Gardner replaces Rosal Colón in the role of Emilia Lanier. A reason was not provided for Colón's departure from the production, which began previews Sept. 13.
The Abingdon Theatre Company production also features Brian Robert Burns, Sean Dugan and Stafford Clark-Price.
Under the direction of Daniela Varon, The English Channel marks the first production of Abingdon's 16th season. Performances continue through Oct. 5.
Brustein's comedy "examines the murky relationship between great writers and their proclivity to 'borrow' ideas and material, tracing Shakespeare's relationship with The Earl of Southampton, the Dark Lady of the Sonnets, and Christopher Marlowe during the turbulent months before Marlowe's death," according to press notes.
The creative team includes Mike Billings (set and lighting design), Laura Crow (costume design) and Scott Killian (original music and sound design). Tickets are available by phoning (212) 868-4444 or by visiting www.smarttix.com.
The Abingdon Theatre Company is located at 312 West 36th Street in Manhattan.