From July 6-Aug. 14, 2011, the RSC will take up residence at the Park Avenue Armory where a full-scale replica of the company's intimate thrust stage Courtyard Theatre will be constructed to house the plays. The 930-seat theatre, which will take two weeks to construct, is being specifically designed as a freestanding structure to fit within the Armory's Wade Thompson Drill Hall.
The 45-performance engagement will highlight works from the RSC's 2009-2010 season including repertory performances of Antony and Cleopatra, As You Like It, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet and The Winter’s Tale.
The plays will mark the New York directorial debut of RSC artistic director Michael Boyd. By the time the five plays begin performances in New York, the 44-member RSC acting ensemble (and 23 musicians) will have collaborated on the pieces for three years.
The existing Courtyard serves as a prototype for renovations on the RSC's flagship theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, which will be completed later this year. Once the new theatre has been fully renovated, the Courtyard will be dismantled.
“Collaboration lies at the heart of everything we do at the Royal Shakespeare Company, which is why I am so pleased that we are able to work with such great partners to bring the culmination of three years' work in the U.K. to New York in 2011 as part of the Lincoln Center Festival," Boyd said in a statement. "We have returned to our founding principles as an ensemble company, investing for the long term in our theater artists, plunging into the work and drawing in our audiences. Our thrust stage, wrapping the audience around the action, allows people to reach out to our actors and to each other in a space which is both intimate and powerful. I am delighted that we can recreate that intimacy right here in New York City in the extraordinary space of Park Avenue Armory." Tickets for the engagement will go on sale in spring 2011. Visit LincolnCenterFestival.