Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster-Led 'STREETCAR' and More Set for St. Ann's Warehouse's First Season at New Home

By: Jun. 02, 2015
Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.

Existing user? Just click login.

St. Ann's Warehouse, which for 36 years has enlivened New Yorkers with new works by the world's most vital music- and theater-makers, is about to open its first permanent home, a 25,000-sf theater at the breathtaking site of the Tobacco Warehouse, on the waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The organization will inaugurate its new building by presenting a 2015-16 season that epitomizes St. Ann's indispensable contribution to the global cultural landscape -- a series of international productions in which world-class artists reconfigure flexible, open space to realize their creative visions.

St. Ann's Warehouse Founder and Artistic Director Susan Feldman said, "It was the journey of a lifetime to discover the serendipity and joy of theatricalizing the hallowed Church on Montague Street and two vast warehouses in DUMBO with some of the greatest companies and artists of at least two generations. It is quite another to attempt to create such a space from scratch, while respecting the revered walls of an iconic shell. With skill and care, the St. Ann's Board and team of architects, consultants, managers and artisans have absorbed and recreated what went into the happenstance of all those years and places, bringing us to this Inaugural Season. The responsiveness of our City government and the massive support from our donors has been exhilarating. Our excitement and gratitude are unbounded. It has truly taken a global village to make this dream come true. Special thanks to the Howard Gilman Foundation for their lead sponsorship of the Inaugural Season as we welcome back some of our finest creative partners to launch the new voyage and mix it all up for a rousing first year."

The St. Ann's Warehouse 2015-16 Inaugural Season begins with the Donmar Warehouse's celebrated production of Henry IV (November 6 - December 6), the second with St. Ann's in director Phyllida Lloyd's trilogy of all-female Shakespeares, set against the backdrop of women in prison. Like the first production in the series, Julius Caesar, whose American Premiere was a major hit of St. Ann's 2013-14 season, Lloyd's "fresh, bracingly persuasive staging" (The Independent) of Henry IV is led by the great Harriet Walter. St. Ann's will again present the Donmar's exceptional educational programs to New York City public school students and at risk youth.

Following Carmina Slovenica's critically lauded Toxic Psalms this past year, St. Ann's Warehouse will rejoin forces with the PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now festival, this time to present the American Premiere of frequent St. Ann's collaborator Enda Walsh's first opera, The Last Hotel, which Walsh is creating with leading Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy. This look at assisted suicide and the marketplace also reunites St. Ann's with Landmark Productions, with which St. Ann's presented Walsh's Misterman, starring Cillian Murphy, in 2011. Ireland's groundbreaking Wide Open Opera Company co-produces the opera with Landmark. Performances will take place January 8 - 17, 2016.

The weekend of January 28 - 31, 2016, St. Ann's will transform its new theater yet again for the LABAPALOOZA! festival of works-in-progress from the Puppet Lab, a year-long, experimental haven St. Ann's provides for artists developing new projects for puppet theater. The Jim Henson Foundation has been supporting the Lab since shortly after its inception in 1998.

In February, St. Ann's will welcome back the esteemed Mark Rylance with the New York Premiere of Nice Fish, a new play conceived and written by the Tony- and Olivier Award-winning Rylance and poet Louis Jenkins, adapted from Jenkins' book of poems about ice fishing in Minnesota. They began the project at the Guthrie Theater two years ago. St. Ann's will present the new American Repertory Theater production from February 14 - March 13, 2016. Starring Mark Rylance on stage and directed by composer Claire van Kampen, Nice Fish marks the first return of these lovely artists to St. Ann's since Shakespeare's Globe Theatre production of Measure for Measure in 2005.

St. Ann's Warehouse will further showcase the versatility of the new theater with its American Premiere presentation of the Young Vic's immensely acclaimed, modern-day production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire. Arguably, St. Ann's Warehouse is the only New York theater capable of staging this inspired production, directed by Benedict Andrews, with an explosive cast led by Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster that also features Vanessa Kirby as Stella. With its transparent, revolving set, surrounded by audiences on all four sides, all conversations are overheard, there's nowhere to hide, and the ensuing tragedy purposefully spins toward its inevitable last line. In one of many five-star reviews, Charles Spencer wrote in The Daily Telegraph, "Never have I seen a production of the play that was so raw in its emotion, so violent and so deeply upsetting." St. Ann's presents the American Premiere of this first collaboration with the Young Vic, April 23 - May 22, 2016.

One of the exciting aspects of having the new St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn Bridge Park is the organization's ability to operate year round and out of doors. To complete this "sampler" first season, St. Ann's has invited the international contemporary circus NoFitState to construct its spaceship-shaped tent under the Brooklyn Bridge. The company will make its North American debut with Bianco, a gorgeous spectacle that weaves live music, dance, design and theater to create poetic and poignant images of prowess and daring. NoFit State brings their signature style of human balance and counter balance in an ever evolving and constantly changing landscape of ensemble action, moving trusses, steel towers and audiences. St. Ann's will present Bianco in residence from May 3 - 29, 2016.


Donmar Warehouse and St Ann's Warehouse present
The Donmar Warehouse production of
Henry IV
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Phyllida Lloyd
November 6 - December 6, 2015
American Premiere

St. Ann's forged a fruitful relationship with London's Donmar Warehouse when these two cutting-edge organizations co-presented the American Premiere of the Donmar's all-female production of Julius Caesar, directed by Phyllida Lloyd in 2013.

Envisioning a trilogy empowering women to play Shakespearean roles normally reserved for men, Lloyd has now set a second Shakespeare play with an all-female cast against the backdrop of women incarcerated and at risk. In Henry IV, Dame Harriet Walter, deemed "one of the best Shakespeareans alive" by The Guardian, once again leads a diverse and exciting cast. London's Evening Standard has called this production "bracingly inventive," and The Financial Times has described it as "urgent, mischievous, subtly layered, and revelatory."

This major event, accompanied by an in-depth program of outreach and engagement projects, has ignited a cultural and social conversation about gender, equality and aspiration on both sides of the Atlantic.

St. Ann's Warehouse presents
Landmark Productions/Wide Open Opera
The Last Hotel
A New Opera by Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh
Jan 8 - 17, 2016
American Premiere

Co-presented with PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now and Irish Arts Center

The Last Hotel is supported by piece by piece productions, by the Arts Council and by Culture Ireland.

St. Ann's Warehouse reunites with several of its favorite collaborators for the American Premiere of The Last Hotel, Irish writer/director Enda Walsh's first opera. The Last Hotel is composed by Donnacha Dennehy, who also worked with Walsh on Misterman, another Landmark Productions creation, which was co-produced with Galway International Arts Festival and starred Cillian Murphy at St Ann's Warehouse in 2011. A look at assisted suicide and the marketplace, The Last Hotel will be presented with the popular PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now festival and the Irish Arts Center, two frequent partners of St. Ann's Warehouse.

The opera opens on a man silently mopping the floor with a bucket full of bloody water. He prepares a room that's not yet ready for its next guest. A woman meets a man and his wife in the parking lot. All three are nervous. Tonight there will be a death.

The Last Hotel is the fifth Enda Walsh work St. Ann's has brought to New York, following The Walworth Farce, The New Electric Ballroom, Penelope and Misterman.

St. Ann's Warehouse presents
A Mini-Festival of New Puppet Theater from The Lab
January 28 - 31, 2016

In 2016, the Puppet Lab, St. Ann's experimental harbor for the creation of new puppet theater, celebrates 18 years. LABAPALOOZA! is the annual festival in which St. Ann's showcases new works-in-progress developed by artists in the Lab. The New York Post deems the weekend-long extravaganza, supported by The Jim Henson Foundation, "way more sophisticated than your average puppet show."

St. Ann's Warehouse presents
American Repertory Theater's
Nice Fish
Conceived, Written and Adapted by Louis Jenkins and Mark Rylance
Directed by Claire van Kampen
Featuring Mark Rylance
February 14 - March 13, 2016
New York Premiere

On a lake in frozen Minnesota, the ice is beginning to creak and groan. It's the end of the fishing season, and two men are out on the ice, one for the very first time, angling for answers to life's larger questions. One of these men is hilariously wrought by the Tony- and Olivier Award-winning actor, Mark Rylance, who also co-wrote the play-his first-with the American prose poet Louis Jenkins.

Rylance and Jenkins have adapted Nice Fish from Jenkins' book of poems of the same name, and the theatrical work reflects nature with the same wry surreal quality as Jenkins' poems. Minnesota Monthly described the original production of Nice Fish, at Minneapolis' Guthrie Theater in 2013, as "inexplicable and utterly beautiful." Composer Claire van Kampen returns to direct this revised new production. St. Ann's Warehouse is proud to present its New York premiere.

St. Ann's Warehouse presents
A Young Vic & Joshua Andrews Production
A Streetcar Named Desire
By Tennessee Williams
April 23 - May 22, 2016
American Premiere
In association with Bruno Wang Productions

St. Ann's Warehouse presents the American Premiere of director Benedict Andrews' visionary production of the timeless Tennessee Williams masterpiece A Streetcar Named Desire. Andrews stages the play in the round, with a revolving set in the center, putting the audience in powerfully close proximity to this "wounding portrait of communal loss" (Matt Wolf, The New York Times).

As Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalski, Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster lead an explosive cast. The Guardian called Anderson's award-winning performance "stellar" and The Independent described her as "shatteringly powerful and persuasive" in reviews of the production at the Young Vic. The Times UK deemed Ben Foster "riveting," and Matt Wolf, in The New York Times, said of Foster's performance, "This may in fact be the first Stanley I have come across to erase memories of the part's stage and screen originator, Marlon Brando, for the simple reason that Mr. Foster...renders such comparisons irrelevant by making the role less about the character's pectorals and more about his battered pride."

St. Ann's Warehouse presents
NoFit State Circus
Directed by Firenza Guidi
May 3 - 29
North American Premiere

To engage the thousands of Brooklyn Bridge Park visitors, sports and recreation enthusiasts, a circus like no other is coming to town. The international, Cardiff-based circus NoFit State will touch down in its spaceship tent under the Brooklyn Bridge for a month-long residency in May 2016, courtesy of St. Ann's Warehouse.

Directed by Firenza Guidi, Bianco weaves together large-scale imagery, circus, live music, movement and innovative design to create a spectacle above, amongst and around a standing audience. The company of 35 performers and technicians creates a universe for the audiences to immerse themselves in and journey through.

Bianco functions like an elaborate dance between the performers, musicians, riggers and audience. A scenography of moving towers and trusses transform and regroup to create a continually shifting landscape. While the scale is grand and risky, the solo moments are poignantly human and intimate, as the performers scale the heights providing beautiful human counter weights for each other in graceful and robust vertical pas de deux. What distinguishes NoFit State is how they invent worlds where the boundaries between the real and the imaginary, the possible and the impossible, become blurred, where the frontiers between artists and audiences are broken, where nothing is hidden and everything revealed.

Reviewing Bianco at the Edinburgh Festival, London's Times said the show offers "grand physical/visual poetry, while at the same time exuding a huge, restless party vibe." The Guardian wrote, "If you don't want to run away and join the circus afterwards, you probably need to check you have a pulse."

For over three decades, St. Ann's has commissioned, produced and presented an eclectic body of innovative cultural presentations that meet at the intersection of theater and rock and roll. Since 2001, the organization has helped vitalize the emerging Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood, DUMBO, where St. Ann's Warehouse has become one of New York City's most important and compelling live performance destinations. After twelve years at 38 Water Street, St. Ann's activated a new warehouse at 29 Jay, turning it into an interim home while the organization has adapted the historic Tobacco Warehouse (45 Water Street) in Brooklyn Bridge Park into a waterfront cultural center. Construction is nearly finished.

Through its signature multi-artist concerts and groundbreaking music/theater collaborations, St. Ann's Warehouse has become the artistic home for the American avant-garde, international companies of stature and award-winning emerging artists. Three decades of consistently acclaimed landmark productions that found their American home at St. Ann's include Lou Reed's and John Cale's Songs for 'Drella; Marianne Faithfull's Seven Deadly Sins; Artistic Director Susan Feldman's Band in Berlin; Charlie Kaufman and the Coen Brothers' Theater of the New Ear; The Royal Court and TR Warszawa productions of Sarah Kane's 4:48 Psychosis; The Globe Theatre of London's Measure for Measure; Druid Company's The Walworth Farce, The New Electric Ballroom and Penelope; Enda Walsh's Misterman, featuring Cillian Murphy; Lou Reed's Berlin; the National Theater of Scotland's acclaimed Black Watch; Kneehigh Theatre's Brief Encounter and Tristan & Yseult; Yael Farber's Mies Julie; Dmitry Krymov Lab's Opus No. 7; the Donmar Warehouse all-female Julius Caesar; Kate Tempest's Brand New Ancients; Tricycle Theatre's Red Velvet and, most recently, the National Theatre of Scotland's Let the Right One In. St. Ann's has championed such artists as The Wooster Group, Mabou Mines, Jeff Buckley, Cynthia Hopkins, Emma Rice and Daniel Kitson.

Early on in DUMBO, St. Ann's Warehouse was awarded the Ross Wetzsteon OBIE Award for the development of new work, for "inviting artists to treat their cavernous DUMBO space as both an inspiring laboratory and a sleek venue where its super-informed audience charges the atmosphere with hip vitality."