that centers around the Canadian equivalent of Lizzie Borden.” – Caroline Hallemann

More information coming soon!

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