Theatre for a New Audience Has Beckett, Shakespeare, Shlemiel the First and John Ford in 2011-12

News   Theatre for a New Audience Has Beckett, Shakespeare, Shlemiel the First and John Ford in 2011-12 Theatre for a New Audience's 32nd season — its final season before moving to a permanent home in the BAM Cultural District — will offer an Isaac Bashevis Singer-inspired Klezmer musical, plus plays by William Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett and John Ford.

Ben Steinfeld and Jessie Austrian
Ben Steinfeld and Jessie Austrian Photo by Gerry Goodstein

The directors working in the New York City company's season include Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne, Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld, David Gordon, Selina Cartmell and Arin Arbus.

In addition to the previously announced CymbelineFiasco Theater's six-actor reinvention of the Shakespeare fairy tale, co-directed by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld for a run starting Aug. 27 at the Barrow Street Theatre —  the TFANA season includes:

Fragments
By Samuel Beckett
Directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne
Nov. 9-Dec. 4 at the Baryshnikov Arts Center

"Following acclaimed performances internationally, Theatre for a New Audience in association with Baryshnikov Arts Center presents the New York Premiere of C.I.C.T. / Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord's Fragments from the texts by Samuel Beckett." Fragments "assembles the five Beckett shorts Rough for Theatre I, Rockaby, Act without Words II, Neither and Come and Go" and features Théâtre du Complicité veterans Jos Houben, Kathryn Hunter and Marcello Magni.

Shlemiel the First, the Klezmer Musical
Conceived and adapted by Robert Brustein
Lyrics by Arnold Weinstein
Music composed, adapted and orchestrated by Hankus Netsky
Arrangements and additional music by Zalmen Mlotek
Directed and choreographed by David Gordon
Dec. 13-31 at New York University's Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts

"Shlemiel the First, conceived and adapted by Robert Brustein (2010 National Medal of Arts awardee, founder and artistic director of American Repertory Theater) from Nobel Prize Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer's folk-tale, premiered in 1994 at ART to rave reviews. Shlemiel went on to delight audiences nationwide. In Chelm, a village of fools, the naive beadle Shlemiel is sent on a pilgrimage to spread the wisdom of the local sages. His simple-minded folly turns an already absurd world hilariously, and redemptively, topsy-turvy. Half sad-sack clown, half accidental messiah, Shlemiel's charm is in his childlike innocence, and the charm of this musical is in its playfulness and unapologetic, unalloyed delight. With a cast of eight, a live Klezmer band and topsy-turvy set, it gently mocks the lavishness of other musicals."

The Broken Heart
By John Ford
Directed by Selina Cartmell
Feb. 4-March 4, 2012, at The Duke on 42nd Street

"[The] 1629 tragic-comic gem written by John Ford (Tis Pity She's a Whore) is set in ancient Sparta, but Ford's world more closely resembles the 17th-century court of Charles II. A young woman forced to marry a ridiculously jealous codger. A cruel nobleman bent on frustrating his sister's happiness. A princess who tries to stand aloof from the emotional discord, but lives to feel love ruining her composure. These are the main plot engines." Cartmell, a British artist living in Ireland, was the 2007 protégé to Julie Taymor as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. This marks her American directing debut. This will be the play's Off-Broadway premiere. It will star Annika Boras (Lady Macbeth in Theatre for a New Audience's 2011 Macbeth) as Penthea. The Taming of the Shrew
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Arin Arbus
March 17-April 20, 2012, at The Duke on 42nd Street

"Fresh from her triumphs with the tragedies of Othello and Macbeth starring John Douglas Thompson, Theatre for a New Audience's associate artistic director Arin Arbus turns to comedy."

Jeffrey Horowitz is founding artistic director of TFANA.

For subscription information, visit www.tfana.org. Single tickets will be available in the fall.

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