The play will be presented in repertory with a 90-minute version of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and Michelle Matlock's one-woman show The Mammy Project.
Silence will be directed by Suzanne Agins with a cast that includes Helen Coxe, Greg Hildreth, Kelly Hutchinson, Chris Kipiniak, Joe Plummer and Makela Spielman. The opening performance for Silence is Jan. 21.
According to press notes, the play "is a contemporary comedy set in medieval England that follows the fate of a feisty French princess who is commanded to marry a young Viking Lord with a shocking secret. On the young couple's wedding night the King of England decides he should have married the princess himself, forcing the newlyweds to set out for the Viking outpost in the north. The resulting road trip causes each of the characters to examine their views on nationalism, religion, language, gender, intolerance, tyranny and class."
Buffini's plays include Dinner (which went up at the National Theatre in London in 2002), Jordan (co-written with Anna Reynolds) Blavatsky's Tower, Gabriel, Doomsday Girl, The Games Room and Loveplay. Agins, the director, is the artistic associate for new plays at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
The Taming of the Shrew is directed by Andrew Grosso. In the production, "seven actors play all twenty-three roles in a fast and furious ninety-minute retelling," according to press notes. The cast includes B. Brian Argotsinger, Arthur Aulisi, Autumn Dornfeld, Jonathan Kells Phillips, Alex Smith and Paul Whitthorne. The Mammy Project, written and performed by Matlock, is directed by Amy Gordon. According to press notes, the play "weaves the untold history of Nancy Green, the first African-American woman hired to play the part of ‘Aunt Jemima' at the 1893 World's Fair with African-American activists like Ida B. Wells, who struggled to have black women represented at the very same World's Fair."
The set design for Silence and Shrew is by Ryan Palmer, with lighting design by Nick Francone and sound design by Serena Rockower. The costume design for Silence is by Liam O'Brien and for Shrew by Becky Lasky.
The American Theatre of Actors is located at 314 West 54th Street. To charge tickets call (212) 352-3101; to make a reservation call (212) 696-6699. For more information visit www.roundtableensemble.org.