The story is set in Padua, Italy, in a distant and unspecified past. From his quarters, Giovanni Guasconti, a young student of letters, at the University of Padua, looks at Beatrice, the beautiful daughter of Dr. Giacomo Rappaccini, a scientist who works in isolation. Beatrice is confined to the lush and locked gardens, which are filled with poisonous plants grown by her father. Giovanni notices Beatrice's strangely intimate relationship with the plants as well as the withering of fresh flowers and the death of an insect when exposed to her skin or breath. Having fallen in love, Giovanni enters the garden and meets with Beatrice a number of times, while ignoring his mentor, Professor Pietro Baglioni, who warns him that Rappaccini is devious and that he and his work should be avoided.
Giovanni discovers that Beatrice, having been raised in the presence of poison, is poisonous herself. Beatrice urges Giovanni to look past her poisonous exterior and see her pure and innocent essence, creating great feelings of doubt in Giovanni. He begins to suffer the consequences of his encounters with the plants – and with Beatrice – when he discovers that he himself has become poisonous; after another meeting with Baglioni, Giovanni brings a powerful antidote to Beatrice so that they can be together, but the antidote kills Beatrice rather than cure her of her poisonous nature.
Dates: August 5, 7, 9, and 12, 2015.