Theatre for a New Audience Will Present Wallace Shawn, André Gregory, Larry Pine, Maggie Siff, Kafka's Monkey
By Kenneth Jones
Theatre for a New Audience's 33rd season — its last one before moving into a permanent home in Brooklyn next year — will boast the work of William Shakespeare, Franz Kafka in a theatrical adaptation by Colin Teevan, Samuel Beckett and Wallace Shawn. The company, founded in 1979 by its artistic director Jeffrey Horowitz, announced the 2012-13 season on Aug. 1.
Actors participating in the season include Deborah Eisenberg, Jos Houben, Kathryn Hunter, Marcello Magni, Emily McDonnell, Larry Pine, Wallace Shawn, Maggie Siff and Jennifer Tilly.
TFANA bills itself as "a modern classical theatre that produces Shakespeare alongside other major authors in a dialogue that spans centuries." In 2013, it will move to its first home adjacent to BAM in the new Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District.
In a co-production with The Public Theater, Shawn's plays will be part of The Wallace Shawn-André Gregory Project. Shawn's The Designated Mourner and Grasses of a Thousand Colors (American premiere) will be staged by his longtime friend and collaborator André Gregory.
Here's the 2012-13 TFANA season at a glance:
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
The Wallace Shawn-André Gregory Project
"Completed in 1996, The Designated Mourner is a monologue-triptych in which three artist-intellectuals describe their experiences as their once-liberal country sinks into totalitarianism. A famous poet-intellectual, his daughter, and her husband — people made of very different moral fiber despite their shared highbrow background — observe the subtle and flagrant transformations to everyday life, public affairs and personal relationships as their government brutally cracks down on anyone suspected of subversion. Its New York premiere, which played at an abandoned men's club in Manhattan's financial district, was the most coveted ticket of the 2000 theatre season.
"For this first New York revival, the cast of that production — Shawn with Deborah Eisenberg and Larry Pine — returns. Grasses of a Thousand Colors won hugely enthusiastic critical praise at its world premiere at the Royal Court Theatre in 2009. Wallace Shawn's most outlandish work to date, this disturbing and anomalously beautiful play touches on almost every imaginable form of sexual expression while spinning a dystopian fantasy about ecological disaster. Shawn, Emily McDonnell and Jennifer Tilly from the Royal Court production reunite for this American premiere. Ben, the play's central character, is a doctor who believes he has solved world hunger when he figures out how to rejigger the metabolisms of animals to tolerate eating their own kind. He ends up ruining the global ecosystem. Yet Grasses of a Thousand Colors is no mere social drama. Instead of exclusively dwelling on social disaster, it also explores the riotous sexual imaginations of Ben, his wife and his lovers."
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