Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Tickets are now on sale for Theatre for a New Audience’s inaugural production of “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” directed by multiple Tony Award-winner Julie Taymor with original music composed by Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning Elliot Goldenthal, at the Theatre's newly-named building, Polonsky Shakespeare Center, 262 Ashland Place between Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Street..
“A Midsummer Night's Dream” by William Shakespeare features a cast of 36 lead by Tina Benko as Titania, Max Casella as Bottom, David Harewoodas Oberon and Kathryn Hunter as Puck. Previews begin Oct. 19 for an opening on Nov. 2.
Founding Artistic Director Jeffrey Horowitz explained, "Julie and Elliot are innovative, adventurous artists. We first worked together in 1984 on a 60-minute version of ’A Midsummer Night's Dream,’ for Theatre for a New Audience presented at the Public Theater. Twenty-nine years later, it’s thrilling they are directing and composing our first full production of ’A Midsummer Night's Dream,’ the inaugural presentation in our first permanent home."
Theatre for a New Audience just named its building Polonsky Shakespeare Center in recognition of a $10 million gift from the Polonsky Foundation.
“A Midsummer Night's Dream” is the 5th production Taymor has directed for Theatre for a New Audience. Previously with the company, she staged Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, “The Taming of the Shrew,” and “Titus Andronicus” and Carol Gozzi’s “The Green Bird.”
“A Midsummer Night's Dream” will feature original music by Elliot Goldenthal, who creates works for orchestra, theatre, opera, ballet and film. Mr. Goldenthal was named one of the two finalists for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in music for his original two-act opera “Grendel,” which was directed by Taymor.
After 34 years of being itinerant, Theatre for a New Audience's Polonsky Shakespeare Center is also its first permanent home. Built by The City of New York in partnership with Theatre for a New Audience, located in the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District; and designed by Hugh Hardy and H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture with theatre consultants Theatre Projects, Jean-Guy Lecat and Akustiks, it includes the Samuel H. Scripps Mainstage (299 seats) – the first stage built for Shakespeare and classical drama in New York City since the Vivian Beaumont in 1965 – and the Theodore C. Rogers Studio (50 seats).
Sets for “A Midsummer Night's Dream” are by Es Devlin, costumes are by Constance Hoffman, lights by Don Holder and sound by Matt Tierney. Brian Brooks is choreographing the dances and Sven Ortel is designing the projections. Jonathan Mastro is the music director.
Subscriptions for Theatre for a New Audience’s inaugural season are $147 for a 3-play inaugural season package and $294 for a 6-play, two-season package, and are available by calling (212) 229-2819, ext. 10. Flex Passes are also available for $208 and include four tickets to be used in any combination over the inaugural season. For more information or to subscribe online, please visit www.tfana.org.
Single tickets start at $75. Tickets may be purchased online at www.tfana.org or by phone at 866-811-4111.
“A Midsummer Night's Dream” runs Oct. 19 through Jan. 12 and performs Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m. with regular matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Additional matinee performances are Tuesday, Dec. 24 at 2:00pm; Wednesdays, Nov. 27 and Jan. 1 at 2:00 p.m. Additional Evening Performances are Monday, Dec. 23 at 7:30 p.m. There are no 7:30 p.m evening performances Sundays Oct. 20 and 27, Dec. 8, 15 and 22 and Jan. 5. There are also no performances Thursday, Nov. 28; Tuesdays, Dec. 17 and 24; and Wednesdays, Dec. 18 and 25.
Above photo: David Harewood (back row center) with (left to right) Alex Shimizu, Willa Scolari, Cassidy vanVonno, Jake L.Faragalli, Isaiah Register, Jarrett Austin Brown, Ciaran Bowling in rehearsal for Theatre for a New Audience’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. Photographed at New 42nd Street Studios. Photo credit: Nella Vera.