In the play, the titular general (Michael P. Sullivan) returns to Rome, victorious from war with the Goths, and brings the Queen of Goths Tamora (Karin Rosnizeck) and three of her sons in tow as prisoner. He presents them all to Saturninus (Vince Eisenson) and Bassianus (Keegan Cassady), the sons of the late Roman emperor who have been squabbling over which one of them will get to take the throne. Upon his arrival, Titus sacrifices one of the queen's sons, despite her desperate pleas for mercy, and she and her two remaining sons swear to wreak revenge on him. Titus is informed that the people of Rome have voted to make him emperor, but he refuses and gives the throne to Saturninus instead. The sleazy Saturninus proposes to marry Titus' daughter Lavinia (Rachael Jacobs) and Titus agrees, even though Lavinia is already betrothed to, and in love with, Bassianus. Titus gets into a fight with his sons about it and coolly pulls out a gun and shoots one of his sons. Saturninus then notices how attractive Tamora is and decides to marry her instead, denouncing the Andronicus family for its violence. Tamora, now the empress of Rome, convinces Saturninus to pardon Titus and begins her plot for revenge that will spur a back-and-forth struggle of violent vengeance between her and Titus.