Theatre for a New Audience's 32nd season features boldly diverse plays by William Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett, John Ford and a joyful klezmer musical adapted by Robert Brustein from the stories of Nobel-winning Isaac Bashevis Singer.
As described by Jeffrey Horowitz, founding artistic director, "These works couldn't be more different, but each author explores with humor, irony and humanity worlds turned upside down." Mr. Horowitz noted that Theatre for a New Audience itself is poised for major change as this is its last season before moving to its first permanent home in the BAM Cultural District in downtown Brooklyn.
The discovery of Fiasco Theater's Cymbeline began two years ago when Jeffrey Horowitz saw the production in a 70-seat loft and invited Fiasco Theater to continue to develop their staging. In January, 2011, Theatre for a New Audience presented the Off-Broadway debut of Fiasco Theater and their Cymbeline at the New Victory Theater. Reviewing the production, Ben Brantley wrote "the comedy, poignancy and unlikely magic of Cymbeline surface gently and naturally." The production sold out.
Now for the first time, Theatre for a New Audience is partnering with seasoned Broadway and Off-Broadway commercial producers Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian and Tom Wirtshafter (Our Town directed by David Cromer) to present the original company of Fiasco Theater's Cymbeline. Co-directed by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld, Cymbeline is performed by six actors playing fourteen roles: Jessie Austrian, Paul L. Coffey, Andy Grotelueschen, Emily Young, Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld.
The 18-week engagement begins at the Barrow Street Theatre, 27 Barrow Street at Seventh Avenue. Performances begin August 27 with an opening September 8.
Fragments by Samuel Beckett directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne
Following acclaimed performances internationally, Theatre for a New Audience in association with Baryshnikov Arts Center presents the New York Premiere of C.I.C.T. / Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord's Fragments from the texts by Samuel Beckett.
Directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne, Fragments features Jos Houben, Kathryn Hunter and Marcello Magni. The three artists have worked extensively with Théâtre du Complicité.
In another of his exquisitely crafted, late-career creations, Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne interpret Samuel Beckett, the 20th century's greatest playwright. Samuel Beckett was acclaimed in part for his incomparable concision, his unique mastery of the breathtakingly profound short work. Fragments assembles the five Beckett shorts Rough for Theatre I, Rockaby, Act without Words II, Neither and Come and Go.
"Beckett was a perfectionist," writes Mr. Brook, "but can one be a perfectionist without an intuition of perfection? Today, with the passage of time, we see how false were the labels stuck on Beckettdespairing, negative, pessimistic. Indeed, he peers into the filthy abyss of human existence. His humor saves him and us from falling in, He rejects theories, dogmas, that offer pious consolations, yet his life was a constant, aching search for meaning."
Fragments plays November 9 through December 4 at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 West 37th Street.
Shlemiel the First, the Klezmer Musical, in its First New York Revival
Shlemiel the First, conceived and adapted by Robert Brustein (2010 National Medal of Arts awardee, Founder and Artistic director, American Repertory Theater (ART)) from Nobel Prize Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer's folk-tale, premiered in 1994 at ART to rave reviews. The New York Times celebrated Shlemiel as "A mix of comic misadventure, mysticism and sensuality" and John Lahr wrote "Shlemiel is busting its buttons with joy."
Shlemiel went on to delight audiences nationwide. Peak Performances at Montclair State University produced Shlemiel the First January, 2010 at the Alexander Kasser Theater in association with National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene. Previous productions have also appeared at Philadelphia's The American Music Theater Festival, San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater and Serious Fun! at Lincoln Center among other prestigious venues.
Theatre for a New Audience, National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene, New York University's Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts and Peak Performances at Montclair State University are proud to present the first New York revival of Shlemiel the First since only four performances at Serious Fun! nearly twenty years ago.