Theatre for a New Audience Leadership

Jeffrey Horowitz, Founding Artistic Director “Theatre is always dying and being born. A classic by Shakespeare or another great author endures not because it has one truth, but because it illuminates different truths in different societies at different times. There is no one way of doing these plays. As soon as you think you’ve found a way, it’s over. We continually explore how to express Shakespeare in ways modern audiences understand. By playing Shakespeare side by side with other classics and great modern plays, we cross-pollinate works of the past with what is most compelling in theatre now. With our first home in downtown Brooklyn, Theatre for a New Audience will become a part of a unique community which resembles in certain ways the diverse audience that attended Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre. The Elizabethan audience was a microcosm and so is Fort Greene, which is home to the economically disadvantaged, advantaged and many cultural groups. What an extraordinary place to build a theatre! The community itself reflects the mix of humanity in Shakespeare and classic drama –plays which can open our eyes and ears, enable us to learn about and empathize with others. Theatre for a New Audience is building on its history and making a new place that will explore the dream of what theatre can be; a place for the next wave of artists; a place that will introduce new generations to some of the greatest language; a place that will reach out to and reflect its community. New York has theatres for commercial productions, for contemporary plays and for musicals. We are building a theatre that will keep classic drama…alive. As Peter Brook said:‘Shakespeare doesn’t belong to the past. If his material is valid, it is valid now. It’s like coal. The only meaningfulness of a piece of coal starts and finishes with its combustion, giving us light and heat. And that to me is Shakespeare.’ ”- Jeffrey Horowitz

More information about Jeffrey Horowitz

Dorothy Ryan, Managing Director “One of the most exciting aspects of this project is the opportunity to be part of a vital, diverse community in Brooklyn as members of the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District. We are proud that we will be joining with this creative community of some of the world’s leading artists and cultural organizations, and look forward to exploring possibilities for collaboration. Our audiences have always come from the larger Metropolitan area, and we expect that to continue because of easy transportation to the Cultural District. But also, as a theatre that has been itinerant for its entire history, we relish the chance to establish ourselves within this community — home to creative and intellectually curious families, businesses, and individuals. We also look forward to deepening our relationships with local families and the Brooklyn Public Schools with our arts in education programs, which have always had a strong presence in the borough. Finally, by employing sustainable design, materials and operations to create one of the nation’s first “green” theatres, we aspire to be a good neighbor, contributing more than we consume. As a Brooklyn resident, I have always been inspired by the vision and promise of the BAM Cultural District, and I am excited that we will be part of it.”- Dorothy Ryan

More information about Dorothy Ryan

James Lynes, Director of Institutional Advancement “We are so close to the finish line to opening this  spectacular theatre – a first and long-deserved home – designed by renowned architects for an internationally-acclaimed theatre company. We’re excited to be part of the City’s newest Cultural District.  Brooklyn has always been an artistically vital and vibrant community and we look forward to working with community members to introduce Theatre for a New Audience to our Brooklyn neighbors.  New York has always embraced Shakespeare and together we’re finally giving his work a home he deserves — with a Brooklyn address.  Brooklyn is the right place for us. I couldn’t be more pleased to be a part of making this happen.”- James Lynes

Theatre For a New Audience Board of Directors
Pictured above: Polonsky Shakespeare Center, photo ©David Sundberg/Esto.