MEDEA: RE-VERSED World Premiere, THE COUNTRY WIFE & More Set for Red Bull Theater 2023-24 Season

Programming will also feature a new season of OBIE Award-winning Revelation Readings, and more.

By: Sep. 07, 2023
MEDEA: RE-VERSED World Premiere, THE COUNTRY WIFE & More Set for Red Bull Theater 2023-24 Season
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RED BULL THEATER has unveiled its 2023-’24 season, including a world premiere opening Off-Broadway; a new season of OBIE Award-winning Revelation Readings (offered both in-person and online); the fourth installment of Red Bull’s acclaimed Hispanic Golden Age Classics, this year examining Don Quixote in English and Spanish versions; an all-star benefit performance of the charming new musical from the award-winning team of Maltby & Shire, The Country Wife, newly adapted from the play by William Wycherley; and an all-new season of its popular podcast, RemarkaBULL Podversations, intimate conversations with great artists. Additional spring Workshops and Readings to be announced at a later date. Summer will feature the 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. This season will feature performances from a roster of extraordinary theater artists including Amir Arison, Mark Linn-Baker, Teagle Bougere, Will Brill, Arnie Burton, Keith Hamilton Cobb, Kelley Curran, Carson Elrod, Ismenia Mendes, Jacob Ming-Trent, Alfredo Narciso, Patrick Page, Matthew Rauch, John Douglas Thompson, Jelani Remy, Jay O. Sanders, Derek Smith, Arturo Luis Soria, and more to be announced.*

“As we celebrate twenty years of producing Off-Broadway, and navigate the challenging landscape for all theaters at this time, I’m very pleased for Red Bull Theater to announce a robust upcoming season of programming that includes a variety of new takes on the rarely produced classics at the heart of our mission: Luis Quintero’s thrilling new version of Euripides’s Medea, Maltby & Shire’s delightful musical adaptation of Wycherley’s The Country Wife, Jeffrey Hatcher’s hilarious new take on Molière’s The Imaginary Invalid, and more. With a fabulous group of remarkable theater artists participating in our work again this year,  I am excited to invite you to join us and share in the continued vitality of these great classic stories!” said Mr. Berger.  

 
“I could not be more proud of the exciting course Red Bull Theater is charting in our landmark 20th season,” said Red Bull Theater Executive Director Martin Giannini. “With so much current speculation about the future of our business and artform, we must be reminded that live theater is elemental to humanity’s ability to know itself. Red Bull Theater’s mission to illuminate the essential conversation between the past and the present is made even more vital by the uncertainty of our times, and we are thrilled and proud to share the bold and dynamic work we have planned this season with our audiences and patrons.”
 

2024 will see the World Premiere of Medea: Re-Versed by Luis Quintero, 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. This story reignites the sacred rage of our ancestors and explores the destruction that comes when a society suppresses and silences women. Luis Quintero’s incantatory rhymes situate Medea in a new version of Greek tragedy’s ritualized world, neither ancient nor modern but partaking of both. This is not just any domestic tragedy – as the Chorus leader reminds us, “There’s Gods in this house.” The play dazzles with verbal pyrotechnics, promising the audience to “keep it clear with rhythm and stichomythia / so you can listen here to the tragedy of Medea.” But at its heart it asks us to examine what we’re doing in the theater, vicariously experiencing someone else’s catastrophe. “For there to be a tragedy somebody has to pay,” the Chorus points out. “Who does it cost for us to pay to see a tragedy?” 

A special highlight of the 2023-’24 Season will be the one-night-only, all-star benefit performance of The Country Wife on Monday December 11th at the Peter Norton Symphony Space. Red Bull Theater is proud to share the raucously reimagined musical retelling of William Wycherley’s classic Restoration Comedy set in the diverse vibrancy of antebellum New Orleans by award-winning writing team Richard Maltby and David Shire. This gender-bending and role-reversing tale explores who owns the stories we call classics, and by whom they are reclaimed to speak to new crowds, new cultures, and new contexts. Join us for the New York premiere of this exciting new musical in a one-night-only benefit concert. Adaptation & lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and music by David Shire. Directed by Mr. Maltby. 

 
To kick off the Season, Red Bull Theater continues the exploration of the Hispanic Golden Age Classics with a new translation of Don Quixote. Presented in collaboration with Repertorio Español and Diversifying the Classics | UCLA, this three-part series of events will focus on Don Quixote by Guillén de Castro, with a Revelation Reading on Monday October 2nd at Repertorio Español being shared both online and in person. The program begins with an online Seminar on September 26: Tilting at Windmills: Cervantes, Shakespeare, and the Cultural Significance of Don Quixote, followed by the Revelation Reading of Don Quixote – in person and online – the world premiere of a new English translation by UCLA’s Diversifying the Classics working group (October 2nd); and then in the original Spanish (October 10th) presented by Repertorio Español. The live in-person and online Bull Session, a free interactive discussion of the play and its themes with members of the creative teams, will follow the Revelation Reading on Monday October 2nd.
 

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 include:

Monday October 2, at 7:30pm - Online and In Person at Repertorio Español

Don Quixote by Guillén de Castro, Directed by José Zayas

Featuring Keith Hamilton Cobb, Carson Elrod, Ismenia Mendes, Don Darryl Rivera, Arturo Luis Soria, Irene Sofia Lucio, Melissa Mahoney, Carol Halstead, Luis Moreno, David Ryan Smith, and Jacob Ming-Trent

Red Bull Theater continues its exploration of Hispanic Golden Age Classics with this world premiere English translation of a play about Western literature’s most beloved windmill tilting knight and his loyal sidekick. Don Quixote ‘rides’ back into the spotlight in this hilarious Spanish Commedia about spurned lovers, changeling children, and of course, the fanciful knight who wants to save them all.


 
Monday November 13 at 7:30pm – In Person Only at Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Peter Norton Symphony Space:

The Inn At Lydda by John Wolfson, directed by Ben Prusiner

Featuring Amir Arison, Teagle Bougere, Alfredo Narciso, and Jay O. Sanders

The mortally ill Roman emperor Tiberius Caesar, hearing tales of a miraculous healer in the province of Judea, sets sail for Jerusalem for an audience with Jesus. Pausing en route in the nearby city of Lydda, he learns of the Nazerene Rabbi’s crucifixion only a few days earlier and is devastated, not realizing that an event later known as the Resurrection will make the meeting he seeks a possibility.

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 Matthew Rauch

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 Mark Linn-Baker, Will Brill, and Arnie Burton

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 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 Playwrights Horizons Mainstage Theater

Antony & Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

Presented in partnership with The Acting Company

Featuring John Douglas Thompson

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 29th at 7:30pm – Online & In Person at Playwrights Horizons Mainstage Theater

The Tempest by William Shakespeare, directed by Jesse Berger

Featuring Patrick Page (Hadestown, The Lion King)

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.


Tickets now on sale for Don Quixote. All other events will go on sale at a later date.   Become a Friend to get 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.

 
Additional Readings, Classes, Seminars and Workshop Presentations will be announced later this fall. 

 
ABOUT RED BULL THEATER

Red Bull Theater brings rarely seen classic plays to dynamic new life for contemporary audiences, uniting a respect for tradition with a modern sensibility. Named for the rowdy Jacobean playhouse that illegally performed plays in England during the years of Puritan rule, Red Bull Theater is New York City’s home for dynamic performances of great plays that stand the test of time. With the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as its cornerstone, the company also produces new works that are in conversation with the classics. A home for artists, scholars, and students, Red Bull Theater delights and engages the intellect and imagination of audiences, and strives to make its work accessible, diverse, and welcoming to all. We value and practice inclusiveness, equity, and diversity in all of our activities, and are committed to antiracist action. Red Bull Theater believes in the power of great classic stories and plays of heightened language to deepen our understanding of the human condition, in the special ability of live theater to create unique, collective experiences, and in the timeless capacity of classical theater to illuminate the events of our times. Variety agreed, hailing Red Bull’s work as: “Proof that classical theater can still be surprising after hundreds of years.”

Since its debut in 2003 with a production of Shakespeare’s Pericles starring Daniel Breaker, Red Bull Theater has served adventurous theatergoers with Off-Broadway productions, Revelation Readings, and the annual Short New Play Festival. The company also offers outreach programs including Shakespeare in Schools bringing professional actors and teaching artists into public school classrooms; Bull Sessions, free post-play discussions with top scholars; and Classical Acting Intensives led by veteran theater professionals. During the pandemic, Red Bull created several new and ongoing programs to serve audiences and artists with our mission: RemarkaBULL Podversations, Online Readings, Seminars, and more.

"The classics-shaking Red Bull Theater,” as Time Out NY has called it, has presented 23 Off-Broadway productions and over 200 Revelation Readings of rarely seen classics, serving a community of more than 5,000 artists and providing quality artistic programming to an audience of over 65,000. The company’s unique programming has received ongoing critical acclaim and has been recognized with Lortel, Drama Desk, Drama League, Callaway, Off-Broadway Alliance, and OBIE nominations and Awards.
 

For more information about any of Red Bull Theater's programs or productions, visit www.redbulltheater.com.




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