THE EMPEROR

“Concentrated, compelling theater with a light touch.” - New York Magazine/Vulture.com

“Kathryn Hunter has a death grip on your attention with every change of posture.” - Theatermania (Editor's Pick)

“The inestimable Kathryn Hunter is extraordinary...the message about power, corruption, and dictatorships still comes across loud and clear.” - This Week in NY

“★★★★ In little more than an hour Hunter, Zeleke, Meierjohann, and cohorts succinctly prove his contention about the multi-faceted good and bad nature of the globally powerful.” - New York Stage Review

Co-production: Young Vic, HOME, and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg


Kathryn Hunter

Temesgen Zeleke

Ryszard Kapuściński

Colin Teevan

Walter Meierjohann

“Concentrated, compelling theater with a light touch…the grand illusion of power…agility, wisdom, humor.” –New York Magazine/Vulture.com

 
★★★★ 
In little more than an hour [actress Kathryn] Hunter, [actor/musician Temesgen] Zeleke, [director Walter] Meierjohann, and cohorts succinctly prove his contention about the multi-faceted good and bad nature of the globally powerful. –New York Stage Review
 
 
“Hunter has a death grip on your attention with every change of posture…the greatest amount of emotional tension comes through musician Temesgen Zeleke, who joins Hunter onstage with his Ethiopian krar lyre…as usual, it takes the booming sound of a long-silenced voice filling a room in protest to break through to the heart of the matter.” –TheaterMania (Editor’s Pick)
 
 
“The inestimable Kathryn Hunter is extraordinary…the message about power, corruption, and dictatorships still comes across loud and clear.” –This Week in NY

 

The Emperor, Colin Teevan‘s adaptation of Ryszard Kapuściński‘s celebrated and controversial 1978 book of the same title, is a parable about power set at the downfall of Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie.

Kathryn Hunter astonishingly shapeshifts, portraying ten male servants of Haile Selassie, among them his pillow-bearer, purse-bearer and dog-urine wiper, creating complex human portraits. Hunter, who with Colin Teevan and Walter Meierjohann were the acclaimed team in the Young Vic production of Kafka’s Monkey presented at TFANA in 2013, is here joined by Ethiopian musician Temesgen Zeleke.
 
Kapuściński, who many considered a candidate for the Nobel Prize, slyly used The Emperor to illuminate corruption and political power in his native Poland. This adaptation resonates with the world’s growing and disturbing fascination with despotism.

SPECIAL EVENTS

TFANA TALKS:
Join us for our free post-show conversations with artists and scholars that will take place during the following: 

  • Saturday, September 15, after 7 pm performance – moderated by Jonathan Kalb, with Walter Meierjohann, Colin Teevan, Kathryn Hunter, and Temsesgen Zeleke
  • Saturday, September 22, after 2 pm performance – moderated by Richard McCoy, with Maaza Mengiste and Sean Gasper Bye
  • Saturday, September 29, after 2 pm performance – moderated by Jonathan Kalb, with Yemane Demissie and Krystyna Illakowicz

Photo credit: Kathryn Hunter in The Emperor at the Young Vic. Photo by Simon Annand.