Red Bull Theater's DANCE OF DEATH Begins Tomorrow

By: Apr. 09, 2013
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Red Bull Theater (Jesse Berger, Artistic Director) today announced that Derek Smith would join the cast for the American Premiere of a new adaptation of August Strindberg's The Dance of Death by Mike Poulton (Tony Award Nominee for Best Play for Fortune's Fool), directed by Joseph Hardy (Tony Award winner for Best Director for Child's Play). This strictly limited engagement begins Wednesday April 10th and continues through May 4th only, at the Lucille Lortel Theater (121 Christopher Street, between Bleecker and Hudson Streets). Opening Night is set for Thursday April 18th. Hardy directs a company that features Daniel Davis, Laila Robins, and Derek Smith.

On an isolated island, military captain Edgar, and his wife, a former actress, Alice, approach the 25th anniversary of a marriage turned deeply sour. When a jolt from the past arrives in the shape of their younger cousin Gustav, a deadly battle of wills begins. And Edgar is prepared to fight to his very last breath... Strindberg's viciously witty vivisection of a diabolic union blazed the trail for searing modern portraits of marriage like Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Red Bull Theater brings Strindberg's masterpiece back to life in a savagely comic and bracingly intimate production, courtesy of a new adaptation by Tony nominated playwright Mike Poulton.

Performances of Dance of Death will be Tuesday, Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm, Thursday & Friday evenings at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm, and Sunday matinees at 3pm. Visit for complete calendar. Benefit Gala Night for Dance of Death will be Sunday, April 14th at 7pm with special guests to be announced. Tickets from $20 may be purchased online at or by phone at (212) 352-3101.

Mike Poulton began writing for the theatre in 1995. In 2003 his Fortune's Fool directed by Arthur Penn on Broadway received a Tony nomination for Best Play and went on to win seven major awards including the Tony for Best Actor for Alan Bates, and the Tony for Best Featured Actor for Frank Langella. His first two productions were staged the following year at the Chichester Festival Theatre: Uncle Vanya with Derek Jacobi, and Fortune's Fool with Alan Bates. Since then, productions include Schiller's Wallenstein directed by Angus Jackson for Chichester's summer season 2009 and Mary Stuart for Clywd Theatr Cymru directed by Terry Hands; The Lady From The Sea at Birmingham Rep directed by Lucy Bailey; The Cherry Orchard at Clwyd Theatr Cymru directed by Terry Hands; The Canterbury Tales in two parts for the RSC directed by Gregory Doran; The Father at Chichester's Minerva Theatre and Uncle Vanya on Broadway with Derek Jacobi, Roger Rees and Laura Linney. Earlier productions include The Dance of Death and Euripides' Ion at The Mercury Theatre Colchester, Ghosts with Nichola McAuliffe at Plymouth Theatre Royal and St Erkenwald at the RSC - all directed by David Hunt; and Three Sisters with Charles Dance at Birmingham Rep directed by Bill Bryden. In 2005 his adaptation of Schiller's Don Carlos (Crucible, Sheffield and West End) with Derek Jacobi, directed by Michael Grandage won an Olivier Award. In 2001 his adaptation of the York Mystery Plays directed by Gregory Doran was performed for the first time in York Minster. He was commissioned by Horipro to write Anjin - The Shogun And The English Samurai, which opened in December 2009 in Tokyo, followed by a season in Osaka. This has been revived in Japan in December 2012 prior to the run at Sadler's Wells Theatre, London in January/February 2013. In June 2010, his dramatization of Malory's Morte D'arthur commissioned by the RSC and directed by Gregory Doran opened at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. His adaptation of The Bacchae was produced at Manchester's Royal Exchange in November 2010. His new version of Schiller's Luise Miller directed by Michael Grandage had a summer season at the Donmar in 2011 and the première of The Syndicate, a translation of Eduardo De Filippo's Il Sindaco del Rione Sanita opened at Chichester in August 2011 followed by a UK tour. His recent version of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya directed by Lucy Bailey for the Print Room sold out both spring and summer seasons in 2012. Work in progress: stage adaptations of Hilary Mantel's Booker Mann Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies; a new play for the RSC and several commissions for Chichester Festival Theatre.

August Strindberg, Sweden's greatest dramatist, was born at Stockholm in 1849. He began writing plays in 1870, and in 1878 had a break-through when his drama, Master Olaf, was produced, and is now said to have inaugurated Sweden's dramatic renaissance. A production of The Father in 1887 established his reputation as one of the most powerful dramatists of Europe. In his plays The Father, Miss Julie (1888), and Creditors (1889), he created naturalistic dramas that built on the accomplishments of Ibsen while rejecting the structure of the "well-made play." Strindberg stretched the boundaries of the art form in new, deeply psychological and radically idiosyncratic ways, in effect creating the first modern expressionistic theater. In 1897 Strindberg established the Intimate Theater at Stockholm, where only his own plays were produced. The Dance of Death was written in 1900 and became a sensation across European stages, such that the author even penned a sequel. Other innovative dramas destined to become classics such as A Dream Play and The Ghost Sonata were also written during this period. A prolific writer who often drew directly on his personal experience for his work, Strindberg's career spanned four decades, during which time he wrote over 60 plays and more than 30 works of fiction, autobiography, history, cultural analysis, and politics. He continued writing until his death in 1912, and his work continues to fascinate artists and audiences worldwide, and inspire contemporary writers.

Joseph Hardy most recently directed the American premiere of Nightingale at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum, Connecticut's Hartford Stage and in NYC at Manhattan Theatre Club. Nightingale marked his third collaboration with Lynn Redgrave, which began with the TV movie "The Seduction of Miss Leona" and continued with MCC's production of Grace a few seasons ago here at the Lucille Lortel Theater. He also recently directed a revival of David Storey's Home for the Williamstown Theater Festival. Mr. Hardy has worked extensively in theatre, film and television throughout the United States and abroad, from eight years with a Production Company in Paris to acting as Executive Producer for such iconic television programs as "General Hospital" and "Knots Landing," to name a few. A Tony Award winner for Child's Play, Mr. Hardy is also the recipient of two Drama Desk Awards and a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award. East Coast directing highlights include the original Broadway productions of Gigi and Play It Again, Sam with Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, the revival of Night of the Iguana with Richard Chamberlin and Dorothy McGuire, and the original Off-Broadway production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He is an associate artist of The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Mr. Hardy currently resides in New York and has been an Artistic Associate of Red Bull Theater since 2004, directing dozens of Revelation Readings for the company, including Mike Poulton's version of Schiller's classic Don Carlos.

Daniel Davis's 40-year career includes work in regional theatre in the US and Canada, primarily The American Shakespeare Festival, Stratford National Theatre of Canada, Guthrie, Seattle Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Old Globe Theatre, ten seasons with the Williamstown Theatre Festival and six seasons with American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. Favorite roles include Garland Wright's production of The Misanthrope (Alceste), the American premiere of David Hare and Howard Brenton's Pravda (Lambert LeRoux) directed by Robert Falls, the world premiere of The Film Society (Jonathan Balton) by Jon Robin Baitz and title roles in Hamlet, Peer Gynt, and Arturo Ui. New York credits include Wrong Mountain (Tony nomination), Talking Heads (Obie and Outer Critics Circle Award), La Cage aux Folles (2004 revival), and for Lincoln Center The Invention of Love and The Frogs. In 1971 he toured with Katharine Hepburn in Coco and toured again in 1982 as Salieri in Amadeus, a role he also played on Broadway. Recent stage work includes the Classic Stage Company's revival of The Cherry Orchard, in which he played Gaev opposite Dianne Wiest and John Turturro. In 2011, he starred in A.R.Gurney's Black Tie at Primary Stages. He has played the title role in King Lear for the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Kreon in Medea opposite Annette Bening for the UCLA InterNational Theatre Festival, and with the New York Philharmonic in a concert reading of Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat with Alec Baldwin. He spent six seasons as Niles the Butler on "The Nanny" and has had numerous guest roles on TV, most notably as Professor Moriarty on "Star Trek: The Next Generation". Films include The Prestige, Sydney Pollack's Havana and The Hunt for Red October.

Laila Robins' Broadway credits include Heartbreak House, the Tony-nominated play Frozen (Lucille Lortel Nomination), The Herbal Bed and The Real Thing. Off-Broadway: Sorry, The Lady From Dubuque (Outer Critics Circle nom., Richard Seff Award), Sweet and Sad (OBIE and Drama Desk for Best Ensemble), That Hopey Changey Thing, Antony and Cleopatra, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Sore Throats (Lucille Lortel nom.), Tiny Alice, Mrs. Klein (Joseph Jefferson Award and a Helen Hayes Nomination for national tour), The Merchant Of Venice (Calloway Award), That Face. Regional credits include Dangerous Beauty, The Three Sisters (Cincinnati Acclaim Award), and A Streetcar Named Desire (1997 Jefferson Award for Best Actress). Company member of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Film: Side Effects, Concussion, Multiple Sarcasms, The Good Shepherd, Planes, Trains And Automobiles, An Innocent Man, Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael, True Crime. Television: "Person Of Interest," "Blue Bloods," "Damages," "Too Big To Fail," "Bored To Death," "God In America," "In Treatment," "The Sopranos," "Law and Order" trifecta, and the series lead in "Gabriel's Fire" opposite James Earl Jones.

Derek Smith previously appeared with Red Bull Theater in The Witch of Edmonton (Joe Calloway Award). Broadway credits include The Green Bird (Tony nomination), The Government Inspector, Timon of Athens, Jackie: An American Life, Ring 'Round the Moon, Getting and Spending, and several years as Scar in The Lion King on Broadway and opening both National Tours. Off-Broadway, Derek has been seen in Sylvia (Drama League, Los Angeles Ovation awards), King John (2000 Derwent award), Dark Rapture, Cruise Control, Ten by Tennessee, The Green Bird (Obie award). Regional credits include Romeo and Juliet, Doctor's Dilemma, Henry IV parts I and II (Helen Hayes award nomination), School for Scandal, The Merchant of Venice and Much Ado About Nothing at The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C; 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, The Serpent Woman, Hamlet, Misalliance, Servant of Two Masters, Life is a Dream, Platonov, The Miser, The King Stag and King Lear at American Repertory Theatre; An Enemy of the People, The Mystery of Irma Vep, All's Well that Ends Well and An Evening with Beckett at Centerstage in Baltimore; also several shows at The Old Globe, Dallas Theater Center, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Alley Theatre and Portland Stage Company. Film credits include: Advice From a Caterpillar, The Stand-In, Jungle to Jungle, Internal Affairs, and most recently The Jew of Malta currently at film festivals.

Red Bull Theater, hailed as "the city's gutsiest classical theater" by Time Out New York, is the not-profit Off-Broadway theater company specializing in plays of heightened language, with a unique focus on the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. In the 2012 season, building on its history of Revelation Readings and In The Raw Workshops, the company expanded its production repertoire to include world classics from all eras, starting with Jean Genet's The Maids. Red Bull Theater continues to produce large-scale works from Shakespeare's era and rarely produced classics from across the spectrum as it expands the number of full productions on offer per season, this year featuring a hit fall production of Ben Jonson's Volpone and a spring revival of August Strindberg's modern classic, The Dance of Death. Red Bull Theater embraces the imagination of theatergoers through intimate, imaginative productions of great classic stories.

Acclaimed as "a troupe that lovers of classic theater should put on the must-watch list," by Charles Isherwood in The New York Times, Red Bull Theater has previously staged productions of Shakespeare's Pericles, the anonymous Revenger's Tragedy, Marlowe's Edward the Second, Middleton's Women Beware Women, Webster's The Duchess of Malfi, the Off Broadway premiere of Dekker, Ford & Rowley's Witch of Edmonton, a major Off Broadway revival of Jean Genet's The Maids, and the first Off Broadway revival of Volpone in over 50 years. The New York Times called Pericles "the stuff of dreams," The Revenger's Tragedy "Dynamite!," Edward the Second "fired with excitement," Women Beware Women "exuberant, vividly acted," The Duchess of Malfi "boiling drama," The Witch of Edmonton was hailed by Ben Brantley as "a singular blend of psychological realism, naturalistic detail and lurid, black-magic-shadowed sensationalism" and The Maids as "delectable" and "wonderful" and was nominated as Outstanding Revival by both the Drama League and Lucille Lortel Awards, and Volpone received critical accolades such as "wonderful & appealing" from The New York Times and "triumphant" from Associated Press, among others. All of Red Bull Theater's productions have enjoyed sold-out and often extended Off-Broadway runs.

Now entering its 10th Anniversary season, Red Bull Theater's work has been recognized with multiple Callaway, Drama League, Lucille Lortel, and OBIE nominations and Awards.

Red Bull Theater has staged over 100 readings through its ongoing OBIE Award-winning Revelation Readings, named by the Village Voice "Best Play Reading Series," and has developed several new plays of heightened language and classics of the future through its In-the-Raw workshop program. Red Bull Theater reaches out to NYC students of all ages through its Direct Address education programs, teaching drama and literacy utilizing Shakespeare, as well as providing ASL-Interpreted performances and student matinees for all productions, and offering master classes in classical acting for professional development. Post-play "Bull Session" discussions with noted scholars following Sunday matinees of all productions are free and open to the public.


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