Swedish master Ingmar Bergman's visits to the Brooklyn Academy of Music are becoming more frequent as the director grows older. Bergman just visited BAM in early 2002 with Schiller's Maria Stuart, which came only six months after the Brooklyn debut of his view of Strindberg's The Ghost Sonata.
Now, with the Schiller still fresh in the minds of New York theatregoers, comes word that Bergman will bring his version of Ibsen's Ghosts to BAM's Harvey Theatre June 10-14, 2003. Pernilla August, Jan Malmsjö, Jonas Malmsjö, Örgan Ramberg and Angela Kovács star in Ibsen's tale of the sins of the father being visited on the son.
Also set for BAM 2003 season is a Royal National Theatre and The Market Theatre of Johannesburg co-production of Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona's The Island. The latter two authors, also actors, shared a Tony Award in 1975 when the South African production came to Broadway. They will again play their characters (named John and Winston) in this mounting of the drama, which takes place on Robben Island, the maximum security prison where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were once held captive.
Previously announced for BAM are the Donmar Warehouse's productions of Twelfth Night and Uncle Vanya, which will play the Brooklyn Academy of Music instead. The dates are Jan. 10-Feb. 9, 2003, with a Jan. 17 opening, at the Harvey Theater. The two shows opened at UK's Donmar this autumn. Academy Award nominee Emily Watson heads the casts of both productions, which will play in repertory. David Bradley, Helen McCrory, Cherry Morris, Simon Russell Beale and Mark Strong are also featured in the cast. Chekhov's Vanya runs through Nov. 20 in the UK, while Shakespeare's Night plays through Nov. 30.
Playwright Brian Friel, author of Translations and Philadelphia, Here I Come!, has written the adaptation of the Chekhov classic.
—By Robert Simonson