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Will Eno, Shakespeare to Feature in Theatre for a New Audience's 2021-22 Season

The Brooklyn-based theater will also stage the first New York revival of Alice Childress's Wedding Band: A Love-Hate Story in Black and White.

John Douglas Thompson played the title role in Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine at TFANA in 2014. He returns in 2022 to star as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.
(© Gerry Goodstein)

Theatre For a New Audience (TFANA) has announced a return to live and in-person performances at its Brooklyn venue, the Polonsky Shakespeare Center.

On October 30, the company picks up where it left off with the New York premiere of Will Eno's Gnit, a reimagining of Ibsen's Peer Gynt, about a carefree young man on a reckless search for experience and the true self. Gnit completed four preview performances in March 2020 before Covid shut everything down. According to a press statement, "The play is performed with a 19-month break, filled with real-life tales of isolation, loss, courage, and love, and a 15-minute intermission." Oliver Butler directs the play, which is presently slated to run through November 21.

February 5-March 4, 2022, legendary classical actor John Douglas Thompson will take on the role of Shylock in a new production of Williams Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, directed by Arin Arbus. About a Jewish moneylender who demands a "pound of flesh" as compensation for a defaulted loan, The Merchant of Venice raises still-pertinent questions about justice and institutional bigotry. Thompson previously appeared at TFANA in Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine, impressing TheaterMania's critic with his ability to simultaneously embody heroism and cruelty.

Rounding out the season of live productions is the first New York revival of Alice Childress's Wedding Band: A Love-Hate Story in Black and White. Originally mounted at the Public Theater in 1972 (in a production co-directed by the playwright at Joseph Papp), Wedding Band takes place in the deep south during the flu epidemic that ravaged the world following World War I. It traces an interracial couple's confrontations with anti-miscegenation laws, vicious family racism, community disapproval, a deadly disease, and their own long-buried feelings. Awoye Timpo directs the revival, which is scheduled to run April 23-May 15, 2022.

Additionally, TFANA will present (re)clamation, a new podcast series covering different aspects of Black theatre history through interviews, conversations, and excerpts of first-hand accounts. The podcast will be available at TFANA's website free of charge.

Theatre for a New Audience requires that all audience members be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Click here for an updated and detailed breakdown of the theater's health and safety policies.

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