Along with Shannon ("Revolutionary Road," Grace), the cast includes Brendan Averett (A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It) as Bartender/First Policeman, Stephanie Bunch (A Shadow with No Form, Forever 27) as Dennie, Liam Craig (Boeing-Boeing, The Internationalist) as The Bum/First Man/The Drunk, Tony nominee Kristine Nielsen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) as Concierge/Ma Piper, Gregor Paslawsky (The Sadness of Others, Not Knowing) as Second Old Man, Ryan Quinn (King Lear, Hamlet) as Second Man/Postman/The Killer, Noble Shropshire (Underling, The Drowsy Chaperone) as First Old Man/Old Gent, Paul Sparks (Hedda Gabler, "Boardwalk Empire") as Edward, Robert Stanton (A Free Man of Color, Mary Stuart) as The Architect and Gordon Tashjian as Second Policeman.
The ensemble comprises Benjamin Cole (King Lear, The Tempest), Eric Folks (columbinus, The Wundelsteipen), Jonathan Hooks (King Lear, Julius Caesar), Kathleen Longazel (Firework for Real, The Wild Inside), Anastasia Olowin (Plum de Force, Obedient Steel), Frank Paiva (The House of Von Macramé, The Lily's Revenge), James Rees (Measure for Measure, The Whaleship), Quinn Warren (You May Go Now, Samaritans), Ariel Zuckerman (King Lear, The Merchant of Venice) and Vadim Krol (The Nose, Arabella).
Here's how the production is billed: "In The Killer, Berenger discovers a 'radiant city,' a kind of utopia near his dismal urban home. It is a perpetually sunny, impeccable, clean place full of marvelous architecture and beautiful gardens. But there is one hitch: a serial murderer has been killing people for so long that the authorities have given up trying to catch him."
Read Playbill.com's interview with Michael Shannon here. Last produced Off-Broadway in 1960, The Killer is the first of Ionesco's four plays featuring the heroic Everyman character Berenger. The other three are A Stroll in the Air, Exit the King and Rhinoceros.
"Theatre for a New Audience produces major modern authors alongside Shakespeare," Jeffrey Horowitz, founding artistic director of Theatre for a New Audience, said in a previous statement. "Michael Shannon, who played Berenger in 1998 at Chicago's A Red Orchid Theatre, introduced me to The Killer. Last season, Theatre for a New Audience produced Samuel Beckett's Fragments. Ionesco, like Beckett, writes about the comedy of human communication and characters unable to control their existence. Exploring the language and ideas of Ionesco after Beckett makes sense. And, Michael wanted to play Berenger again and was excited to work with director Darko Tresnjak in a new translation by Michael Feingold both of whom have long, fruitful relationships with Theatre for a New Audience."
The Killer is presented in a new translation by Michael Feingold. The production features scenery and costumes by Suttirat Larlarb, lighting by Matthew Richards and sound by Jane Shaw. Andrew Wade is the vocal director, Jonathan Kalb is the dramaturg, and Cole Bonenberger is the production stage manager.
Polonsky Shakespeare Center is located at 262 Ashland Place in Brooklyn. Visit tfana.org for more information.