Red Bull Theater 20th Anniversary To Feature Audra McDonald, Patrick Page, Santino Fontana, Reeve Carney, and More

Highlights include the rolling world premiere of Medea: Re-Versed opening Off-Broadway; a new season of OBIE Award-winning Revelation Readings with an all-star line-up.

By: Dec. 05, 2023
Red Bull Theater 20th Anniversary To Feature Audra McDonald, Patrick Page, Santino Fontana, Reeve Carney, and More

RED BULL THEATER has announced details of its plans for 2024, celebrating its 20th Anniversary.

Highlights include the rolling world premiere of Medea: Re-Versed opening Off-Broadway; a new season of OBIE Award-winning Revelation Readings with an all-star line-up (offered both in-person and online); and an all-new season of the popular Red Bull Theater Podcasts (formerly known as RemarkaBULL Podversations), intimate behind the scenes conversations with great artists.

Summer will also feature the 14th incarnation of the acclaimed Short New Play Festival, Red Bull’s renowned annual festival of classically inspired ten-minute plays, featuring world premieres by some of the most exciting established and emerging writers from across the country. 

"We have a lot to celebrate this holiday season at Red Bull! Our 20th anniversary year of producing Off Broadway is chock full, with a dizzying array of rarely produced classics and thrilling new takes on those classics featuring some of the most remarkable talent in the world.  Bookended by a new musical version of The Country Wife and a hip-hop version of Medea, this season we are also excited to present a 20th Anniversary Festival, celebrating the work at the heart of our mission - the rarely produced plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and new works in conversation with the classics. With at least 8 plays presented over 4 weeks, you will want to save dates on your calendar now – And that’s just the Festival. We’ve also got Revelation Readings, Podcasts, Shakespeare in Schools, and more offerings.  I can’t begin to describe how moved and honored I am at all the amazing artists who are lining up to work with us this 20th year, and how thrilled I am to invite audiences to share in the work and join us.” said Mr. Berger.  

"I could not be more proud of all Red Bull Theater has planned in the coming year as we ramp up our 20th anniversary celebration with rare classics and daring new work featuring many of the finest and most celebrated artists in New York,” said Red Bull Theater Executive Director Martin Giannini. “Our audiences will have access to an astonishing and diverse lineup of work that underscores the unique dynamism of our company. I hope to see you at the theater!”

Prior to the start of the new year RBT will offer the one-night-only, benefit performance of The Country Wife, the delightful new musical from the award-winning team of Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire, on Monday December 11th at the Peter Norton Symphony Space. Newly adapted from the play by William WycherleyThe Country Wife will feature Nicholas Edwards, Carson Elrod, Jennifer Fouché, Andy Grotelueschen, Eddie KorbichCedric Lamar, Kristolyn Lloyd, Ellyn Marie Marsh, Brad Oscar, Julian Remulla, Jelani Remy, Christina Sajous, and Lauren Worsham. The award-winning team of Maltby & Shire stir up this delectable gumbo of Caribbean, Creole, and Cajun-inspired culture in a musical retelling set in Antebellum New Orleans. In addition to the team's two beloved revues, Closer Than Ever and Starting Here Starting Now, Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire collaborated on the Broadway musicals Baby and Big. Directed by Mr. Maltby, The Country Wife will have choreography by Lisa Shriver (Broadway: Ruben & Clay's Christmas Show, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Farnsworth Invention, Ring of Fire; Off-Broadway: Into the Woods - Lortel Award nomination); costume design by Emilio Sosa (currently represented on Broadway by Purlie Victorious, Sweeney Todd, and A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical; four Tony Award nominations: Ain't No Mo', Good Night, Oscar,  Trouble in Mind, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess); lighting design by Paul Hudson (Red Bull Theater’s Return to the Forbidden Planet and Your Own Thing); and projection design by Harry Feiner. Produced in partnership with Art Lab Productions, this special benefit event is made possible in part by the additional dedicated support of Marty Granoff and Ted and Mary Jo Shen. This one-night-only performance will take place Monday December 11th ( 7:30 PM) at the Peter Norton Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street).  Tickets  are now on sale from $76.50 (service fees apply). 

2024 will see the rolling World Premiere of Medea: Re-Versed by Luis Quintero, co-conceived and directed by RBT Associate Artistic Director Nathan Winkelstein. An ice-cold, high-octane adaptation of Euripides' play written in battle rap verse, this brand-new hip-hop version of Medea sheds contemporary light on the classic tragedy of family, power, and revenge - as terrifying and shocking today as it was two thousand years ago. Quintero’s version of the story reignites the sacred rage of our ancestors and illuminates in the most human terms the extraordinary lengths that some people will travel to even the scales of justice. The cast will feature Sarin Monae West (most recently seen in Mint Theater’s The Rat Trap; Her other credits include The Skin of Our Teeth (LCT/Broadway; Merry Wives - Off-Broadway, Shakespeare in the Park and Mia MIA at La MaMa) as Medea.  Additional casting will be announced shortly.

Originally commissioned and developed by Red Bull Theater, the rolling World Premiere begins outdoors at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival from June 12th to August 30th. It then moves indoors, Off-Broadway, at the Sheen Center Frank Shiner Theatre, beginning previews Thursday September 12th 2024 with Opening Night set for Monday September 23rd. This limited engagement continues through October 15th only.

Revelation Readings offer the unique opportunity to hear rarely-produced classic plays, and brand new plays in conversation with the classics, performed by the finest actors in New York. This year’s slate of readings is sure to delight audiences all season long. 

Revelation Readings will take place online and in-person at various venues around NYC, and will feature Jordan Boatman (currently: Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors); Will Brill (currently: Stereophonic; Roy Cohn in “Fellow Travelers” - Showtime); Arnie Burton (RBT: The Mystery of Irma Vep - Drama League nomination, The Government Inspector; Lewiston/Clarkston - Drama Desk nomination; currently: Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors); Reeve Carney (Hadestown — Outer Critics Circle nomination; Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark); Christian Coulson  (RBT: The Changeling; A Picture of Autumn - Mint Theater; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, "Mozart in the Jungle"), Kelley Curran (“The Gilded Age;” RBT: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore - Actors Equity Joe A. Callaway Award; Present Laughter with Kevin Kline; The Dingdong - Drama League Award nomination); Santino Fontana (RBT: Your Own Thing; Tootsie — Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League nomination; Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella — Tony, Outer Critics Circle nominations;  Sons of the Prophet —Lortel Award; Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League Award nominations; The Importance of Being Earnest — Actors Equity/Clarence Derwent Award; Brighton Beach Memoirs — Drama Desk Award, currently:  I Can Get It for You Wholesale); Rebecca Hall (Broadway: Machinal - Roundabout/Theatre World Award, Outer Critics Circle nomination; Off-Broadway: The Cherry Orchard - Brooklyn Academy of Music/Drama Desk nomination; Animal - Atlantic Theate/Drama League nomination; film: Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona - Golden Globe nomination, Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon, The Town with Ben Affleck); Chukwudi Iwuji (NYSF: Hamlet, Othello, The Low Road - Obie Award, Lortel Award nomination, Drama League Award nomination);  Mark Linn-Baker (RBT: The School for Scandal; Broadway: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, On the 20th Century, You Can't Take It With You, The Music Man with Hugh Jackman, A Year With Frog and Toad — Drama League nomination); Peter Macon ("The Orville"); Audra McDonald (winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards and an Emmy, in 2015 she received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people. She won Tonys for her performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, which also served as the vehicle for her Olivier-nominated 2017 West End debut); Jacob Ming-Trent (RBT: The Alchemist -  Lortel Award nomination; Merry Wives - Drama Desk nomination; Father Comes Home from the Wars - Lortel Award); Patrick Page (RBT: Coriolanus, The Duchess of Malfi; currently: All the Devils Are Here; Hadestown - Tony Award nomination, Grammy Award; Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, Lion King); Lorenzo Pisoni  (Equus; Humor Abuse - Drama Desk, Obie and Outer Critics Circle Awards);  Lily Santiago (RBT’s Mac Beth); Alexandra Silber (Fiddler on the Roof, Master Class with Tyne Daly, Arlington - Outer Critics Circle nomination, Hello Again - Drama League Award nomination); Myra Lucretia Taylor (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical; School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play; Nine, Macbeth); John Douglas Thompson (RBT: Women Beware Women; Tony Award nomination - Jitney, two Drama Desk Awards, two Obie Awards, Outer Critics Circle Award, Lucille Lortel Award); Matthew Rauch (RBT: The Revenger’s Tragedy, Edward the Second, The Duchess of Malfi; “Partner Track” - Netflix, Junk, “Banshee”);   Raphael Nash Thompson (RBT: Volpone, The Witch of Edmonton, Edward II; most recently on Broadway in The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window), and John Yi (KPOP, Soft Power),  among others!

COMING UP: 

 

Monday January 22nd at 7:30pm - Online and In Person at Playwrights Horizons Peter Jay Sharp Theater

THE REVENGE by Edward Young, directed by Nathan Winkelstein

Featuring Christian Coulson, Merritt Janson, Peter Macon, Ismenia Mendes, Matthew Rauch, and Alexandra Silber.

In partnership with the Mellon Foundation sponsored “On Decolonizing Theatre” Seminar at Northwestern University, and the R/18 Collective

Immensely popular in the late 18th and early 19th century, this potboiler tells a tale that Shakespeare audiences will recognize - a general and his new bride manipulated to tragic ends by a supposed friend. But in this tale, it is the Moor, Zanga, seeking righteous vengeance on the hated conquerors of his people, who fulfills the role of the friend turned traitor. The fiery Zanga, a favorite role of both Ira Aldridge and Edmund Kean, finally gets his return to the spotlight.

Monday February 19th at 7:30pm - Online and In Person at Florence Gould Hall at FIAF

THE IMAGINARY INVALID by Molière, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher, directed by Jesse Berger

Featuring Jordan Boatman, Will Brill, Arnie Burton, Kelley Curran, Mark Linn-Baker, Lorenzo Pisoni, John Yi, and more to be announced

In partnership with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)

In Molière’s best loved comedy, Monsieur Argan is a notorious hypochondriac whose nonexistent illnesses blind him to the con men and women (his new wife) who prey on his fears to fatten their purses. His plan: marry his daughter to a doctor so he'll have free round-the-clock on-site healthcare for the rest of his life. Newly translated by Mirabelle Ordinaire and adapted for Red Bull by Jeffrey Hatcher (The Government Inspector, The Alchemist), The Imaginary Invalid is a brilliant satire of doctors, lawyers, and would-be patients who take self-care to staggering levels of pathological solipsism.  A comic whirlwind of pills, lovers, therapies, disguises, vaccinations, impersonations, masks, mindfulness and miracle cures. 

Monday March 25th at 7:30pm - In Person Only at the Lucille Lortel Theatre

ANTONY & CLEOPATRA by William Shakespeare, directed by Arin Arbus

Featuring Audra McDonald and John Douglas Thompson, and more to be announced

Presented in association with The Acting Company

In this classic Jacobean tragedy of love and duty, Cleopatra the Egyptian Queen, and the Roman general Marc Antony scandalize Egypt and Rome alike through their passionate love affair, setting off a chain of broken alliances, jealous rages and civil war that reverberate through the known world in one of Shakespeare’s greatest historical love stories.

Monday April 15th -  In Person Only Performance at Sheen Center Shiner Theatre

HOW SHAKESPEARE SAVED MY LIFE

An epic poem told by Jacob Ming-Trent with verse rhyme and song

Jacob tells us how Shakespeare raised him, saved him and ultimately showed him that forgiveness and mercy could set him free. "America tried to take my life, a five-hundred-year-old white dude saved it."


 

April 20th & 21st - In Person Workshop at Sheen Center Shiner Theatre

MACBETH by William Shakespeare, directed by Nathan Winkelstein

Featuring Chukwudi Iwuji, and more to be announced 

One of the most malevolently attractive plays of all time, Macbeth is often held up as the greatest dramatic example of the fatal flaw of ambition. But what if ambition were not the driving force behind the actions of the Macbeths? This workshop seeks to delve deeper into the core of the Macbeths' relationship - a relationship full of passion, evil, grief, and ultimately tragedy. And also there are some pretty weird sisters hanging around…what are they all about? Join us on a journey of exploration into the most Jacobean of all Shakespeare’s plays. 

Tuesday April 23rd at 7:30pm – In Person at Sheen Center Shiner Theatre

GOD’S SPIES by Bill Cain, directed by Nathan Winkelstein

World Premiere!
Cast to be announced

What do you write after you have written the world’s greatest play? Hopefully, not another Timon of Athens. Fortunately for Shakespeare, he is caught in the middle of the pandemic of 1603 and theaters are closed for a year. The plague opens his eyes to the mysteries of life and death when he is quarantined with a young Puritan lawyer and a mature streetwise prostitute. Will Shakespeare thrive creatively? Will his follow up play be as disappointing as his last? Or will he write his masterpiece?

Friday April 26th & Saturday April 27th –  In Person Workshop at Sheen Center Shiner Theatre

THE ROVER by Aphra Behn, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch

Featuring Santino Fontana, and more to be announced

It's Spain, during carnival, and anything can and does happen. Two Spanish sisters don masks and take to the streets, one to reunite with her true love, the other to find a man and evade her fate at the nunnery. Enter a trio of English rakes looking for kicks, and we get raucous and raunchy Restoration comedy at its best. From the pen of the first professional female playwright comes a play that challenges 17th-century notions of marriage, while asking timeless questions of sexual politics. How far will women go, to follow their hearts' desire? And just how badly can men behave, before they have to put a ring on it? 

Monday April 29th at 7:30pm – In Person at The Loreto Theater at Sheen Center

THE TEMPEST by William Shakespeare, directed by Jesse Berger

Featuring Patrick Page, Reeve Carney, Lily Santiago, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Raphael Nash Thompson, and more to be announced

A shipwreck, a magical island, and a tale of love, revenge, and inheritance frame Shakespeare’s final, and one of his most beloved plays. Prospero, the unjustly deposed Duke of Milan, holds sway over the island home of his exile through command of the magical arts, raising his daughter Miranda in isolation save for the island’s creatures and spirits, until a storm washes ashore a cadre of visitors whose arrival portends danger, romance, and reconciliation.

Monday May  6th at 7:30pm – In Person at Sheen Center Shiner Theatre

OR, WHAT SHE WILL by Liz Duffy Adams, Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch

Featuring Rebecca Hall, and more to be announced

Sprung from debtors’ prison after a disastrous overseas mission, Aphra is desperate to get out of the spy trade. She has a shot at a production at one of only two London companies, if she can only finish her play by morning despite interruptions from sudden new love, actress Nell Gwynne; complicated royal love, King Charles II; and very dodgy ex-love, double-agent William Scott—who may be in on a plot to murder the king in the morning. Can Aphra Behn – poet, spy, and soon to be  first professional female playwright — save Charles’ life, win William a pardon, resist Nell’s charms, and launch her career, all in one night? 

Friday May 10th & Saturday May 11th –  In Person Workshop at Sheen Center Shiner Theatre

TITUS ANDRONICUS by William Shakespeare, directed by Jesse Berger

Featuring Patrick Page, and more to be announced

One of Shakespeare's earliest and bloodiest plays explores the desperate nihilism of a world where an unstoppable cycle of revenge has begun. Titus is Rome's greatest general and the head of a noble Roman family. When his armies vanquish the Goths, their defeated queen, Tamora - with her paramour Aaron the Moor - unleashes a fury that brings Rome, Titus, and his family to their knees. The play's exploration of humanity's capacity for inhumanity is shockingly contemporary.

Monday May 13th –  In Person Performance at Sheen Center Shiner Theatre

ANOTHER MEDEA written & directed by Aaron Mark

Featuring Tom Hewitt

At once ancient and contemporary, this provocative mono-thriller is Grand Guignol horror in the style of Spalding Gray. The story of the incarcerated Marcus Sharp, a charismatic and enigmatic New York actor who recounts in gruesome detail how his obsessions with a wealthy doctor named Jason and the myth of Medea lead to horrific, unspeakable events. “Played with great suppleness by the handsome, silver-haired Broadway veteran Tom Hewitt, Marcus is a disarming psychopath....in this darkening tale, we watch his life unravel...some unnerving moments...This play is partly about loving the theater: the story of a man who loses his way after he exiles himself from the stage.” - New York Times

AND THAT’S NOT ALL! More readings and workshops will be announced for the 20th Anniversary Festival in the New Year. All events will go on sale to the public in January. Become a Friend to book tickets early, plus other donor benefits and discounts. 

Join celebrated stars of stage and screen Miriam Silverman, Bill Camp, Hamish Linklater, Michael Stuhlbarg, Zainab Jah, and more for the Red Bull Theater Podcast (formerly RemarkaBULL Podversations), available on all podcasting platforms, informal online conversations that investigate approaches to essential passages from the Shakespearean and Jacobean canon and beyond. You can also listen to recordings of past conversations with F. Murray Abraham, Kate Burton, Grantham Coleman, André De Shields, Lisa Harrow, Chukwudi Iwuji, Dion Johnstone, Elizabeth Marvel, Patrick Page, Matthew Rauch, Jay O. Sanders, Michael Urie, and more at https://redbulltheaterpodcast.buzzsprout.com/. FREE!

Come Summer, Red Bull will present the 14th Annual Short New Play Festival. The next installment of this renowned new play festival brings you 8 new works by the most exciting playwrights from across the country, writing classically-inspired plays in response to this year’s theme: “Reunion.” Over the Festival’s thirteen-year history, Red Bull Theater has cultivated over 4,000 new short plays of classic themes and heightened language, presenting over 100 of them in one-night-only Festival performances with some of New York’s finest actors. Commissioned playwrights have included Larissa FastHorse, Marcus Gardley, John Guare, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Jeremy O. Harris, David Ives, Craig Lucas, Ellen McLaughlin, Dael Orlandersmith, Theresa Rebeck, Heather Raffo, José Rivera, Anne Washburn, Doug Wright, and winning entries by writers such as Anchuli Felicia King, Patricia Ione Lloyd, Lynn Rosen, and Jen Silverman. Stage Rights has published a 5-volume collection of the plays from the first 10 years of Red Bull Theater’s annual Short New Play Festival as Red Bull Shorts. Submissions will open in January.  Red Bull Theater’s 14th Annual Short New Play Festival is made possible by the leadership support of The Noël Coward Foundation. 




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