Founded in 1979 by its artistic director Jeffrey Horowitz, Theatre for a New Audience is a modern classical theatre that produces Shakespeare alongside other major authors in a dialogue that spans centuries. Its 33rd season, the last before moving to its first home adjacent to BAM in the new Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District, features boldly diverse works from William Shakespeare, Franz Kafka in a theatrical adaptation by Colin Teevan, Samuel Beckett and Wallace Shawn. In a co-production with The Public Theater, Mr. Shawn's plays will be part of The Wallace Shaw-André Gregory Project.
As described by Horowitz, "Shakespeare, Kafka, Beckett and Shawn all use language in pointed and inimitable ways that make us think critically about who we are and how we live. Though the works couldn't be more different, what connects them is each author explores with humor, irony and insight what it is that makes us human. The human animal is obviously the underlying subject of every major writer, but there is something particularly incisive about the visions of these writers which speak to one another in sharply illuminating ways."
Much Ado About Nothing
Starring Maggie Siff, Directed by Arin Arbus, February 2 - April 13 at The Duke on 42nd Street, 229 West 42nd Street
Maggie Siff (Mad Men and Sons of Anarchy) brilliant as Kate in last season's The Taming of the Shrew, which Arin Arbus staged to critical acclaim, returns to play Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. Like Kate and Petruchio, Beatrice and Benedick become a couple only after insult and attack. In this remarkably modern comedy, dazzling language becomes a mediating force between the fusty conventions of love and marriage and the complexities of extraordinarily intelligent and worldly-wise people. Ms. Arbus says Much Ado About Nothing is "filled with exuberant humor and witbut underneath the wit are traces of despair." Beatrice and Benedick's love is "ambivalent, composed of desire and distrust, longing and shame, warmth and anger."
Theatre for a New Audience's production of Much Ado About Nothing is sponsored by Deloitte and part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national program of the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest.
Directed by Walter Meierjohann and starring Kathryn Hunter, April 3-17 at Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 West 37th Street
"Kathryn Hunter's performance is well-nigh perfect. Colin Teevan's script is true to Kafka's text and crackles with internal tension." Time Out, London - Five Stars
In the New York Premiere of this savagely funny and poignant production from London's The Young Vic, Kathryn Hunter (Olivier Award winner, Complicité founding member) plays a reluctantly civilized ape who, dressed in white tie, tails and a bowler hat, addresses a group of distinguished scientists who have asked to hear about "his" prior life. Directed by Walter Meierjohann, Kafka's Monkey is Colin Teevan's powerfully theatrical adaptation of Franz Kafka's 1917 story A Report to an Academy. In 2004, Theatre for a New Audience produced Mr. Teevan's Svejk based on Jaroslaw Hasek's classic Czech novel of the same title.
This engagement is produced in association with the Baryshnikov Arts Center.
Directed by Peter Brook & Marie-Hélène Estienne, Return Engagement April 21 - May 5, at Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 West 37th Street
Mr. Brook and Beckett are a seamless match in their reverence for theatrical economy using minimal means to maximum effect." Charles Isherwood, New York Times, 2011 (from the review of last season's New York production)