Irish Rep Extends Eugene O'Neill's THE EMPEROR JONES, Starring Obi Abili
Irish Repertory Theatre announced today an extension for Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones, which will now run through May 21. Directed by Ciarán O'Reilly (Shining City), and starring Obi Abili (Ivo Van Hove's Antigone at BAM), The Emperor Jones began performances on March 1, 2017 at Irish Rep Theatre (132 West 22nd Street) on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage, and officially opened on March 12, 2017.
The current cast features Obi Abili (Antigone; Gambit) as Brutus Jones, William Bellamy (Finian's Rainbow) as Ensemble, Carl Hendrick Louis (The Cherry Orchard) as Lem/Ensemble, Sinclair Mitchell (The Lion King) as Witch Doctor, Angel Moore (A Raisin in the Sun) as Camae, Andy Murray (War Horse) as Henry Smithers, and Reggie Talley (Stomp) as Ensemble. Joining the production April 8 though May 21 is J. CameRon Barnett ("The Blacklist") as Lem/Ensemble.
Eugene O'Neill's groundbreaking play The Emperor Jones is the story of Brutus Jones, a despot who ascends the throne using lies, intimidation and the politics of fear. Following a prison break in the United States, Jones sets himself up as monarch of a Caribbean island. When the Natives rebel after years of exploitation, Jones's mesmerizing journey into darkness becomes a terrifying psychological portrayal of power, fear, and madness. With his demons in heavy pursuit, the Emperor is forced to confront not just the mortal sins of his past but also the depravities against his ancestors-all in search of forgiveness and salvation.
The production features choreography by Barry McNabb (Finian's Rainbow), lighting design by Brian Nason (Donnybrook!), set design by Charlie Corcoran (Shining City), costume design by Antonia Ford Roberts (The Sounding) and Whitney Locher (Into the Woods), sound design and music by Ryan Rumery (The Pigeon in the Taj Mahal) & M. Florian Staab (Shining City), additional music by Christian Frederickson (The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois), and puppet and mask design by Bob Flanagan ("Saturday Night Live").
Irish Rep previously staged The Emperor Jones in a 2009 production, directed by O'Reilly, that Ben Brantley of The New York Times called "Inspired. An ember of real magnificence has been uncovered and fanned, gently and artfully, into a blazing flame."
IRISH REPERTORY THEATRE, co-founded by Producing Director Ciarán O'Reilly and Artistic Director Charlotte Moore, opened its doors in September 1988 with Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars. The Irish Rep is currently the only year-round theatre company in New York City devoted to bringing Irish and Irish American works to the stage. Recognized with the Jujamcyn Theatres Award, a special Drama Desk Award for "Excellence in Presenting Distinguished Irish Drama," an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Achievement, and the Lucille Lortel Award for "Outstanding Body of Work," the Irish Rep has celebrated the very best in Irish theatre for over twenty-five years, from the masters to the new generation of Irish and Irish American writers who are transforming the stage. Nearly 38,000 audience members annually attend productions at our theatre located in the heart of New York's Off Broadway community. Once here, they witness the Irish Rep's engaging perspective on the Irish and their unique contributions to the world of drama.