Theatre production looks at good vs. evil

Hanover College Theatre will present “Zastrozzi: The Master of Discipline,” Friday through Sunday, March 21-23, at 7:30 p.m. in Parker Auditorium on the Hanover Campus.

Written by Canadian playwright George F. Walker and directed by professor of theatre Jim Stark, the fantasy thriller looks at the struggle between good and evil as it emerges in the lives of a master criminal and a religious visionary.

Inspired by the Gothic novel, “Zastrozzi: A Romance,” by the English Romantic Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, the play takes place in 1893. Zastrozzi, the master criminal of all Europe and a self-proclaimed atheist, has focused for nearly three years on the pursuit of revenge against the murderer of his mother, the whimsical, inconstant and delusively God-obsessed artiste Verezzi.

With the help of his heartless protégé Bernardo and his sometimes lover, the seductress Matilda, Zastrozzi chases Verezzi to a small town in the Italian countryside and engineers an elaborate plot to destroy his enemy. But while Verezzi may be an easy target, his tutor Victor, a former priest, presents a much more difficult challenge.

The play retains all the major characters and plot of Shelley’s 1810 novel, and addresses the same themes: atheism, revenge, and the ethical/moral debates and issues relating to retribution. It also contains violence and mature themes.

Tickets for “Zastrozzi: The Master of Discipline” are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (65+), $5 for youth (high school and under) and free for Hanover faculty and staff.