Theatre For A New Audience Presents EXPERIMENTAL WORKSHOPS/EXPLORING THE HISTORIES Beginning This Week

Performances run January 26-February 5, 2023.

By: Jan. 26, 2023
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Horowitz explained, "Richard II and Henry IV will each have five performances. The audience will be limited to 150 per performance, seated in-the-round with direct connection to an ensemble of actors working script-in-hand with minimal scenery, costumes, and lighting. These are workshops with an eye to possible full future productions. It will be like attending an open rehearsal with an ensemble of actors who are exploring and experimenting rather than giving finished performances. The audience will be part of the process. The intimacy of the setting will enable actors and audience to discover together through Shakespeare's words some of his greatest characters and the worlds of the plays: families, parents and children, the journey from absolute monarchy to flawed kingship and civil war."

Richard II, Shakespeare's prequel to Henry IV, featuring Christian Camargo as King Richard and Thomas Jay Ryan as Henry Bolingbroke, is the story of a vain King Richard, ordained by god, who is deposed by the strong-willed and politically savvy Henry Bolingbroke. This powerful work, written entirely in verse, is renowned for its extraordinary language and exploration of usurpation, legitimacy, and the divine right of kings.

Henry IV, Dakin Matthews's adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 into a single three-act, three-hour play, features Susannah Perkins as Prince Hal; Tom Pecinka as Henry Percy; Cara Ricketts as Lady Percy; Thomas Jay Ryan as King Henry IV; and Jay O. Sanders as Sir John Falstaff. Matthews' adaptation of Shakespeare's two plays covering Bolingbroke's turbulent reign was last produced in New York in 2003 at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre where it won multiple Tony Awards, as well as a special Drama Desk Award.

Matthews writes, "There is a long tradition of combining these two plays into one, stretching back to the early 17th Century, because the first part, as glorious as it is, leaves the full story untold, and three of the four major character arcs unfinished. And though Part One is quite popular-thanks no doubt to the remarkable character of Falstaff-the chance of ever seeing Part Two is very slim for most audiences; and leaving the full story hanging deprives them of experiencing the full scope of Shakespeare's vision. To achieve the condensation, I have interpolated crucial early scenes from Part Two into the first two acts, and then finished the third act with mostly Part Two material. In the process, some characters are eliminated or conflated, and some scenes are abridged, combined, or omitted. But the gain has been the recovery of the full sweep of history, in which Shakespeare explores what makes a good ruler and a healthy commonwealth in times of crisis and sedition."

Eric Tucker, who directs both workshops, is the artistic director of Bedlam theatre company, "the adventurously lo-fi theater troupe that has earned a reputation for joyfully reinvigorating classic texts, from Hamlet and St. Joan to Sense & Sensibility and Uncle Romeo Vanya Juliet, a riff on two plays at once, Shakespeare's youthful romantic tragedy and Chekhov's mature and moody comedy" (Sara Holdren, New York Magazine).

About the Cast

Heidi Armbruster (John of Gaunt/The Duchess of York/ Salisbury; Mistress Quickly/Vernon). New York premieres: Time Stands Still (Broadway), Disgraced (Lincoln Center), Lewiston/ Clarkston (Rattlestick), Man from Nebraska (Second Stage), Poor Behavior (Primary Stages), Boy (Keen Company), Dov and Ali (Playwrights Realm), The Fifth Column (The Mint), and Sea of Tranquility (The Atlantic). Drama League Nomination for Tea and Sympathy (Keen Company). Extensive regional credits including Scarecrow (written and performed by Heidi). Numerous Film and TV credits including Younger, Manifest, and Partner Track.

Jordan Bellow (Bushy/Exton/Abbott; Warwick). New York: California (Clubbed Thumb); Gnit (Theatre for a New Audience); Ransom (Arts On Site); Interior (59E59); The Feels...KMS (New Ohio); Macbeth and Alkestis (The Connelly). Regional: Fisher Center at Bard; Westport Country Playhouse; Denver Center; Syracuse Stage; Indiana Repertory Theatre; Florida Studio Theatre and South Coast Repertory. Television: Dickinson; Gotham; Orange is the New Black.

Christian Camargo (Richard II; Justice Shallow). Founding Company Member of Shakespeare's Globe Theater, London. TFANA: Coriolanus (Karin Coonrod), Hamlet (David Esbjornson) (Obie Award, Drama Desk Nom), Pericles (Trevor Nunn). Broadway: Romeo and Juliet, All My Sons, Skylight. BAM: Directed by Sam Mendes in The Tempest and As You Like It. London: The Kid Stays in the Picture (Simon McBurney), Henry V, Chaste Maid in Cheapside. Films/Series: The Hurt Locker, K-19: The Widowmaker, The Twilight Saga, See, Wormwood, Dexter.

Byron Jennings (Duke of York/Duchess of Gloucester; Westmoreland/Francis/Silence). Broadway: Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, She Loves Me, You Can't Take it With You, Macbeth, Arcadia, The Merchant of Venice, Inherit the Wind. Off-Broadway: Plenty, Waste, Don Juan, The Foreigner, Dealer's Choice, Stuff Happens. Television: Tommy, Fosse/Verdon, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Blacklist, The Good Fight, Boardwalk Empire. Film: The Greatest Showman, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, True Story, Lincoln, Julie & Julia, The Ice Storm.

Brenda Meaney (Duke of York/Duchess of Gloucester; Westmoreland/Francis/Silence). Tom Stoppard's Indian Ink (Roundabout); Incognito (Manhattan Theatre Club); Party Face (New York City Center); Neil LaBute Short Play Festival; Little Gem (Irish Repertory Theatre); The Mountains Look Different, The New Morality (The Mint). Regional: Venus in Fur, The Hard Problem (ACT); Queens (La Jolla Playhouse); Caucasian Chalk Circle, Owners (YRT); And a Nightingale Sang... (Westport Country Playhouse); Film/Television: There's Always Hope, FBI: Most Wanted, For Life, Hell on Wheels, Love/Hate (RTE). BA, Trinity College Dublin; MFA, Yale School of Drama.

Ajay Naidu (Northumberland; Bardolph/Northumberland/Ar). Hamlet (Sheen Center), The Kid Stays In The Picture (Royal Court), Indian Ink (Roundabout), Master and Margarita and Measure for Measure (Theatre Complicite), Little Flower of East Orange (Public Theatre), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (National Actors Theatre), Darwaza (solo performance, Labyrinth), Everyman (Steppenwolf). Film includes: The Good Nurse, The Kindergarten Teacher, Office Space, SubUrbia, Ashes (Best Actor, London Asian Film Festival). Television include Extrapolations, WECrashed, Uncoupled, Blindspot, Billions, God Friended Me, Blacklist, Friends From College, Odd Mom Out, Deadbeat, Bored to Death, 30 Rock, West Wing, Lateline, The Sopranos.

Tom Pecinka (Henry Percy; Henry Percy ("Hotspur") and as cast). TFANA: He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box, Timon of Athens. Off-Broadway: Troilus and Cressida, Richard II (The Public) The Soldier's Tale (Carnegie Hall); Torch Song (Second Stage). Regional: Ghosts, Member of the Wedding (Williamstown); Father Comes Home From the Wars... (Yale Rep, ACT); Arcadia (Yale Rep); Cloud 9, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hartford Stage); Deathtrap, Design for Living, Cat and the Canary (Berkshire Theatre Festival). Current TV: American Rust. Upcoming Film: The Kill Room. Education: BA: Fordham University; MFA: Yale School of Drama.

Susannah Perkins (Aumerle and Groom; Prince Hal). (They/she). Broadway: Network. Off Broadway: Judgement Day (Park Avenue Armory), The Low Road (The Public), The Wolves (Lincoln Center/The Playwrights Realm), and The Rape of the Sabine Women by Grace B. Mathias (The Playwrights Realm). Regional: Night of the Iguana (A.R.T.) TV/Film: The Politician, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Lapsis (SXSW), Enclosure, Snakeeater. BFA, NYU/Tisch. Obie and Drama Desk Awards.

Julia Randall (The Queen/Berkeley; Poins) is thrilled to be working with TFANA and Eric Tucker. After completing her degree in drama at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Julia returned to NYC and starred in Mr. Toole at 59E59. TV/Film credits include Dose, Who We Were, and New Year's Eve.

Cara Ricketts (Mowbray/Lord Ross /Lady 2; Lady Percy/Douglas). TFANA: Measure for Measure. Broadway: Time and the Conways. Regional Theatre: The Wild Party (Acting UpStage), Hedda Gabler (Necessary Angel), Constellations and Race (Canadian Stage), and several seasons as a leading lady at Canada's esteemed Stratford Festival. TV: The Resident (FOX), Anne with an E (CBC/Netflix; ACTRA Award); Cara has also developed quite a fan base for her two leading roles in the Ubisoft games - the villainess Mickey in Far Cry New Dawn and Sayla in Far Cry Primal.

Michael Rogers (Green/Welsh Captain/Bishop Carlisle; Pistol/Glendower/Hastings) has worked at theatres across the United States and internationally in roles varying from Titania, Othello, Dracula, Robert Mugabe (USA), and God (Italy). Most recently: Generations, Marley, The Call, The Merchant Of Venice, The Winter's Tale. On television Michael Rogers has appeared on many of the major episodic shows. Most recently: Madam Secretary and Alternatino. Films: The Mosquito Coast, Weekend At Bernie's II, Side Streets, Dope Fiend, God's Pocket, Inscape, Dance Of The Quantum Cats, Moonfire. Mr. Rogers is a graduate of the Yale school of Drama.

Thomas Jay Ryan (Henry Bolingbroke; King Henry IV/Lady Northumberland). Broadway: West Side Story, The Nap, The Crucible, In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play. Off-Broadway: Becky Nurse of Salem, Eureka Day, Dance Nation, The Amateurs, 10 out of 12, The Lady From Dubuque, Venus, The Temperamentals, The Misanthrope, and The Little Foxes. Films: Henry Fool, Scenes From An Empty Church, Cryptozoo, Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, Legend Of Bagger Vance, Burn Country, Teknolust, Strange Culture. Awards: Callaway, two Drama Desk Awards, Drama League, Gemini Award nominations.

Jamie Sanders (Lord Marshall/ Bagot/Servant; Traveler 1/Mortimer/Davy/Prince John) is a New York City based and raised actor. Credits: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Portland Center Stage and KC Repertory); The Belle's Stratagem, The Man of Mode, and Much Ado (Sweet Tea Shakespeare); Stars in the House Presents Misalliance (Gingold Group).

Jay O. Sanders (The Gardener; Sir John Falstaff) has been exploring Shakespeare his whole career. Starting in 2010, he collaborated with his wife, Maryann Plunkett, and Playwright/Director Richard Nelson on The Apple Family (including three Zoom plays), The Gabriels, and The Michaels. Sanders played Uncle Vanya for the Hunter Theater Project, Cyrano de Bergerac at the Guthrie Theater, and Nick Laine in Girl From The North Country on Broadway, and has featured in many films and television projects.

Krystal Sobaskie (Herald/Servant/Surrey/Narrator; Nym/Servant to Hotspur/ Sheriff/Lady Mortimer). TFANA Debut. Off-Broadway: Liar. (WP & PopUP Theatrics). NYC: Inside, Broken City: Wall Street (PopUP), Workshops at The Lark, Lincoln Center's Across A Crowded Room, and Dixon Place. Regional: Antony and Cleopatra, Our Town, Urinetown (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), The Secret Garden. Film credits include: Electric, Wing Wednesday. Training: University of Connecticut. Endless gratitude to Scott, Jack and the late Wynn Handman.

About the Creative Team

Jimmy Stubbs (Scenic Designer) is a scenic and production designer based in NYC. He is excited to be returning to TFANA after serving as Associate Scenic Designer to Riccardo Hernandez on Des Moines. Recent designs include Alcina (Yale Opera), Marisol (University of Rochester), The Juniors (Colgate University), Cabaret (Yale Dramatic Association), Fun Home (Yale School of Drama). He holds an MFA in Set Design from the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale.

Nicole E. Lang (Lighting Design) is a designer for performance based in New York City. Her recent designs include Hanging with Clarence (Park Avenue Armory), AMBER/BLUE (Belinda McGuire Dance Projects), Fallen Angels (Quinnipiac University), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Outcasts (American Academy of Dramatic Arts), Today Is My Birthday (Yale Repertory Theatre), When Day Comes (Crossroads Theatre Company), the moment before..., bodyssey (Yale Cabaret), and Fun Home (Yale University).

Andrew Wade (Voice Director). The Royal Shakespeare Company: voice assistant 1987-2003, head of voice 1990-2003. Since 2003: The Acting Company, Guthrie Theater, Stella Adler Studio (master teacher voice and Shakespeare). Currently: TFANA (resident voice and text director), The Public Theater (director of voice), Juilliard (adjunct faculty Drama Division). Broadway: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two (U.S. head of voice and dialect), King Lear with Glenda Jackson (voice coach), Matilda (director of voice and national tour), A Christmas Carol and tour, A Bronx Tale the Musical. Film: Shakespeare in Love. Workshops and lectures worldwide. Fellow of Rose Bruford College.

Jonathan Kalb (Resident Dramaturg) is professor of theatre at Hunter College, CUNY and is TFANA's resident dramaturg. The author of five books on theatre, he has worked for more than three decades as a theatre scholar, critic, journalist and dramaturg. He has twice won The George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism and has also won the George Freedley Award for an outstanding theatre book from the Theatre Library Association. He often writes about theatre on his TheaterMatters blog.

Diane Healy (Stage Manager). TFANA: A Doll's House; The Father. With BEDLAM: The Winter's Tale, Hedda Gabler, The Crucible, Sense & Sensibility, Saint Joan, Hamlet, Pygmalion, Peter Pan, Cry Havoc!, Twelfth Night/What You Will. Has SM'd in NY with: NAATCO, Clubbed Thumb, Radical Evolution/WP Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Mabou Mines; Primary Stages; Playwrights Realm; Barrow Street Theatre; Atlantic Theatre Co., LCT3, LaMama, The Civilians. Regionally: Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Folger Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, Oldcastle Theatre Company.

Performance Schedule

Performances of Richard II take place January 26 and February 5 at 7:30pm, and January 28, 29, and February 4 at 2pm. Performances of Henry IV take place January 27 & 28 and February 3 & 4 at 7:30pm and February 5 at 2pm. Both performances take place at Polonsky Shakespeare Center (262 Ashland Pl, Brooklyn).

Running Times: Richard II: 2:30 plus one intermission Henry IV: 3:05 plus two intermissions.

No reserved seating; all seats general admission.

Ticketing Information

Single tickets

Tickets for all performances of Richard II and Henry IV are $20. Tickets are $10 for season subscribers.

Tickets are available online at; by phone at 646.553.3880; and in person at the box office.


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