The Kount of Monty Kristo
started as a one act which was first produced at Webster University's
Stage Three in St. Louis. A very unconventional play, The
Kount is about a theatre company that has lived for forty years
in a bomb shelter after the nuclear holocaust. (Chambers got the idea
when he performed at a theatre in Nebraska that was right next to a
missile silo.) At the suggestion of Tony Kushner, who at the time was
on a fellowship with the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Chambers expanded
the play to a full length.
The full length version opened at Belmont University in Nashville. Belmont,
a conservative Southern Baptist college, allowed Chambers to stage the
play without reading it first.
When the production opened, the president of Belmont threatened
to close the show unless there were major changes made. Unfortunately
for the University, Clara Hieronymus, president of the American
Theatre Critics Association, intervened, threatening to write an
article on the censorship of the arts.
The production was allowed to continue without change and it played
to SRO audiences for the rest of the run.
“Bizzare and very Funny Piece of Entertainment. The unexpected
finale left the audience astonished.”
At the current time The Kount of Monty Kristo is not
available for productions.