Acclaimed for Othello, Thompson Will Be Emperor Jones for Irish Rep

News   Acclaimed for Othello, Thompson Will Be Emperor Jones for Irish Rep John Douglas Thompson, the Obie and Lucille Lortel Award-winning actor for last season's acclaimed revival of Theater for a New Audience's Othello, will return to Off-Broadway in the Irish Repertory Theatre's 2009-10 season opener, The Emperor Jones by Eugene O'Neill.
Othello stars Juliet Rylance and John Douglas Thompson
Othello stars Juliet Rylance and John Douglas Thompson Photo by Gerry Goodstein

Previews begin Oct. 7, prior to its official opening Oct. 18 at The Irish Rep's home at 132 West 22nd Street. Ciaran O'Reilly, whose direction of O'Neill's The Hairy Ape at the Irish Rep earned him Drama Desk, Drama League and Callaway Award nominations, directs the early-career play by O'Neill.

According to Irish Rep, "The Emperor Jones is the story of Brutus Jones, an African-American man who sets himself up as emperor on a Caribbean island after fleeing the United States following a prison escape. The 1920 expressionistic drama recounts Brutus' story in flashbacks as he makes his way through the forest in an attempt to flee subjects who have rebelled against him."

Thompson's Broadway credits include Cyrano de Bergerac with Kevin Kline and Jennifer Garner and Julius Caesar opposite Denzel Washington. Other notable Off-Broadway credits include Women Beware Women (Red Bull Theatre) and Classical Theater of Harlem's King Lear, for which he received an AUDLECO nomination.

O'Reilly co-founded The Irish Repertory Theatre with Charlotte Moore.

Full cast and creative team for the Emperor Jones are to be announced. Performances will play to Nov. 29.

For more information call (212) 727-2737 or visit www.irishrep.org.