New York City Shakespeare Exchange Announce Adaptation of THE RAPE OF LUCRECE

New York Shakespeare Exchange (NYSX), a theatre company that popularizes Shakespeare for diverse, contemporary audiences in new and timely ways, dives deep into dangerous territory as it theatricalizes Shakespeare's epic poem "The Rape of Lucrece." This world premiere adaptation is brought to life by a cast of nine at Teatro Latea at The Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, from Thursday October 13 through Saturday October 22. The Off-Off-Broadway opening is set for Sunday October 16 at 2pm.

Adapted by playwright Kevin Brewer, and directed by Cristina Lundy, NYSX's "The Rape of Lucrece" uncovers an array of cultural and social parallels as it rips open one of Shakespeare's earliest works, published in 1594. Rarely adapted, and sometimes as a solo performance, Brewer and Lundy's version of this sex crime story stolen from Ancient Rome, reverberates with disquieting relevance to our own contemporary experiences of sexual assault by men against women.

In "Lucrece," a woman married to an aristocratic cousin of the King, is raped by Sextus Tarquinius, the king's son. Her subsequent suicide leads to a revolt against King Tarquin, which, according to Livy's history on which Shakespeare based his poem, led to the establishment of the Roman Republic in 509 BC. This story not only dramatizes this gross act of entitlement, sexism and sexual dominance, but the subsequent suicide and revenge lay bare the complicated aftermaths of such violent acts.

The Rape of Lucrece's cast of nine includes Gabrielle Beans; Pat Dwyer*; Brandon Garegnani*; Aaliyah Habeeb* (Lucrece); Kate Lydic*; Erik Olson; Joel Oramas*; Leighton Samuels (Sextus), and Shawn Williams* (*members of Actors Equity). The production design team includes Joseph Napolitano (scenic design), Jane Chan (lighting), Elivia Bovenzi (costumes), and Jack Cummins (sound). Bryan Russell is the production stage manager. Alicia Rodis is the violence and intimacy consultant.

NYSX is responsible for last season's attention-getting Hamlet10 in which an ensemble of 10 actors representing a spectrum of ages, ethnicities and gender orientations all played the role of the Danish prince.

On September 10 and 17, NYSX stages the latest edition of its popular community-building, immersive ShakesBEER pub crawls, as part of the 9th annual Origin's 1st Irish Theatre Festival.

Striving to pioneer new and timely ways to introduce diverse, contemporary audiences to the wonders of William Shakespeare, NY Shakespeare Exchange is also responsible for The Sonnet Project, in which short films based on all 154 Shakespeare sonnets are being shot in every nook and cranny of New York City by diverse filmmakers. (The collection now numbers 110.)

The Rape of Lucrece performs from Thursday October 13 at 7:30pm to Saturday October 22 at 7:30pm for a total of 10 performances. The schedule is Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri/Sat at 7:30pm and Sun at 2pm, with an added performance on Saturday October 22 at 2pm. Tickets to "The Rape of Lucrece," which are $20, are available by phone by calling 917/428-0065, or online at www.shakespeareexchange.org

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