TFANA Announces TFANA Talks In Connection With THE WINTER'S TALE

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Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA; Jeffrey Horowitz, Founding Artistic Director) announces four TFANA Talks in connection with its new, critically lauded production of William Shakespeare's tragicomedy The Winter's Tale, directed by OBIE Award-winner Arin Arbus. These free post-performance discussions take placeat Polonsky Shakespeare Center (262 Ashland Place), TFANA's home in the Brooklyn Cultural District, where The Winter's Tale runs through April 15.

Following the performance at 2pm on Saturday, April 7, Gail Kern Paster, a member of TFANA's Council of Scholars and former Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, will engage the leading women of The Winter's Tale-Kelley Curran (Hermione), Mahira Kakkar (Paulina), and Nicole Rodenburg (Perdita)-in conversation.

At the conclusion of the 7:30pm performance on Friday, April 13, TFANA's Founding Artistic Director, Jeffrey Horowitz, will moderate a discussion between Arin Arbus and Gregory Doran, Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, who directs the RSC's acclaimed production of King Lear at BAM April 7-29. Arbus and Doran will share their experiences stagingthe two plays, which they have both directed.

A TFANA Talk after the 2pm performance on Saturday, April 14, will feature Richard McCoy, a member of TFANA's Council of Scholars and a Distinguished Professor of English at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, in conversation with Arin Arbus and actors Mahira Kakkar (Paulina) and Anatol Yusef, about staging and performing The Winter's Tale.

Jeffrey Horowitz will lead a conversation with Alex Mar, writer of Witches of America and the recent Wired essay "Love in a Time of Robots," and playwright Sarah Ruhl about the Pygmalion myth, androids, and more, following the 2pm performance on Sunday, April 15.

TFANA's production of The Winter's Tale marks the first time Arbus has directed the work, and the 31st of Shakespeare's 37 plays the company has presented since its founding in 1979. In a Critic's Pick review for The New York Times, Jesse Green calls the staging "grisly, giddy, and moving." He writes that "[The Winter's Tale] powerfully reminds us that not every loss can be undone," that "the excellent cast squeezes the ripe Shakespearean language for all it's worth," and that "we understand that what Shakespeare values is not the anarchic emotionality of men but the vigilant self-possession of women."

The Winter's Tale Schedule and Tickets

Remaining performances of The Winter's Tale take place April 5-8 and 10-15 at 7:30pm, and April 7, 8, 14, and 15 at 2pm.

Theatre for a New Audience is committed to economically accessible tickets and offers tickets at a range of prices for The Winter's Tale.

$20 New Deal: All Performances. Age 30 and under and full-time students of any age. May be purchased online, phone, or at the box office, in advance or day-of, with valid ID(s) proving eligibility required at pickup.

$20 Brooklyn Pass: All Performances. Members of local Brooklyn non-profit organizations through Brooklyn Pass program.

$28 TDF: selected performances.

$60: All performances with a TFANA subscription.

Special Discounts: TFANA offers special discounts available by joining TFANA mailing list at

$90-$100: all performances.

$125 Premium Seats: all performances.

About the TFANA Talks Participants

Arin Arbus (Director, The Winter's Tale) is a resident artist at TFANA, where she directed The Skin of Our Teeth (Obie), repertory productions of Strindberg's The Father and Ibsen's A Doll's House, as well as King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, and Othello. She staged Britten's The Rape of Lucretia at Houston Grand Opera and La Traviata at Canadian Opera Company and Lyric Opera of Chicago. She was a Drama League Directing Fellow and a Princess Grace Award Recipient, and spent several years making theatre with prisoners at a medium security prison in upstate New York in association with Rehabilitation Through the Arts. This summer, Arbus is directing an adaptation of The Tempest in a refugee camp in Greece.

Kelley Curran (Hermione, The Winter's Tale) was recently seen on Broadway in Present Laughter, starring Kevin Kline. Her multiple Off-Broadway credits including Sense & Sensibility and Peter Pan (Bedlam), The DingDong (Pearl, Drama League nom.), and Angels in America (Signature). Regionally, she has performed at / with Paper Mill, Shakespeare Theatre Company of D.C., Guthrie, Portland Center Stage, and The Acting Company.

Gregory Doran (Director, RSC King Lear) has been Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company since 2012. His huge variety of directorial projects has not only included over 27 major Shakespeare productions. He also directed a Jacobean season of plays which won an Olivier Award in 2002, as well as classics from the UK and abroad. In 2013 he instigated the RSC's "Live From Stratford-upon-Avon," a new program to screen productions live from Shakespeare's hometown, including the free streaming of the productions straight to UK schools. Doran delivered the Richard Dimbleby Lecture for the BBC in 2016.

Jeffrey Horowitz (Founding Artistic Director, TFANA) began his career in theatre as an actor and appeared on Broadway, Off Broadway, and in regional theatre. In 1979, he founded Theatre for a New Audience. Horowitz has served on the Panel of the New York State Council on the Arts and on the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group. He is currently on the Advisory Board of The Shakespeare Society and the Artistic Directorate of London's Globe Theatre. He received the John Houseman Award in 2003 and The Breukelein Institute's Gaudium Award in 2004.

Mahira Kakkar (Paulina, The Winter's Tale) has appeared in New York in Against the Hillside, When January Feels Like Summer (EST); Romeo and Juliet (Public Mobile Unit); Clive (New Group); Opus (Primary Stages); Harper Regan (Atlantic); and Miss Witherspoon (Playwrights Horizons), among other productions Select regional theatres include Huntington, Denver Center, OSF, Old Globe, Berkeley Rep, Hartford Stage, Baltimore CenterStage, McCarter. Her film and TV credits include Hank and Asha, "The Big C," "Louie," "Blue Bloods," "Blacklist," and "Law & Order: CI." Training: Juilliard, Harold Guskin, SITI, Public Shakespeare Lab. She is a member of EST, Hero Theater Co., and The Actors Center.

Richard McCoy is a member of TFANA's Council of Scholars and a Distinguished Professor of English at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the author of four books-Sir Philip Sidney: Rebellion in Arcadia (Rutgers, 1979), The Rites of Knighthood: The Literature and Politics of Elizabethan Chivalry (California, 1989), Alterations of State: Sacred Kingship in the English Reformation (Columbia, 2002), and Faith in Shakespeare (Oxford, 2014)-as well as many articles on Shakespeare's plays. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council for Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and The Huntington Library. He has also served as a speaker and consultant for Shakespeare performances for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Canada's Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Classic Stage Company, Target Margin, The Public Theater, and The Shakespeare Society as well as Theatre for a New Audience.

Gail Kern Paster is a member of TFANA's Council of Scholars and consulting editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, the leading scholarly journal devoted to Shakespeare. She retired in July 2011 as Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library. She came to the directorship from George Washington University, where she was a Professor of English. She earned a B.A., magna cum laude, at Smith College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a Ph.D. at Yale University. She has won many national fellowships and awards, including fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, National Endowment from the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation. She was named to the Queen's Honours List as a Commander of the British Empire in May 2011. She has published widely, including three books: The Idea of the City in the Age of Shakespeare (1986), The Body Embarrassed: Drama and the Disciplines of Shame in Early Modern England (1993), and Humoring the Body: Emotions and the Shakespearean Stage (2004). She continues to pursue her scholarly interests in the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

Nicole Rodenburg (Perdita, The Winter's Tale) has appeared Off-Broadway in The Antipodes (Signature) and The Flick (Barrow Street). Selected regional theater roles include Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Westport Country Playhouse); As You Like It, Venus in Fur (Alley Theatre); the world premieres of The Whale (Denver Center), Slasher (Humana), and The End (Guthrie Theatre); Bus Stop (Huntington); and three seasons with the Great River Shakespeare Festival. TV and film credits include "Inside Amy Schumer," "The Shivering Truth" (Comedy Central); "Amish Witches" (Lifetime); "The Girl's Guide to Depravity" (Cinemax); and What Children Do. BFA: University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre Actor Training Program.

Sarah Ruhl's plays include In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (Pulitzer Prize finalist, Tony Award nominee for best new play); The Clean House (Pulitzer Prize Finalist, 2005; The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2004); Passion Play, a cycle (Pen American award, The Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award from The Kennedy Center); Dead Man's Cell Phone (Helen Hayes award); Melancholy Play; Eurydice; Orlando; Demeter in the City (NAACP nomination); Late: a cowboy song; Three Sisters; and most recently, Stage Kiss and Dear Elizabeth. She was a member of 13P and of New Dramatists and won the MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. She was recently the recipient of the PEN Center Award for a mid-career playwright, the Feminist Press' Forty under Forty award, and the 2010 Lilly Award. She is currently on the faculty at Yale School of Drama and lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Anatol Yusef's (Leontes, The Winter's Tale) stage work encompasses a range of productions, both in the UK and the U.S. His Shakespeare acting includes extensive work with the Royal Shakespeare Company; he has also played Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet; the titular role in Richard III; and, most recently, Laertes and the Player King in Sam Gold's production of Hamlet, at The Public Theater. He is best known for playing Meyer Lansky on HBO's "Boardwalk Empire," and for appearing in the UK's acclaimed Channel 4 miniseries "Southcliffe." Yusef recently appeared on AMC's "Preacher" and the film Bastille Day. He trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre school.

About Theatre for a New Audience

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, Adrienne Kennedy, Richard Nelson, Wallace Shawn and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. TFANA has played Off- and on Broadway and toured nationally and internationally.

In 2001, Theatre for a New Audience became the first American theatre invited to bring a production of Shakespeare to the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), Stratford-upon-Avon. Cymbeline, directed by Bartlett Sher, premiered at the RSC; in 2007, TFANA was invited to return to the RSC with The Merchant of Venice, directed by Darko Tresnjak and featuring F. Murray Abraham. In 2011, Mr. Abraham reprised his role as Shylock for a national tour.

After 34 years of being itinerant and playing mostly in Manhattan, Theatre for a New Audience moved to Brooklyn and opened its first permanent home, Polonsky Shakespeare Center, in October 2013. Built by The City of New York in partnership with Theatre for a New Audience, and located in the Brooklyn Cultural District, Polonsky Shakespeare Center was designed by Hugh Hardy and H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture with theatre consultants Akustiks, Milton Glaser, Jean-Guy Lecat, and Theatre Projects. Housed inside the building are the Samuel H. Scripps Mainstage (299 seats)-the first stage built for Shakespeare and classical drama in New York City since Lincoln Center's 1965 Vivian Beaumont-and the Theodore C. Rogers Studio (50 seats).

TFANA'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 background.

Theatre for a New Audience created and runs the largest in-depth program in the New York City Public Schools to introduce students to Shakespeare and has served over 130,000 students since the program began in 1984. TFANA's New Deal ticket program is one of the lowest reserved ticket prices for youth in the city: $20 for any show, any time for those 30 years old and under or for full-time students of any age.

Funding Credits

The Winter's Tale is sponsored by Deloitte. Student matinee performances of the production are supported in part by Shakespeare in American Communities: National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Endowment funds are provided by The Howard Gilman Foundation Fund for Classic Drama.

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