The Man of Destiny
by The Archive Theater Company

Feb. 07 - Mar. 01, 2020

Who was Napoleon before he became an Emperor? Find out in this hilarious, intimate comedy by George Bernard Shaw. Join us in an intimate 19th century tavern setting in a historic setting for an evening of raucous, witty fun and watch the ultimate battle of the sexes. Will Napoleon be defeated before he even embarks on his career of conquest? Framed with a new translation of the sultry letters of Napoleon to Josephine, and served up with a liberal side of romance, this is the perfect Valentine’s theatrical feast.

Under the direction of Garrison Martt and Jennifer Rose Davis, and produced by Stephanie Moore, THE MAN OF DESTINY stars Michael Rodriguez (Napoleon Bonaparte), Maggie Thompson (The Mysterious Lady), Ryan Blakey (The Lieutenant), and Stephen Cook (Giuseppe). 

A fierce young general . . . a mysterious lady . . . a furiously funny battle of wits . . . all over a love letter. Who was Napoleon before he became an Emperor? Find out in this hilarious, intimate comedy by George Bernard Shaw. 


Audio feature: An Interview by John Aielli of Jennifer Rose Davis, Michael Rodriguez and Maggie Thompson about The Man of Destiny by George Bernard Shaw, KUT-FM, February 3, 2020


Following its epic and critically acclaimed Cyrano de Bergerac, The Archive Theater, along with Pioneer Farms, presents a new interactive theatrical experience set in the Napoleonic era. Travel back in time to a late 18th-century tavern, where a young Napoleon Bonaparte has paused for an evening’s rest after his first triumphant win at the battle of Lodi. Listen to 18th-century music from live musicians, eat French and Italian delicacies, and play period tavern games as you watch the machinations of The Mysterious Lady and the bumbling of the entitled Lieutenant. 

Join us for an evening of raucous, witty fun and watch the ultimate battle of the sexes. Will Napoleon be defeated before he even embarks on his career of conquest? Framed with a new translation of the sultry letters of Napoleon to Josephine, and served up with a liberal side of romance, this is the perfect Valentine’s gift for that special someone.  

Garrison Martt, the play’s Director says: “I’ve always enjoyed the plays of George Bernard Shaw. He creates entertaining stories with interesting characters, witty dialogue and some social commentary. As Americans, we may distance ourselves from his opinions about the English, yet his ideas also translate to our own society”

 Jennifer Rose Davis, the play’s Co-Director, said: “Napoleon is a fascinating, complex figure in French history who George Bernard Shaw makes approachable and fallible in this wonderfully funny play. Our production of The Man of Destiny also emphasizes the complexities of Napoleon and Josephine’s tempestuous love affair by incorporating new translations of the passionate letters he wrote to her along with Shaw’s play.”

Michael Rodriguez, the actor playing Napoleon, said about the show, “Working with Archive theater has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had doing live theater. The amount of care and detail they put into every aspect of their productions is something I think all other companies should strive for. You can tell it comes from a place of love from the first audition, which will probably have great snacks. 

I’m honored to have the opportunity to take on a role like Napoleon. I should have crippling anxiety about it, but the support blanket of Garrison Martt and Jennifer Rose Davis as directors has helped me sleep at night. What worries me is having such outrageously talented scene partners like Maggie Thompson and Ryan Blakey. Shows will be stolen from me; I know it.”

 The Archive Theater presents its second performance as a company with George Bernard Shaw’s THE MAN OF DESTINY. They have assembled a cast and crew of award-winning artists and designers to give the audience a unique and interactive experience of being in a late 18th-century tavern environment in the historic Wessels Hall at Pioneer Farms. Come enjoy 18th-century tavern games and live music on period instruments and experience an epically funny battle of the sexes for Valentine’s Day and the entire month!


For behind-the-scenes photos of the creation process, please visit us here:


 The Man of Destiny Production Team includes:  Garrison Martt, Director, Jennifer Rose Davis, Co-Director, Translator, and Writer of Additional Scenes; Stephanie Moore, Producer; Garrison Martt and Jennifer Rose Davis - Set and Props Designers; James Barnes Technical Director; Jennifer Rose Davis and Star Maddox, Costume Designers; Howard Burkett, Musical Director; John Michael Hoke, Stage Manager; Svetlana Koutseridi, Assistant Stage Manager; Steve Rogers, Production Photographer.


More About the Play, the Artists and The Archive Theater:



THE MAN OF DESTINY was written in 1897 by George Bernard Shaw, one of the greatest and most prolific playwrights of the fin-de-siècle and the early twentieth century. Shaw was a political activist and polemicist as well as a playwright, and he used his dramatic works as vehicles to spread his social, religious, and political ideas. He wrote more than 60 plays including Arms and the Man (1894), Pygmalion (1912), and St Joan (1923). THE MAN OF DESTINY was published along with Arms and the Man as part of a collection entitled Plays Pleasant. It tells the story of a young Napoleon Bonaparte, flush from his first major victory at the Battle of Lodi in his invasion of Italy. As he eats a simple meal and chats with the Innkeeper, a Mysterious Lady enters the scene and there ensues a delightful, breathtaking flurry of lost/stolen dispatches, a bumbling Lieutenant, and spies and counterspies—all over a love letter.


Garrison Martt (Director, Artistic Director of The Archive Theater) has been active in community theater for more than 40 years with productions at Zach Scott, Vortex, The Baron’s Men, Pioneer Farms, etc.  He is a lifetime member of the Austin Poetry Society and founded the Past Poetry Project in 1995. He is also a longtime member of The Society for Creative Anachronism where he has created performances of Beowulf, The Song of Roland, The Battle of Maldon and more. He and Jennifer Rose Davis established The Archive Theater in 2018.


Jennifer Rose Davis (Co-Director, Translations, and Additional Scenes) is a writer, director, actress, singer, musician, costumer, mask maker, artist, graphic designer, and all-around Renaissance woman who serves as the Managing Director for The Archive Theater. Her theatrical credits include Music Director, Costumer, and Set Designer for Der Bestrafte Brudermord with The Hidden Room, as well as Associate Costumer for The Hidden Room’s The History of King Lear by Nahum Tate, for which she won an Austin Critic’s Table award. Jennifer designed costumes and danced Butoh for Still Now with Shrewd Productions. She created Tudor era costumes for Austin Shakespeare’s staged readings of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII and Hillary Mantle’s Wolf Hall, and Elizabethan costumes for The Merry Wives of Windsor co-produced by Austin Scottish Rite Theater and Weird Sisters. Her latest consuming project was for the Zilker Summer Musical, The Little Mermaid. She translated and directed The Archive Theater’s inaugural production, Cyrano de Bergerac, last year.


Stephanie Moore (Producer) is a freelance producer of film and theater based in Austin. She has served as the Co-Managing Director of The Filigree Theatre, under whose banner she produced Any Night (Los Angeles), Betrayal, A Delicate Ship (Austin Premiere), Trio (World Premiere), Miss Julie, When We Were Young and Unafraid (Austin Premiere) and Shakespeare in the Dark:  Macbeth. Her feature film producing credits include Love’s Labour’s Lost and Child of Light. She has produced and first assistant directed numerous short films, music videos, and web series, including Hardish Bodies and Bye Bye Baby. Her passion for producing and working with filmmakers began with her role as a Filmmaker Liaison for Austin Film Festival’s Winter in the Blood, Black or White, Beneath the Darkness, Hunger, and Burning Bodhi, in addition to her work as a Theatre Manager for SXSW. Moore graduated from Texas State University with a degree in English and dual minors in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies and History. 


Michael Rodriguez (Napoleon Bonaparte) is a graduate of the University of Tampa, where he studied film and English Literature. Michael is thrilled to continue working with Archive Theater after being featured in their inaugural production of Cyrano de Bergerac as Le Bret. He has appeared in a number of local productions including City Theatre’s Playhouse Creatures, Sam Bass Theatre’s Inga Binga & Flaming Idiots, Bottle Alley Theatre’s Wraith Radio, and Mercurial Theatre’s The Colour Out of Space & Call of Cthulhu. He recently co-produced and performed in the feature film Austin Weird with Thirty Thousand Feet Productions.


Maggie Thompson (The Mysterious Lady) celebrates The Man of Destiny as her second show with The Archive Theater, first appearing as a member of the ensemble in Cyrano de Bergerac. Maggie has also performed in Doctor Faustus and other productions with The Baron’s Men, as well as The Miracle Worker and others with Concordia University Texas. Maggie’s Film/TV credits include American Crime (ABC), My All American (Anthem Productions), and Men, Women, and Children (Paramount). 


Ryan Blakey (Lieutenant) is a recent graduate of the University of North Texas and is excited to have the opportunity to work with such a wonderful group of people. The Man of Destiny marks his first performance in the Austin area since 2014, where he previously had the opportunity to perform as Touchstone in As You Like It and the Jester in Once Upon A Mattress. In school, he played Harry Potter in A Very Potter Musical and Bobby Pepper in Denton Community Theatre’s production of Curtains.


Stephen Cook (Giuseppe) has appeared in many theatrical productions, mostly Shakespeare, in the Austin area. He recently as Hotspur in The Baron’s Men’s Henry IV, Part One and as Berowne in their Love’s Labour’s Lost. The proud father of two youngsters, Stephen is a graduate of Texas State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance.


The Archive Theater, co-founded by Jennifer Rose Davis (Managing Director) and Garrison Martt (Artistic Director), is committed to producing high-level professional theater in the city of Austin. The Archive Theater’s mission is to breathe new life into classical theater and literature of the 16th through 20th centuries. We create new translations and adaptations of beloved stories to make them more accessible to contemporary audiences. We develop exquisitely detailed, extensively researched, and historically informed productions that provide visual context and understanding for the stories we tell. We combine powerful storytelling, gorgeous costumes, and live music on period instruments to give our patrons a taste of living in another world at another time.


Pioneer Farms (Co-Producing Theater and Venue) is an astonishing trip into Texas history located within fifteen minutes of downtown Austin. Preserved historic buildings relocated from across Central Texas are collected in six themed areas open for walking tours: an 1841 Tonkawa Encampment, an 1853 Walnut Creek Greenbelt, an 1868 German Emigrant Farm, an 1873 Texian Farm, an 1887 Cotton Planter's Farm, and an 1899 Sprinkle Corner rural village. In each area you can step back in time and experience Texas history first-hand. Explore more than 90 beautiful, wooded acres and discover exciting, memorable ways to live Texas' colorful past with your family. Costumed volunteer interpreters at the historic sites bring the 19th century to life.


Wessels Hall, where The Man of Destiny will be performed, anchors the south side of Pioneer Farms’ Sprinkle Corner town square. It is a one-story wooden building surrounded by large decks that served as a dance hall and community center. Starting in the 1850s, dance halls were important social centers across Texas and a key reason that Texas’ rich music culture—from German polkas to western swing to conjunto—thrived and has been passed down. Built around 1900, Wessels Hall came from West Point, a small community in Fayette County near La Grange. Built by two brothers, Wessels Hall features a free-span interior floor—an open dance floor with no supporting poles—and is typical of many in this area at the turn of the twentieth century. It was donated to Pioneer Farms by the builders’ family and moved there in late 2012.







The Man of Destiny
by George Bernard Shaw
The Archive Theater Company

February 07 - March 01, 2020
Pioneer Farms
10621 Pioneer Farms Dr
Austin, TX, 78754


A limited run of THE MAN OF DESTINY by George Bernard Shaw, a comic drama about an epic battle of the sexes between a young Napoleon Bonaparte and a Mysterious Lady set in the romance and danger of 18th-century Italy, will be presented as a co-production of The Archive Theater and Pioneer Farms at 10621 Pioneer Farms Drive, Austin, Texas 78754.

Shows are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m and Sundays at 5:00 p.m. February 6 - 29, 2020. There is no show on Sunday February 16. Special low-cost Educational Performance Thursday February 20, 2020 at 1 p.m.

Tickets to THE MAN OF DESTINY are $25 each for General Admission, $20 each Seniors, and $15 each for Students and Groups of 6 or more which can be purchased by E-mailing  To learn more and purchase tickets online, please visit or call 512.923.2387.  

Beverages and Food will be available for purchase prior to performances at the Tavern. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter:  @ArchiveTheater and on Instagram:  thearchivetheater.

The running time of THE MAN OF DESTINY is approximately 75 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.  For production pictures and video visit: