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John Lahr to Talk New Book 'JOY RIDE' at Theatre for a New Audience Next Month


John Lahr, long-time drama critic for The New Yorker and winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for his acclaimed biography Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, will talk about his newest book, JOY RIDE: Show People and Their Shows (W. W. Norton: September 21, 2015), a collection of some of his most popular and engaging New Yorker pieces, which puts the plays on Mr. Lahr's watch in the context of the lives of the artists who created them. Lahr will speak on Wednesday, October 7, at 7:00pm at Polonsky Shakespeare Center, 262 Ashland Place.

Tickets to JOY RIDE: An Evening with John Lahr are $10 general admission and free to Theatre for a New Audience subscribers. Mr. Lahr's talk will be followed by an audience Q&A and a book signing. Books will be available for purchase in the lobby. Food & Drink will also be open in the lobby, selling snacks and light refreshments.

From authors such as Arthur Miller, Harold Pinter, David Mamet, Sarah Ruhl, Tony Kushner, August Wilson, and Shakespeare, to directors Mike Nichols, Nicholas Hytner, and Ingmar Bergman, the depth of Mr. Lahr's understanding is extraordinary to read. Mr. Lahr brings the reader up close and personal with artists and their processes, with plays and the playwrights, with what they seek to express, and how they express it.

"As I always saw it," explains Lahr, "my job was to keep the theatre in the public discourse, to use the platform of the magazine to write a sort of Lives of the Theatricals, to give theater-goers not just a sense of the play but a sense of the history out of which it came."

John Lahr is the author or editor of 11 books on theater, 6 volumes of collected theater criticism, and several novels and play adaptations. He was the senior drama critic of The New Yorker for over two decades, a National Book Award finalist, and has twice won the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. His biography of the murdered playwright Joe Orton, Prick Up Your Ears, was adapted for film, and he is the first critic ever to win a Tony Award (coauthor, Elaine Stritch at Liberty).

Founded in 1979 by Jeffrey Horowitz, Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA) is a modern classic theatre. It produces Shakespeare alongside other major authors from the world repertoire, such as Harley Granville Barker, Edward Bond, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Adrienne Kennedy, Richard Maxwell and Wallace Shawn. It has played off- and on Broadway and toured nationally and internationally. The Theatre's productions have been honored with Tony, Obie, Drama Desk, Drama League, Callaway, Lortel and Audelco awards and nominations and reach an audience diverse in age, economics and cultural backgrounds. TFANA created and runs the largest in-depth program in the New York City Public Schools to introduce students to Shakespeare, and has served more than 127,000 students since the program began in 1984.

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: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence, 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. Additional support for the Theatre's Humanities, Education, and Outreach programs also comes from The Elayne P. Bernstein Education Fund.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or email or call 212-229-2819 x10.

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