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HAMLET, Starring Oscar Isaac, Leaves Theater for a New Audience; Eyes the Public

Sam Gold's HAMLET, with STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS star Oscar Isaac in the title role, will no longer grace the stage at Theater for a New Audience next summer.

The New York Times reports that the director has pulled the production, "citing insurmountable artistic differences," and is now in negotiations with The Public Theater to add the show to its 2016-17 season.

Theater for a New Audience Artistic Director Jeffrey Horowitz told the Times: "It's a bad precedent for not-for-profits. Creative artists should not take a production away. It hurts the field if that kind of thing can happen."

Gold, who directed Broadway's Tony-winning FUN HOME, did not comment, but the Public released a statement saying: "We are in early discussions with these Public alumni (Mr. Gold and Mr. Isaac) to see if we can help make their production possible next season."

As a rule, Theater for a New Audience does not produce adaptations of Shakespeare. The Times writes that at the beginning of June, dramaturge Jonathan Kalb, whose job it was to oversea Gold's interpretation of the play, "raised questions of how and when Gold planned to do his work on the text, whether he understood that Jeffrey would want to be consulted, and whether he might want to postpone firm discussions until the workshop."

After the inquiries, Gold was, according to Kalb, "defensive" and decided to leave the project soon after.

Following Gold's departure, Horowitz met with the Public's Artistic Director Oskar Eustis to try to agree on a co-production of HAMLET, either saving seats for Theater for a New Audience subscribers at the Public, or having HAMLET play previews at the Public before opening and running at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center.

But Gold officially informed Horowitz on June 20 he would not be helming his production of HAMLET with Theater for a New Audience.

Horowitz wrote an email to the Public's Eustis that if no deal could be reached with Gold, Theater for a New Audience would "vigorously defend its integrity and what we believe is unfair, damaging and an injustice."

For now, a production of MEASURE FOR MEASURE, directed by Simon Godwin, has replaced the hole Gold's HAMLET left at Theater for a New Audience.

Pictured: Sam Gold. Photo by Walter McBride.


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