Open Books


Open Books

Theatre for a New Audience invites you to Open Books, with David Scott Kastan, Yael Prizant, and Ninotchka Bennahum: three free evenings of lively, engaging conversation with the authors of some of American theatre’s most acclaimed new books.

Jonathan Kalb, two-time winner of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, will moderate, and the evening will include an audience Q&A and a meet-and-greet with the author. Books will be available for purchase (and to be signed). Complimentary food and drink will be served and TFANA Subscribers will receive 10% off all books with their Subscriber Card.

Monday, March 7, 7pm



A Will to Believe: Shakespeare and Religion, by David Scott Kastan

A Will to Believe is a surprising and often-moving examination of how religion animates Shakespeare’s plays. Written and performed in a culture in which religion was inescapable, the plays have usually been seen either as evidence of Shakespeare’s disinterested secularism, or as coded signposts to sectarian commitments. David Scott Kastan argues that Shakespeare’s plays do not unlock his own beliefs, but rather register how religion changed the author’s world. In a series of wonderfully alert and agile readings, Kastan demonstrates how the fraught religious environment of Post-Reformation England was refracted by the lens of Shakespeare’s imagination.

 Monday, March 14, 7pm



Cuba Inside Out: Revolution and Contemporary Theatre, by Yael Prizant
Cuba Inside Out: Revolution and Contemporary Theatre is the very first book-length, English-language study of Cuban and Cuban-American plays. In this close examination of seven plays written since 1985, Yael Prizant reveals the intricacies of how revolution is staged theatrically, socially, and politically in the Cuban diaspora and on the island itself. Central to this text is the Cuban Revolution’s intersections with globalization, modernity, emigration and privilege. This profound and thoughtful book seeks to alter how U.S. audiences perceive Cuba, its circumstances, and its theatre.

Monday, March 21, 7pm



Carmen: A Gypsy Geography, by Ninotchka Bennahum

In Carmen: A Gypsy Geography, Ninotchka Bennahum traces the genealogy of the female Gypsy presence in her iconic operatic role: from her genesis in the ancient Mediterranean world, her emergence as flamenco artist in Islamic Spain, her persistent manifestation in Picasso, and her contemporary relevance on stage. Carmen, who has emerged as a cipher for the unfettered female artist, is here an embodied historical archive. The Gypsy dancer’s many-layered geography provides the book with a unique, nonlinear form that opens new pathways to reading performance and writing history. Through Carmen, we come to understand the promises and dangers of transnational identity, and the ways performance can be used as an expanded historical methodology.

Theatre for a New Audience’s Humanities programs are supported in part by a permanent endowment established at the Theatre by a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, with leading matching gifts provided by Robert H. Arnow, Perry and Marty Granoff, John J. Kerr and Nora Wren Kerr, and Theodore C. Rogers. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Endowment funds for the Theatre’s Humanities, Education, and Outreach programs also come from The Elayne P. Bernstein Education Fund.

Pictured above: Samuel H. Scripps Mainstage, photo ©Francis Dzikowski/OTTO.