This month, Theatre for a New Audience presents a winter and spring Shakespeare season with Othello, February 14 through March 7, followed by Hamlet, from March 15 through April 12. Both productions will play at The Duke on 42nd Street.
Jeffrey Horowitz, Artistic Director, said, “Theatre for a New Audience’s cornerstone is Shakespeare. We’re thrilled to be presenting two great tragedies, each with full casts. Together these productions are employing a total of 29 Actors√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢ Equity actors and stage managers. This is the first time we are producing Hamlet and the second time we have produced Othello. Both plays are particularly apt for our times. As in our 2007 presentations of Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta and Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, our 2009 Winter-Spring Shakespeare season is representative of our plans to produce major classic plays in relation to one another.”
In keeping with the Theatre√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s commitment to supporting the careers of young artists, Othello will be directed by 2008 Princess Grace Award winner Arin Arbus, in her Off-Broadway debut. Arbus also serves as the Theatre√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s Associate Artistic Director. The Theatre has produced some of the most promising directors early in their careers, including Karin Coonrod, Bartlett Sher, Darko Tresnjak and Julie Taymor.
Many of the actors who appear in Othello are long-time collaborators with the Theatre. John Douglas Thompson, in the title role, appeared in last season√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s productions of Antony and Cleopatra and Oroonoko, for which he received an Audelco Award nomination. Ned Eisenberg (Iago) appeared in Oliver Twist, King John, Titus Andronicus, and The Green Bird. Kate Forbes (Emilia) played Portia in The Merchant of Venice opposite F. Murray Abraham both in NYC and at the RSC. She also appeared alongside Lucas Hall (Cassio) in All’s Well That Ends Well.
Desdemona, by contrast, will be played by Juliet Rylance in her New York stage debut. She played the lead in Middle Temple Hall’s Romeo and Juliet and at London’s Shakespeare’s Globe she played Perdita in The Winter’s Tale and Cressida in Troilus and Cressida.
Closing the 2008-2009 Season, Hamlet will be directed by David Esbjornson, former artistic director of the Tony Award-winning Seattle Repertory Theatre. Other credits include Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at the Delacorte and the Broadway productions of Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? and Arthur Miller’s Ride Down Mount Morgan.
Christian Camargo will play the title role in Hamlet, as he did in the Theatre√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s production of Coriolanus. He most recently appeared on Broadway in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons directed by Simon McBurney and previously in David Hare’s Skylight with Michael Gambon. Other appearances include London’s Shakespeare’s Globe with Mark Rylance and the Showtime drama, “Dexter,” in which he played the role of Rudy Cooper.
The cast will also feature Alvin Epstein as Polonius, Patrick Page as Claudius, Alyssa Bresnahan as Gertrude, Graham Hamilton as Laertes and Jennifer Ikeda as Ophelia.
To learn more about these productions, visit www.tfana.org. For ticket information, visit duke.new42.org or call the box office at (646) 223-3010.