Dianne Wiest in HAPPY DAYS, Four Shakespeare Plays and More Slated for Theater for a New Audience's 2016-17 Season

By: Jul. 14, 2016
Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.

Existing user? Just click login.

Theatre for a New Audience, Founding Artistic Director Jeffrey Horowitz, announces its 2016-17 season at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center, 262 Ashland Place, featuring four productions of Shakespeare alongside major American and European authors.

The season begins in November with the 18th Century Italian classic comedy The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni, adapted by Constance Congdon from a translation by Christina Sibul, featuring Steven Epp and directed by Christopher Bayes in his New York premiere. Performances are November 6 through December 4.

Theatre for a New Audience continues in February and March with the first major New York production since 1998 (Delacorte Theater) of the American classic, Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth directed by Arin Arbus. Ms. Arbus most recently directed Theatre for a New Audience's widely acclaimed rotating repertory productions of Ibsen's A Doll's House and Strindberg's The Father. It runs February 12 through March 19.

In April and May, Theatre for a New Audience presents Yale Repertory Theatre's celebrated production of the contemporary classic Happy Days by Samuel Beckett, featuring two-time Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest and directed by James Bundy. Happy Days runs April 23 through May 28.

In June and July, the season concludes with a new production of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, staged by Simon Godwin, Associate Director, London's National Theatre, in his first production of Shakespeare with an American company. The show runs June 17 to July 16, 2017.

Hamlet, previously announced to be produced by Theatre for a New Audience in 2017 is cancelled due to the unilateral withdrawals of director Sam Gold and Oscar Isaac who intended to play the title role.

November 6 - December 4
By Carlo Goldoni
Adapted by Constance Congdon
Translated by Christina Sibul
Further adapted by Christopher Bayes and Steven Epp
Featuring Steven Epp
Directed by Christopher Bayes

Written in 1745, The Servant of Two Masters is one of the great dramatist Carlo Goldoni's most popular plays, preserving in scripted form the antic energy, ribald humor and improvisational immediacy of the commedia dell'arte. RevivingThe Servant of Two Masters demands masterly comic instincts, as the slapstick details of its immortally zany tale must be reinvented for every age. Christopher Bayes's and Steven Epp's hilarious adaptation has been hailed as the wittiest and cleverest English-language version in decades. These veterans of America's celebrated Theatre de la Jeune Lune company honor the legacy and tradition of commedia by rendering it utterly contemporary, relying on improvisation, original music by Chris Curtis and Aaron Halva, and a spirit of dauntless playfulness.

The Servant of Two Masters adapted by Constance Congdon, featuring Stephen Epp and directed by Christopher Bays, had its world premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre in 2010. It subsequently played at the Shakespeare Theatre, Washington D.C. and won a Helen Hayes Award for Steven Epp (Best Actor) and a Helen Hayes nomination for Christopher Bayes (Best Director). It has also played at the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis (2012), ArtsEmerson, Boston (2013), and Seattle Rep (2013), garnering Elliot Norton Award nominations for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Actor. This will be the New York premiere.

Endowment support for The Servant of Two Masters is provided by The Howard Gilman Foundation Fund for Classic Drama.

February 12 - March 19
By Thornton Wilder
Directed by Arin Arbus

Following her acclaimed repertory staging of Ibsen's A Doll's House adapted by Thornton Wilder and Strindberg's The Father in a new version by David Greig, Arin Arbus will stage Thornton Wilder's beloved modern masterpiece The Skin of Our Teeth - a whimsical, profound, and searingly funny paean to human perseverance and indestructibility. Written during the darkest period of World War II, this ageless and charming play has not had a major New York production since 1998. Wilder's quintessential Antrobus family copes with chaos, the frustrations of parents and children set against the crises threatening humanity's survival.

Endowment support for The Skin of our Teeth is provided by The Howard Gilman Foundation Fund for Classic Drama.

April 23 - May 28
The Yale Repertory Theatre production of
Happy Days
By Samuel Beckett
Featuring Dianne Wiest
Directed by James Bundy

Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest (Hannah and Her Sisters, Bullets Over Broadway) plays Winnie in Samuel Beckett's masterpiece Happy Days. Buried up to her waist and sinking into the earth, Winnie is considered modern drama's pinnacle female role, an endlessly fascinating spirit of buoyant resourcefulness and unassuming grace in the face of inevitable oblivion. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, compassionate and ferocious, this extraordinary Happy Daysoriginated at Yale Repertory Theater directed by James Bundy, its artistic director.

June 17 - July 16, 2017
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Simon Godwin

Simon Godwin, a British artist, is an Associate Director at London's National Theatre and is described as "fast becoming one of our best classical directors" (Michael Billington, The Guardian). His acclaimed staging of Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company is currently playing in Stratford-upon-Avon. Mr. Godwin will stage a new production of Shakespeare's disturbing comedy, Measure for Measure. In this tale of irrepressible lust, impossible purity, and infuriating hypocrisy, Mr. Godwin sees a high-stakes conflict of clashing ideologies - a tensely diverse world in which incompatible values collide and expose the tenuous boundary between order and anarchy.

Endowment support for Measure for Measure is provided by The Howard Gilman Foundation Fund for Classic Drama.

Subscriptions for Theatre for a New Audience's 2016-2017 Season include a Four-Play Package for $220, various Three-Play Packages for $174 each, and a Flex Pass Package for $240. Subscriptions may be purchased at www.tfana.org/season or by calling (212) 229-2819, ext. 10, Monday - Friday 1:00pm-6:00pm.

New Deal tickets for ages 30 and under or full-time students of any age are priced at $20 each and can be purchased when single tickets go on sale for each production.

Founded in 1979 by Jeffrey Horowitz, Theatre for a New Audience 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, Wallace Shawn, and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Theatre for a New Audience 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, Theatre for a New Audience was invited to return to the RSC with The Merchant of Venice directed by Darko Tresnjak starring F. Murray Abraham. In 2011, Mr. Abraham reprised his role as Shylock for a national tour.

After 35 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).

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 background.

The Theatre 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 128,000 students since the program began in 1984. The Theatre's economically accessible New Deal ticket program includes 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.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride


To post a comment, you must register and login.