It's Official! Kenneth Branagh to Make NY Stage Debut in MACBETH at Park Avenue Armory, June 2014
Long rumoured and now confirmed, the U.S. premiere of Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh's staging of MACBETH will take over Park Avenue Armory's 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall in June 2014. A co-commission of Park Avenue Armory and Manchester International Festival, the critically acclaimed production was originally mounted in Manchester in July 2013, and will be re-imagined for the Armory presentation.
Branagh, in his highly anticipated New York stage debut, will star as Macbeth alongside Alex Kingston as Lady Macbeth. Kingston's appearance will also mark the first time she has performed on a New York stage. Additional casting and performance dates will be announced in the coming months. Branagh is lauded as one of the world's leading Shakespearean interpreters on both stage and film and this production marked his return to Shakespeare after more than a decade.
"The Armory enables artists to realize site-specific works that demand presentation space beyond limitations found in traditional theaters or museums," said Rebecca Robertson, President and Executive Producer of Park Avenue Armory. "We are ecstatic to collaborate with Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, combining their incredible vision with our unconventional space and military history to allow audiences to relive this timeless story in a remarkable new way."
"We are thrilled that Kenneth Branagh will be coming to the Armory to recreate this iconic role following his performance in Manchester this summer," said Alex Poots, Artistic Director of Park Avenue Armory and Manchester International Festival. "And I am particularly excited that this production will mark his New York stage debut."
"Restaging this monumental work for the Armory's soaring drill hall is an inspiring challenge and an incredible opportunity," noted director Rob Ashford. Director and actor Kenneth Branagh added, "Utilizing the possibilities of the vast open space is a truly exciting prospect. I am delighted that we have the chance to recreate Macbeth in this epic setting."
Macbeth will be featured in Park Avenue Armory's 2014 season, to be announced in its entirety in the coming months. Tickets will be available as part of a subscription this winter; Armory members receive advance access to tickets. More information on the production and Armory memberships may be found at www.armoryonpark.org.
Macbeth extends the rich history of Shakespeare at the Armory, following an unprecedented residency of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in 2011, during which the Company constructed a full-scale replica of their Stratford-upon-Avon home and performed five fully staged productions over six weeks, alongside scaled-down stagings for New York City public school students taking part in the Armory's education programming. In October 2012, Park Avenue Armory and the RSC presented King Lear in the Armory's historic Board of Officers Room for more than 1,000 underserved New York City students.
By William Shakespeare
Directors: Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Alex Kingston
Set and Costume Designer: Christopher Oram
Composer: Patrick Doyle
Lighting Designer: Neil Austin
Sound Designer: Christopher Shutt
Casting Director: Anne McNulty, CDG
Associate Designer: Lee Newby
Commissioned by Park Avenue Armory and Manchester International Festival