TFANA in the News

NEW YORK MAGAZINE: A 20th-Century Emperor Present But Not Seen

By Sara Holdren The Emperor, a two-performer meditation on the man-made mythos of power, is part Brechtian commentary, part clown show, part investigation of the last days of a real regime — that of the Ethiopian monarch Haile Selassie, whose four-decade reign ended when he was deposed in 1974 — and part playful, piercing allegory.…Read More »

THEATERMANIA: The Emperor Delivers Truth in the Blurred Line Between Story and History

By Hayley Levitt The layered legacy of Ryszard Kapuściński’s journalism-adjacent novel The Emperor imposes a complex set of expectations on its latest stage adaptation, a two-person play written by Colin Teevan and making its New York premiere at Theatre for a New Audience’s Polonsky Shakespeare Center (a coproduction with the Young Vic in London, where…Read More »

THE GUARDIAN: The Emperor review – Kathryn Hunter’s shape-shifting brilliance

(This review refers to an earlier production of The Emperor at the Young Vic, London.)   By Susannah Clapp The Young Vic is London’s most lovable theatre. The building welcomes; the programming dares. It offers danger in a safe place. As in Walter Meierjohann’s production of The Emperor, which begins by captivating and goes on…Read More »

PLAYBILL: 5 DEFINING ROLES FOR ACTOR KATHRYN HUNTER AT TFANA

By Ruthie Fierberg Acclaimed actor Kathryn Hunter has a longstanding history with Theatre for a New Audience, and now returns to her stomping grounds for their latest production: The Emperor. Running through September 30, the play—based on the book by Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuściński—serves as a sort of biography of Ethiopia’s emperor Haile Selassie via…Read More »

BROOKLYN PAPER: Doing her parts: Actress plays 11 male servants in The Emperor

By Julianne McShane She’s playing all the king’s men. An award-winning actress will portray nearly a dozen different men in “The Emperor,” a play opening at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Fort Greene on Sept. 16. Kathryn Hunter said that she learned to juggle between the 11 male servants she plays by studying the book…Read More »

TDF STAGES: How Do You Dramatize the Downfall of an Autocrat?

By Gerard Raymond The audience never sees His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie in The Emperor, Colin Teevan’s stage adaptation of Ryszard Kapuscinski’s eponymous book. But you get a vivid picture of the 20th-century Ethiopian autocrat and his court through memories shared by his eleven loyal servants, all portrayed by Olivier-winning actress Kathryn Hunter. In the…Read More »

TIMES SQUARE CHRONICLE: The Emperor Kathryn Solitarily Surrounded by her Loyal Servants

Theatre for a New Audience, much to my pleasure, dives into their new season with a fascinating, although slightly distancing investigation on what it means to be Emperor of a small African nation in the early 1900’s. In the U.S. premiere of The Emperor, directed with structure and simplicity by Walter Meierjohann (the site-specific Romeo and Juliet in…Read More »

CURTAIN UP: Review of The Emperor

By Charles Wright In October 1973, ITV, the English television network, dispatched Jonathan Dimbleby and a film crew from the news program This Week to Ethiopia to assess the severity of draught-related famine in that country. ITV’s coverage and the book Dimbleby subsequently published, both titled The Unknown Famine, exposed a colossal humanitarian crisis that…Read More »

PLAYS TO SEE: Review of The Emperor

By Ben Odom There is no shortage of art that comments on the current administration. Revivals and new plays alike are prone to this scrutiny by a modern American audience. Colin Teevan’s stage adaptation of Ryszard Kapuscinski’s The Emperor is no exception, but it portrays neither the ruler nor the oppressed, but those who perhaps…Read More »

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Jessica Hecht to Star in a New Play by Calvin Trillin

A new play by Calvin Trillin starring Jessica Hecht, as well as imports from the Young Vic in London and the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris, are in store for the 2018-19 season at Theater for a New Audience, the company announced Wednesday.   READ THE FULL SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE NEW YORK TIMES…Read More »