Bloody Poetry

Bloody Poetry

By Adam Long, Daniel Singer & Jess Winfield

Directed by Katrina Stevenson

Mar. 15 – Apr. 7, 2019

Tickets start at: $29.50

Preview Performances: Mar. 13 – 14 | Wed. – Thr. 8pm | Tickets start at: $18

Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center for the Performing Arts

On This Page


Weekly Planet

Tampa Tribune

What It's About

Jobsite offers another tantalizing treat in our successful lineage of shows for the Halloween season: Howard Brenton’s literate and darkly funny Bloody Poetry, a gorgeous retelling of the famous “Haunted Summer” of 1816 that features Mary Shelley, Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley in a time where poets were as revered and reviled as today’s rock stars. Full of sex, death and ghost stories, audiences can expect an eerie, potent and engaging piece of theater by a modern master.

In Bloody Poetry “Mad, bad and dangerous to know” George, Lord Byron (David M. Jenkins) meets the sickly radical poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (Chris Holcom). They are introduced via a shared mistress, Claire (Kari Goetz). Along with Bysshe’s wife and fellow writer Mary Shelley (Dena Cousins), these four form a ménage a quatre in the oft-chronicled “Haunted Summer” of 1816. Tagging along behind Byron is his socially-inept personal physician and unauthorized papparazi-like biographer, Dr. Polidori (Jason Vaughan Evans). Haunting Bysshe throughout is the spirit of his first wife, Harriet (Summer Bohnenkamp).

During their first meeting in Geneva flows brandy (at least for Byron, Bysshe didn’t drink), free love and the greatest Romantic poetry the world has ever known. They challenge and delight each other with ghost stories, poetry recitation and political debate. Meanwhile in the mind of Mary Shelley, Frankenstein’s monster waits to be born.

These figures were a century and a half ahead of their time. They pioneered the classic Romantic quest for a modern Utopia. They advocate atheism, Platonic ideals and free love. “All of us will become magnificent,” says Mary. “Let us play at gods and goddesses.” However, for Byron and his circle to do so and “to live and love without fear” there is a heavy price to be paid.

While there is an abundant source of theatrical adaptations and inspired pieces based on great literature, very little exists based on literature’s greatest writers themselves, especially the Romantics.

Lord Byron and the Shelleys wrote in a very unique period of Western history. In a time of cultural upheaval, when England’s (and Europe’s) political and economic axis was end over end, great thinkers were finding the new light. Bloody Poetry’s subjects are the artistic contemporaries of Paine, Jefferson and (quite literally) Godwin and Wollstonecraft. These were not simply poets, waxing over nature, beauty, and religion. These deans of England’s “Satanic School” of literature were visionaries, philosophers, revolutionaries in a time that would critically shape a new turn in Western civilization.

(L-R) Chris Holcom, Jason Evans and David M. Jenkins in Jobsite's Bloody Poetry. (Photo: Brian Smallheer.)

Brenton is doing something markedly ambitious in this phantasmagoric play. He is celebrating the idea of the committed artist who seeks to stir and provoke sullen, defeated bourgeois England. At the same time, with clear-eyed honesty, he shows how difficult it is to upset the moral order. – The Guardian


Cast & Crew

  • Katrina Stevenson – Director
  • Neil Gobioff – Stage Manager


  • Summer Bohnenkamp – Harriet
  • Dena Cousins – Mary Shelley
  • Jason Evans – Dr. Polidori
  • Chris Holcom – Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • David M. Jenkins – George, Lord Byron
  • Kari Goetz – Claire


  • Shawn Paonessa – Assistant Director
  • Katrina Stevenson – Costume Designer
  • Brian Smallheer – Scenic Designer

We love Your Feedback

Make the world a better place and give us a Google review. It’s free! 


Ask about volunteering for shows, fundraisers, or just Jobsite in general.

Contact Us About A Show

We love your feedback. Share your thoughts about a show you saw!

The Jobsite Newsletter


Special Invites

Secret Deals

All the Best Stuff

Organization Ticket Request

Request tickets to be donated to your organization.

Attachments are limited to 10MB. Accepted files types are .pdf.

Technical Director Contact

Questions for our Technical Director.

Staged Readings Contact

To perform in a reading, have your script considered, or have other Staged Readings questions.

Attachments are limited to 5MB per attachment. Accepted files types are .jpg, .gif, .pdf, .txt, .doc, .png.

Contact The Artistic Director

Get in touch with Artistic Director David M. Jenkins for all business and production related questions and touring information.

Contact The Development Chair

Donating to fundraisers, plus any other grant or sponsorship questions.

Auditions Contact

Audition questions, scheduling, resumes and headshots. Also, read about our auditions for more info.

Attachments are limited to 5MB per attachment. Accepted files types are .jpg, .gif, .pdf, .txt, .doc, .png.

Donations & Support Contact

Be a Jobsite sponsor, send us something from our wishlist, advertising questions, etc.

Tickets Contact

General questions and information regarding tickets, group rates, discounts, and individual ticket donations.

Attachments are limited to 5MB. Accepted files types are .pdf.

Contact The Webmaster

Email our Online Producer regarding website questions, broken links and general kudos for all around groovy site design.