By Clark Young and Derek Goldman
Starring David Strathairn
Directed by Derek Goldman
New York Premiere
September 10 – October 9, 2022
This production was originally created by The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University.
In an acclaimed solo performance, David Strathairn makes his TFANA debut portraying the Polish World War II hero and Holocaust witness Jan Karski, who risked his life to carry his report of the Warsaw ghetto from war-torn Poland to the Allied Nations and the Oval Office only to be disbelieved. Strathairn captures the remarkable life of this self-described “insignificant, little man” and his story of moral courage and individual responsibility. After premiering at Georgetown University’s Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics in 2019, Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski played in London at the 75th Anniversary Commemoration of the Liberation of Auschwitz; Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C; and at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Of Strathairn’s portrayal of Jan Karski, Peter Marks of The Washington Post writes, “Over the 90 minutes of the play, directed by Goldman, the 73-year-old actor goes through a physically demanding regimen, dramatizing, for instance, Karski’s escape from Gestapo captivity. During a recent performance, after leaping off a table onstage at Georgetown’s Gonda Theatre, he rose from the floor with a fresh wound on his arm. You could safely say that he has given his own blood to this endeavor.”
David Strathairn (Actor). David Strathairn’s theatre credits include: American Conservatory Theater: Scorched by Wajdi Mouawad, Underneath the Lintel by Glenn Berger | Theater of War productions. FILM: Guillermo Del Toro’s Nightmare Alley; Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland (Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival; Oscar and Golden Globe Awards for Best Picture); George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck (Academy Award nomination for Best Actor); Stephen Spielberg’s Lincoln; John Sayles’ Matewan, Eight Men Out, and City of Hope; Doug Magee’s Beyond the Call.
By Denis Johnson
Directed by Arin Arbus
New York Premiere
November 29, 2022 – January 1, 2023
“I have a feeling God finds us pretty funny. But that’s all the speaking I should do for God—he doesn’t go around talking about me.”—Denis Johnson, New York Magazine
Des Moines, the final play by late American author Denis Johnson, is his first at TFANA. It is a sensationally mysterious work. Chance events—including a plane crash, a rescued wedding ring, a frightening diagnosis, and makeup advice kindly offered to a louche Catholic priest—bring a group of lonely and haunted characters together for a debauch that becomes an unlikely communion. Arin Arbus directs the New York premiere of this searing and tender drama about the specter of death and the stubborn pursuit of grace among those who barely believe in it.
Arin Arbus, who has staged Shakespeare and American and European Classics for TFANA, first explored Des Moines in a TFANA workshop with Johnson. She observes, “Denis Johnson was a keen and loving observer of life. He wrote about what’s holy and hilarious and hard in our daily lives and was interested in the eternal human struggle to be awake to life in an uncontrollable and incomprehensible universe.”
Denis Johnson (Playwright) is the author of nine novels, three books of verse, two short story collections, a novella, and seven plays. He received many awards and honors, including The National Book Award for Fiction (Tree of Smoke), the Library of Congress Award for American Fiction, and the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction from the Paris Review. Two of his works were adapted into a film: his book of short stories, Jesus’ Son, starring Billy Crudup and Samantha Morton, and most recently Stars at Noon, directed by Claire Denis. His plays have been produced in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle.
Arin Arbus (Director) is a resident director at TFANA, where she directed The Winter’s Tale, The Skin of Our Teeth (Obie Award), Strindberg’s The Father and Ibsen’s Doll’s House in rep, King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, Othello, and most recently the critically acclaimed The Merchant of Venice starring John Douglas Thompson. She directed Terrence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (Tony nom for best revival) with Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon on Broadway. Arbus spent several years making theatre with prisoners in association with Rehabilitation Through the Arts and in 2018, she directed an adaptation of The Tempest in a refugee camp in Greece for The Campfire Project.
By Lope de Vega
The translator/adapter of Fuente Ovejuna performed in English will be announced shortly.
Directed by Flordelino Lagundino
April 28 – May 29, 2023
“Lope de Vega’s tale of the 15th-century revolt of a small village against a tyrannical overlord is a stirring hymn to the passion of fellowship…It’s the love of a community that shines out.”—City Limits (London)
For the first time, TFANA will produce the work of the Spanish Golden Age author Lope de Vega. His masterpiece, Fuente Ovejuna (1612) is a prophetically modern drama by history’s most prolific dramatist. The play recounts a violent peasant uprising against an aristocratic lord who rapes socially powerless women with impunity and highlights the heroism of one remarkable woman who dares to lead. The heroine Laurencia’s brave stand foreshadows future movements for systemic change and individual rights.
The exciting young director Flordelino Lagundino makes his TFANA debut. The announcement of the translator/adapter of Fuente Ovejuna performed in English will be made shortly.
Flordelino Lagundino (Director) is a director, actor, producer, and educator. He is the Producing Artistic Director of Theater Alaska. His directing credits include: Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theater Alaska); Aubergine (Park Square Theatre); FOB (Drama League); Sweeney Todd, Doubt, Yellowman, Cedar House, Animals Out of Paper (Perseverance Theatre); Sweeney Todd (Juneau Symphony); Flipzoids, True West, Shakespeare’s R&J (Generator Theater Company). He participated in the TFANA Actors and Directors Project and received the SDCF Sir John Gielgud Classical Directing Fellowship and Drama League NY Directing Fellowship. Lagundino holds an MFA in directing from Brown University/Trinity Repertory Company, and an MFA in acting from University of Texas at Austin.
By Tennessee Williams
Featuring Christopher Abbott and Maggie Siff
Directed by Erica Schmidt
July 9 – August 6, 2023
“We’re all of us sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life.”—Tennessee Williams, Orpheus Descending
Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending is a uniquely imaginative mix of styles. It is steamy and lyrical, a love story and a tragedy, blending realism, expressionism and poetry, and tells the story of the passion of two outcasts—Lady Torrance, a storekeeper’s wife and daughter of a murdered Sicilian bootlegger and Val, a wandering guitar player—and their doomed attempt to escape from a Southern Hell. Set in a dry-goods store in the 1950s deep South, the play’s toxic brew of racist violence, bigotry, misogyny, provincialism, and sexual passion evokes an American past that unfortunately is not the past, and that seethes with hatred, savagery, and longing for liberation. Christopher Abbott will play Val and Maggie Siff, Lady Torrance.
Frank Rich, in his 1989 New York Times review of Orpheus Descending, wrote that the play was ”a pivotal chapter in the author’s canon, reverberating throughout his career.” Erica Schmidt, who adapted and directed Shakespeare’s Macbeth for seven schoolgirls entitled Mac Beth (“raucously exuberant,” New York Times Critics Pick), stages, in her TFANA debut, this seldom-seen Williams masterpiece.
Christopher Abbott (Actor). Christopher Abbott’s feature credits include: Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things, Jerrod Carmichael’s On the Count of Three, Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor, Lawrence Michael Levine’s Black Bear, Nicolas Pesce’s Piercing and Trey Shults’ It Comes at Night. Abbott was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his work in the lead role of Hulu’s limited series Catch-22 directed by George Clooney. He was also nominated for both an Independent Spirit Award and a Gotham Award for his portrayal of the title role in Josh Mond’s James White. He is about to begin production on Swimming Home, a film adaptation of the Man Booker Prize-nominated novel by Deborah Levy. On stage, Abbott made his Broadway debut in John Guare’s The House of Blue Leaves. Other theatrical work includes The Rose Tattoo at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Lucy Thurber’s Where We’re Born at Rattlestick Theater, Annie Baker’s John at Signature Theatre, and Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Maggie Siff (Actor) is about to start shooting the seventh season of Showtime’s Billions (three Satellite Award nominations). She is also known for the FX series Sons of Anarchy (two Critics’ Choice Award nominations), and for playing “Rachel Menken” on the first season of AMC’s Mad Men (Screen Actors Guild Award nomination). Recent films include The Short History of the Long Road, A Woman/A Part, The Sweet Life, The Fifth Wave, One Percent More Humid, and Concussion. Siff is also an established theater actress, starring most recently in Signature Theatre’s production of Curse of the Starving Class, as well as in A Lie of the Mind at the New Group (directed by Ethan Hawke) and in Much Ado About Nothing and The Taming of the Shrew at TFANA.
Erica Schmidt (Director) adapted/directed Cyrano with The National (Goodspeed, New Group); and directed MacBeth (Lucille Lortel, Hunter Theater Project, Drama Desk nominations for Best Direction and Revival and Lortel nomination for Best Revival); All the Fine Boys (The New Group); Richard 2 (The Old Globe); A Month in the Country (Classic Stage Company); Taking Care of Baby (Manhattan Theatre Club); Humor Abuse (co-creator/director; MTC, The Taper; Lucille Lortel Award); Rent (Tokyo); Trust (The Play Company, Callaway Award nominee); As You Like It (The Public Theater); Debbie Does Dallas (adapted/directed Off-Broadway; Princess Grace Award 2001). Schmidt wrote the screenplay for Cyrano (BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for Best Film).
By William Shakespeare
Richard II, Featuring Christian Camargo,
in Alternating Repertory with
Henry IV, Adapted by Dakin Matthews
Directed by Eric Tucker
January 26 – February 5, 2023
These are intimate workshops exploring the plays with an eye toward future full productions. Staging will be in-the-round with actors working script-in-hand.
“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”—William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2
Richard II, Shakespeare’s prequel to Henry IV, is the story of the impulsive, willful, petulant, King Richard, who is deposed by the strong-willed and politically savvy Henry Bolingbroke. This powerful and popular work, written entirely in verse, is renowned for its vivid language. The play introduces questions of usurpation, legitimacy, and the divine right of kings that will launch England on the road to civil war. Richard II, featuring Christian Camargo (Coriolanus, Hamlet, and Pericles for TFANA) as Richard, alternates with Dakin Matthews’s adaptation Henry IV, a much-celebrated condensation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2—about Bolingbroke’s turbulent reign—into one a single three-act, three-and-a-half-hour play. This adaptation’s 2003 production at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theatre won multiple Tony Awards, as well as a special Drama Desk Award. Dakin Matthews and Eric Tucker are making their TFANA debuts.
Matthews writes, “There is a long tradition of combining these two plays into one, stretching back to the early 17th Century, because the first part, as glorious as it is, leaves the full story untold, and three of the four major character arcs unfinished. And though Part One is quite popular—thanks no doubt to the remarkable character of Falstaff–the chance of ever seeing Part Two is very slim for most audiences; and leaving the full story hanging deprives them of experiencing the full scope of Shakespeare’s vision. To achieve the condensation, I have interpolated crucial early scenes from Part Two into the first two acts, and then finished the third act with mostly Part Two material. In the process, some characters are eliminated or conflated, and some scenes are abridged, combined, or omitted. But the gain has been the recovery of the full sweep of history, in which Shakespeare explores what makes a good ruler and a healthy commonwealth in times of crisis and sedition.”
Eric Tucker is the artistic director of Bedlam theater company, “the adventurously lo-fi theater troupe that has earned a reputation for joyfully reinvigorating classic texts, from Hamlet and St. Joan to Sense & Sensibility and Uncle Romeo Vanya Juliet, a riff on two plays at once, Shakespeare’s youthful romantic tragedy and Chekhov’s mature and moody comedy.” (Sara Holdren, New York Magazine).
Christian Camargo (Actor) is one of today’s foremost practitioners of Shakespeare. For Theatre for a New Audience, he has played the titular roles in Coriolanus, directed by Karin Coonrod; Hamlet (OBIE Award), directed by David Esbjornson, and Pericles, directed by Trevor Nunn. Camargo became a founding company member of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London. Broadway credits include: Romeo and Juliet, directed by David Leveaux; All My Sons, directed by Simon McBurney, and Skylight (Theater World Award) directed by Richard Eyre. Off- Broadway includes: The Tempest and As You Like It at BAM, directed by Sam Mendes. Camargo’s London credits include The Kid Stays in the Picture at the Royal Court, directed by Simon McBurney. Directing Credits include Days and Nights and the upcoming feature The Last Manhunt. His film work includes: Kathryn Bigelow’s Academy Award-winning The Hurt Locker and K-19: The Widowmaker, The Twilight Saga, and National Treasure: Book of Secrets. Television includes: Errol Morris’ Wormwood (Netflix), Showtime’s Penny Dreadful and Dexter, House of Cards (Netflix), The City and the City (BBC). Camargo currently co-stars on the Apple TV series See, as the villainous “Tamacti Jun.”
Dakin Matthews (Adapter), besides being a busy actor on stage (over 250 productions including nine on Broadway) and screen (over 300 TV appearances and 30 films), is an award-winning playwright (L. A. Critics Circle Award for The Prince of L.A.), Shakespeare dramaturge (Drama Desk Award for Henry IV), and script translator (5 Walker Reid Awards for translating Spanish Golden Age plays). He is also the creator/host of TFANA’s video series “Sheltering with Shakespeare,” a teacher of Shakespeare Masterclasses around the world, a former Artistic Director of three theatres, and an Emeritus Professor of English from Cal State East Bay.
Eric Tucker (Director): WSJ Director of the Year 2014/2021. Off-Broadway: Persuasion; The Crucible; Uncle Romeo Vanya Juliet; Pygmalion; Vanity Fair; Bedlam’s Sense and Sensibility (Off-Broadway Alliance Award, Lortel nom, Best Director, Drama League nom, Best Revival, 4 Helen Hayes awards including Best Director & Best Production); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Drama League nom Best Revival, WSJ Best Classical Production 2015); Saint Joan (NY Times/Time Magazine top 10; Off-Broadway Alliance Best Revival 2014); Hamlet (NY Times top 10); The Seagull (WSJ Best Classical Production 2014); Caesar and Cleopatra (ASC); Merry Wives of Windsor (Two River), Disney’s Beauty & The Beast (OSF); Pericles (APT).
Enhanced Flexibility This Season
- Free exchanges or refunds in the event a patron has been diagnosed with, tested positive for, or exhibited symptoms of COVID-19; or has been in close proximity to any individual who has been diagnosed with, tested positive for, or exhibited symptoms of COVID-19.
- Subscribers have access to free ticket exchanges until curtain and unlimited guest tickets.
- Single ticket buyers and New Deal ticket buyers have access to no-fee ticket exchanges until 24 hours prior to curtain. (A $5 exchange fee applies after that point.)
$20 NEW DEAL TICKETS
*All New Deal ticket holders must be 30 years of age and under or full-time students. ID required for pick up.
All productions, artists, and dates are subject to change. 22-23 Subscriptions are non-refundable, subject to change, and valid only for the 22-23 Season.
Deloitte is the 2022-2023 Season Sponsor.
Principal support for Theatre for a New Audience’s season and programs is provided by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation Fund in the New York Community Trust, The SHS Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and The Thompson Family Foundation.
Theatre for a New Audience’s season and programs are also made possible, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Endowment support for Fuente Ovejuna is provided by The Howard Gilman Foundation Fund for Classic Drama.