360° Viewfinder: WHY?

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360° SERIES V I E W F I N D E R : FA C T S A N D P E R S P E C T I V E S O N T H E P L AY, P L AY W R I G H T, A N D P R O D U C T I O N

W W W . T FA N A . O R G

TA B L E O F CO N T E N T S The Production 4

Some Wellsprings of Why?

by Jonathan Kalb


The Trap of the Great Utopia

by Anatoly Smeliansky


In Our Hearts

by Violaine Huisman


Cast and Creative Team

About Theatre For a New Audience 15 Leadership 16

Mission and Programs


Major Supporters

Why? received its world premiere at C.I.C.T./Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris, France on June 19, 2019. The project was co-commissioned by C.I.C.T./Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Theatre for a New Audience, Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw, National Performing Arts Center, Taiwan R.O.C. – National Taichung Theater, Centro Dramatico Nacional, Madrid; Teatro Dimitri, Verscio, Théâtre Firmin Gérmier, La Piscine. Support for the production of Why? is provided by the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the French Institute Alliance Française, and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States. The production of Why? is a component of PETER BROOK\NY, Karen Brooks Hopkins, Executive Producer. Leadership support for Peter Brook\NY is provided by The JKW Foundation in honor of Jean Stein and The Lostand Foundation. Additional support is provided by Paul and Caroline Cronson/Evelyn Sharp Foundation, Jeanne Donovan Fisher, and John Lichtenstein. Why? is part of the Crossing the Line Festival organized by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), as well as Brooklyn Falls for France, a cultural season organized by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and FACE Foundation in partnership with Brooklyn venues.

Notes Front cover photo: Kathryn Hunter in C.I.C.T/ Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord's production of Why?. Photo by Pascal Gely. This Viewfinder will be periodically updated with additional information. Last updated September 27, 2019

Credits Why? 360° | Edited by Nidia Medina | Copy-edit and Layout by Peter James Cook Literary Advisor: Jonathan Kalb | Council of Scholars Chair: Ayanna Thompson | Designed by Milton Glaser, Inc. With the exception of classroom use by teachers and individual personal use, no part of this Viewfinder may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by any information or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Some materials herein are written especially for our guide. Others are reprinted with permission of their authors or publishers.


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Kathryn Hunter in C.I.C.T/ Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord's production of Why?. Photo by Pascal Gely.

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JONATHAN KALB of shrewd critical observations about traditional and experimental theatre forms, to the utopian mission of his international company C.I.C.T., formed in Paris in 1970 to investigate the possibility of a universal theatre unimpeded by barriers of language and culture, every major phase of Brook’s career has involved some fresh refusal to accept received or settled ideas about what theatre is basically for. Most of his productions have asked this question indirectly. Brook has eclectic taste and broad curiosity. He has channeled his fundamental questioning mainly through stagings of great authors like Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Beckett, Genet, and Weiss, and devised original pieces on subjects as far-flung as neurological disorders, synesthesia, a Sufi religious dispute, and social and spiritual breakdown among the Ik people of Uganda. Why? is one of a small set of pieces that have confronted the existential theatre question directly.

Peter Brook. Photo by Marian Adreani.

“War or peace, the colossal bandwagon of culture trundles on, carrying each artist’s traces to the evermounting garbage heap.... There is always a new season in hand and we are too busy to ask the only vital question which measures the whole structure. Why theatre at all? What for?”


Peter Brook, The Empty Space (1968)

t’s no exaggeration to say that 94-year-old Peter Brook has been asking the existential question at the heart of Why?, his latest production, for his entire career. This protean, indefatigable artist began questioning theatre’s basic purpose some seven decades ago and has never stopped. From the incisive, stripped down reimaginings of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear and other classics that launched him as a directing star, to his celebrated book The Empty Space with its hundreds 4

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Why? has a two-part structure. It begins with three performers—Kathryn Hunter, Marcello Magni and Hayley Carmichael—describing a theatre-origin myth and some general theatrical principles and values quoted from luminaries such as Stanislavsky, Gordon Craig, the Noh Theatre founder Zeami, the French director Charles Dullin and the Russian director Vsevelod Meyerhold. The piece then morphs into a biographical tale about Meyerhold, an artist who thrived in the early Soviet Union as a towering, uniquely inventive figure comparable in stature and breadth to Picasso, who was eventually denounced and murdered by Stalin. Brook first floated the idea of a show focused on the art of directing with Richard Eyre, the head of London’s National Theatre, in the early 1990s. He asked the playwright David Hare to research and write it, Hare declined, then he engaged the playwright Nick Dear, disliked Dear’s text, and proceeded to construct a script himself with his longtime collaborators Marie-Hélène Estienne and Jean-Claude Carriere, staging it in 1995 at his theatre in Paris. The resulting piece, titled Qui est la? (the first line of Hamlet in French, “Who’s there?”), was a

SOME WELLSPRINGS OF WHY? shortened and rearranged version of Hamlet in which seven actors performed about a quarter of Shakespeare’s play while interjecting pointed quotations from Stanislavsky, Craig, Meyerhold, Brecht and Artaud that illuminated their scenes. Brook told his biographer Michael Kustow that he was dissatisfied with this project, deeming it a fractured patchwork. It left him wishing he’d just directed Hamlet, which he did in 2000. A decade later, Brook tried again to make a piece rooted in the wisdom of great directors. He and the German actress Miriam Goldschmidt, a longtime member of his company, developed a solo show called Warum Warum (German for “Why Why”) that premiered in Paris in 2010 and presented Goldschmidt as a veteran actor who asked probing questions about theatre’s fundamental purpose in part through quotes from some of the same directors featured in Qui est la? Goldschmidt, who died in 2017, performed Warum Warum until illness prevented her from acting anymore. Why? is a completely new show featuring three new actors that harks back to Warum Warum but focuses on Meyerhold—the man, not just his ideas. Why Meyerhold? One reason may be biographical. The connection between Brook and Meyerhold is closer than many people know. Brook’s parents were Russian Jews who emigrated just before the Revolution, his father after being imprisoned by the Bolsheviks (he was a moderate Menshevik). His parents spoke Russian at home throughout his childhood. One of his father’s siblings, his favorite sister Faynia, stayed behind in the Soviet Union, and during the Stalinist terror in the 1930s his father stopped writing to her out of fear that letters from London would endanger her. Fast-forward to the mid 1950s. In the period after Stalin’s death known as the “Malenkov thaw,” The Bathhouse and The Bedbug, the masterful final satires of Vladimir Mayakovsky, Meyerhold’s brilliant collaborator during their years of shared revolutionary fervor, were revived for the first time in Moscow. Their director was a talented


former student and assistant of Meyerhold’s named Valentin Plouchek. Brook was in Moscow during the The Bedbug’s run, saw the show, and “had the strange sensation of thinking, ‘Now, that’s exactly how I would have done that scene.’” In his hotel room afterward Plouchek visited him and announced that he was Faynia’s son. The two struck up a relationship, and Brook was planning a film interview with his cousin about Meyerhold when Plouchek died in 1991. “For Brook,” Kustow wrote, “it was as if Plouchek was a kind of notional double. ‘If my father had never left Russia and I’d been born there, Plouchek’s life could have been mine.’” All major artists have admirers and detractors. One criticism sometimes leveled at Brook (notably by David Hare, his would-be collaborator in Qui est la?, in an oft-cited public lecture) is that his theatre is too generic and drained of specific social context, shrinking from political commitment in its zeal to be universal. Nothing could be less true about Why?—a piece suffused with so much detail about the artistic and political commitment of Meyerhold, his suppression by Stalin, and his savage torture and killing that it occasionally feels documentary in the best of senses. Documentary informs, often pretending that raw facts can speak for themselves. Great documentary understands itself as a complex, choreographed effort to reach to Truth—not just “my truth” or “your truth,” as the final lines of Why? put it, but “Truth.” Specific social context is the beating heart of this culminating production of Brook’s 25-year theatrical exploration of theatre’s basic purpose. Why? finds its universality in the tragically specific and personal. • JONATHAN KALB is Professor of Theatre at Hunter College, CUNY, and Resident Literary Advisor and Dramaturg at Theatre for a New Audience. He has published five books on theater and his writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Nation, salon.com and many other publications. A two-time winner of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, he curates and hosts the theaterreview-panel series TheateMatters at HERE Arts Center and writes about theater on his TheaterMatters blog, at www.jonathankalb.com.

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ANATOLY SMELIANSKY These two artists, Stanislavsky and Meyerhold, experienced quite differently the ordeals of the century that followed. Stanislavsky, religious and not a communist, was canonized by the Soviet state during his lifetime. Meyerhold, one of the most celebrated communist directors, and one of the first artists to eagerly accept the Russian Revolution, was publicly discredited, and his theatre company was dissolved. On June 20, 1939, the disgraced director was arrested, subjected to excruciating torture, and, on February 2, 1940, executed in the basement of the notorious Lubyanka prison. His body was thrown into a mass grave for “enemies of the people.”

Vsevolod Meyerhold prepares for his role as Konstantin in the 1898 Moscow Art Theatre production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, viaWikimedia Commons.


eter Brook never liked the term “director”— too bossy. In his opinion, the word “distiller” might describe the profession better. Brook himself became one of the most influential directors—“distillers”—of the twentieth century. In search of answers, he turned to the seminal theatre experimenters of his time: Brecht and Artaud, Grotowski and Beckett, and, inevitably, to the legacy of Russian theatre. For it was in Russia, at the turn of the century, that world theatre had reached a crucial turning point, with Konstantin Stanislavsky’s founding of the Moscow Art Theatre. That company started its life with The Seagull, Anton Chekhov’s play/manifesto. Stanislavsky played the world-weary fiction writer, and Vsevolod Meyerhold played the young and innovative playwright. 6

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The purges of the Great Terror had their own twisted dramaturgy. Meyerhold was arrested in Leningrad in June of 1939. Less than a month later, in Moscow, two killers broke into his apartment through the balcony and stabbed Zinaida Raikh, his wife and the leading actress of his theatre, seventeen times. There were rumors that the nighttime visitors had committed a crime of Shakespearian proportions. Meyerhold's friend, the playwright Yury Olesha, recorded in his diary, “I was told that they gouged out her eyes. The dark eyes of Zinaida Raikh—those demonic eyes that seemed both obedient and childlike." Officially, Meyerhold was accused of spying for Japan and collaborating with Trotskyites. Zinaida Raikh was killed with no explanation. However, one quite banal motive soon became apparent, when Meyerhold’s apartment in downtown Moscow was taken over by the secret police. There is no direct answer to the question of why they needed to kill Meyerhold and Raikh in such a bloody, theatrical, and perverse manner. Neither do we know why, in a similar way, they exterminated the brilliant actor and artistic director of the Jewish Theatre, Solomon Mikhoels, whose interpretation of King Lear was legendary. Mikhoels was sent on a business trip to Minsk, where in the middle of the night he was run over by a truck, his disfigured body later brought to Moscow and buried with great pomp.

THE TRAP OF THE GREAT UTOPIA Why did Meyerhold once declare the theatre a “dangerous weapon”? What was so dangerous about it? The twentieth century provides numerous examples of the most gifted artists being seduced by regimes that promised heaven on earth. It is difficult to imagine the fascist ideas of the Third Reich without Leni Riefenstahl, or Stalin's socialism without the talented poets, composers, and actors, who gave inspiration to the “red idea.” Without those artists, millions would not have followed. Meyerhold was a symbolic figure of the avantgarde, and he also became a symbolic sacrificial lamb of what we might call the theatricalization of evil. In 1923, he staged The Earth in Turmoil and dedicated that production to the Red Army and its heroic leader Leon Trotsky. Trotsky's own assassination by ice pick in Mexico occurred just a few months after Meyerhold's execution in Moscow and was staged in the same style of bloody political theatre practiced by Stalin. It is not impossible to imagine that Meyerhold’s dedication to Trotsky may have triggered the twisted mind of the paranoid dictator, spurring his invention of an atrocious death for the stage director.


and Vladimir Mayakovsky was its Poet. Extremely gifted artists, these men were also world-famous proponents of the great utopia. Mayakovsky wrote, “I, from poetry’s skies, plunge into communism because without it, I feel no love.” While Mayakovsky took his own life in 1930, Meyerhold tried to delay the end he saw approaching. In early 1936, he even gave a public talk titled “Meyerhold against Meyerholdism.” It did not help. In despair, Zinaida Raikh wrote a letter to Stalin. “In my mind, I am constantly talking to you,” she wrote, “pointing to your occasional misunderstanding of the arts…. Pardon my audacity…. I am the daughter of a proletarian, and I believe in my class instinct.” She did not tell Meyerhold about the letter; she loved him, she owed her acting career to his dedication to her. She never received a reply, but Stalin had indeed read her letter: the original copy bears his annotations. Meyerhold and his wife, actress Zinaida Reich, via Wikimedia Commons.

In the mid-1930s, the public political trials began in Russia. The proceedings took place in the Hall of Columns in Moscow’s House of Unions. Everything was planned and rehearsed: "the enemies of the people" were first tortured and then rejuvenated, their bruises covered up by make-up, before they were brought into the Hall of Columns. There, they all would admit their “crimes” and publicly repent. Leading actors and writers, even foreign ones, were invited to be in the audience to observe the proceedings, not unlike the opening night of a show. Around this time, the title of “People's Artist of the Soviet Union” was established, a parallel to Nazi Germany's “State Artist.” Meyerhold's name was not on the list. “This is how the State is indicating its direction,” was the reaction of Nemirovich Danchenko, the co-founder of the Moscow Art Theatre and Meyerhold's teacher. Meyerhold was the Director of the Revolution, WHY? 7

THE TRAP OF THE GREAT UTOPIA In 1930, Meyerhold’s theatre company was permitted to go on its last tour to Paris and Berlin. The Russian émigré press was surprised by this communist director’s interpretation of the iconic silent tableau at the end of Gogol's Inspector General: his staging was seen as a kind of prophecy. For a few seconds onstage, actors mixed with mannequins, people indistinguishable from puppets. In a pallid light, the image of an icebound, dead country emerged, with life forever frozen beneath the frigid gaze of insanity. While in Berlin, Meyerhold and Raikh met with Michael Chekhov, who at that point had left the Soviet Union for good. The brilliant actor warned them: “Do not go back; they will destroy you.” Meyerhold was taken aback; Zinaida Raikh suspected a betrayal and attacked her old friend: “This is a trap! How could you!” In the most decisive moment of their lives, her “class instinct” did not help. Peter Brook's father was a member of the Menshevik party, but the family managed to leave the Russian Empire just before the Revolution. Fate protected this son of immigrants from the lure of the communist utopia. Unlike Meyerhold, Brook never had to denounce his “-isms”; he was not driven to self-flagellation in front of his actors. His arms were never broken, nor he did he have to drink his own urine, as Meyerhold described in his letters from prison to Prime Minister Molotov. Three weeks after the letters were sent, Meyerhold was executed. His family was told that he had been Mugshot of Meyerhold after his arrest in 1939, via Wikimedia Commons.


convicted to ten years in a labor camp without the right to correspondence. Meyerhold always dreamed of staging Hamlet. He even jokingly proposed that his tombstone should read, “Here lies the director who wanted to stage the play about a Prince of Denmark, but never did.” Stalin despised that play. Brook, in a sense, finished the job for Meyerhold. In the mid 1950s, just after Stalin's death, he staged his version of Shakespeare's masterpiece with Paul Scofield in the title role and brought that production to Moscow. Brook’s Hamlet and, later, his King Lear in many ways determined the future of the Russian contemporary stage for many years to come. In 1996, after Gorbachev’s thaw, Peter Brook and his wife, Natasha Parry, came back to Moscow. They performed Beckett's Happy Days at the Moscow Art Theatre. As their host, I gave Natasha a tour of the theatre’s historic lobby. We stopped in front of the photograph of the company visiting Anton Chekhov in Yalta. All of the stars of the Moscow Art Theatre are in that photo: Stanislavsky, Gorky, Anton Chekhov. The spring that year was unusually hot, and Olga Knipper, Chekhov's future wife, has a folded parasol in her hand. Meyerhold, her classmate and partner onstage, is reclining at her feet. After Meyerhold's death, to erase any memory of him, this historic photograph was doctored: Knipper “opened” her parasol just a bit, and for many years, Meyerhold disappeared from view. Natasha Parry, Winnie in Happy Days, kept silent in response to my telling of that story. In her beautiful dark eyes, I could read a question: “Why?” This same question gave the title to today’s show written and directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne. • DR. ANATOLY SMELIANSKY is a theatre scholar and writer. Moscow Art Theater Associate Artistic Director (1996 -2018). Dean of the Moscow Art Theater School (2000-2018). Founder of the joint program between the MXAT School and Harvard University. His books The Russian Theater After Stalin (Cambridge University Press) and Is Comrade Bulgakov Dead? were rated among the best theater publications in 1995 by American Theater magazine.


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Marie-Hélène Estienne and Peter Brook at Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord. Photo by Pascal Victor.

The following essay was commissioned as part of Peter Brook/NY, a citywide recognition of Peter Brook & collaborator Marie-Hélène Estienne’s legendary artistic achievement 1953-present. There was a heat wave in Paris on the night of the opening of Why?, but no air conditioning, of course, at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord. Audience members sharing my bench looked blasé. We fanned ourselves with our programs. “Renowned for its uncomfortable seats but loved for its ruined splendor,” with peeling crimson paint on the back wall, the hall reminded me of the BAM Harvey Theater, its New York replica. The houses’ identical features are signs of their common history, and marks of their mutual founder, Peter Brook. In Threads of Time: Recollections, Brook describes crawling inside the Paris hall on hands and knees to

discover a “forgotten, battered shell, within which was a space that fulfilled all the requirements that we had discovered during our travels.” It is an intimate space, so the audience has the impression that it shares the same life as the actors; it is a chameleon space, for it allows the imagination to wander freely. It can become a street corner for rough performances or a shrine for ceremonies. It is like an indoor and outdoor space all in one. “We” in this statement refers to the International Center for Theatre Research: a group of actors (Andrei Serban, Natasha Parry, Yoshi Oida, Malick Bowens, Helen Mirren—look up her memoir, In the Frame; the pictures are something special), musicians, a poet (Ted Hughes), a producer. Together they traveled to Iran, the Sahara Desert WHY? 9


and sub-Saharan Africa to present theatrical work, sometimes rehearsed and sometimes improvised, often wordless. Addressing village leaders through an interpreter, Brook would present their aim as “trying to discover what basis there is to understand one another directly.” Beyond convention or cultural reference. Beyond language or myth or symbolism. When it opened in 1974, the Bouffes du Nord became the Center’s permanent home, a staging ground for “immediate theater,” as Brook calls it in his masterpiece and manifesto, The Empty Space. The ambition was to host performances in which the actors’ live relationships with the audience would diffuse a unique experiential joy. The Majestic Theater (known today as the BAM Harvey, in honor of artistic director Harvey Lichtenstein, who renovated it with Brook) opened 13 years later with The Mahabharata, a nine-hour adaptation of the Indian epic. By then,


New York theatergoers had had an opportunity to engage with Brook’s vision at the Metropolitan Opera, in playhouses on Broadway, through workshops and experiments in drama schools and unconventional spaces, on television, at the movies and in the Lepercq Space (now the BAMcafé). The BAM Opera House had hosted his watershed production of Shakespeare’s Dream in a white box, with actors flying off of trapezes in a forest of minimalist metal sculptures. In the winter of 1988, right after The Mahabharata, came The Cherry Orchard, which toured from Brooklyn to the USSR during perestroika. I worked at BAM for nearly a decade, organizing discussions and literary events. In my first season, in 2009, BAM produced Sam Mendes’ Cherry Orchard. (The BAM Archive, which has an extraordinary online database, is full of images and testimonies of past adaptations of the same

Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris. Photo by Patrick Tourneboeuf, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.


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play, within the same walls. It’s a beautiful place to get lost.) Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne visited twice during my tenure. Both times, Peter Brook talked to the audience from the stage, telling stories about his life in the theater, inhabiting the space with an aura akin to that of a guru. The hall and its silence reverberated with an unusual quality of attention. The fact of Peter’s presence— the physical manifestation of his thoughts and experiences—seemed to echo a deep need in this New York audience. In a book of interviews, trying to respond to why theater is necessary, he evokes a walk in Central Park on Thanksgiving Day: The town was quiet, empty, except for few people wandering about peacefully… It suddenly struck me…that by popular agreement, there are a small number of days when the town stops—out of total necessity. In Why?, co-authors and directors Marie-Hélène Estienne and Peter Brook start mischievously with three actors—Hayley Carmichael, Kathryn Hunter and Marcello Magni—riffing on their craft. (Watching their performance at Theater for a New Audience—Brook’s most reliable producing partner in the United States in the last two decades— remember Hunter playing Puck in Julie Taymor’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, which inaugurated Polonsky Shakespeare Center in 2013. Stages perpetually suggest evidence of the past.) From this lighthearted set-up, the play transitions into a story about the great Russian theater-maker, Vsevolod Emilievitch Meyerhold, assassinated under Stalin for his anti-Soviet views.


through Peter Brook’s career. “In the theatre, the spectator’s imagination is able to supply that which is left unsaid. It is the mystery and the desire to solve it which draw so many people to the theater,” wrote Meyerhold. Peter Brook has mentioned Meyerhold as a model and an inspiration over the years, yet no more so than Artaud, Grotowski or Gurdjieff. That Brook has chosen to return to Meyerhold now has deep political resonance. As if in response to the global resurgence of the far right and popular disenfranchisement, he and Estienne have chosen to portray theater as a form of truth-seeking with high stakes, as a matter of life and death. When the answer to why is simply: Because we need truth. Not my truth, or your truth. The truth. On the night of June 20th, 2019, actors on stage held papers in their hands: not their programs, like us, but their scripts. The play they performed included neither dialogue nor stage directions, just paragraphs Marcello Magni in C.I.C.T/ Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord's production of Why?. Photo by Simon Annand.

Meyerhold (1874-1940) starred as an actor in some of Chekhov’s most famous works under Stanislavsky’s direction, before breaking off from the Moscow Art Theatre to create his own company, theater and vision. Against naturalism and its artificial method, Meyerhold strived to create a “theater of mood” and a system of actor training to widen the emotional potential of a theater piece. He emphasized the power of suggestion, and favored a stage as bare as possible, advanced by paring down—all principles that run W H Y ? 11


of text to be shared among the three of them. They were still memorizing their lines, or perhaps deciding who would say what. We were all waving paper. Rock-paper-scissors... were they performing the child’s game as a theater exercise? I don’t remember for sure; I know I thought of it. The effect was that of synchronicity, of a visceral communion. Here we were, wiping our foreheads, forgetting the embarrassment of our clothes clinging to our backs, slowly getting drenched in sweat. And there we were on June 20th, 1939. Meyerhold is arrested. He is taken to the sinister Loubianka prison. In November 1939, he is transferred to another prison, even more sinister—the Burtiky. It is so cold. Somehow a fur coat arrives. How did it get there? What miraculous means did his daughter find to get the coat to him? The coat will never leave him.


A chill ran down my spine. I was there. In the USSR, in December 1939, addressing a desperate plea to a head prosecutor out of Kafka’s Trial. “If the event has a future,” Peter Brook has said of performance, “this can only lie in the memories of those who were present and who retained a trace in their hearts.” Indeed, many of us do and will. • VIOLAINE HUISMAN is a writer, translator and curator based in Brooklyn. Her multidisciplinary arts festivals have included events at BAM, St Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn Museum, Metrograph and other cultural institutions around New York City. She has translated Ben Lerner's Hatred of Poetry and The Polish Rider into French. She is the author of Fugitive parce que reine (Prix Marie Claire and Prix Françoise Sagan, 2018) forthcoming in the US from Scribner, and Rose désert, which came out in France in August, and was just long-listed for the Prix Médicis. With Jamie Dowd, she co-founded The Floor, a community space merging wellness with culture and civic engagement.

Marcello Magni, Kathryn Hunter and Hayley Carmichael in C.I.C.T/ Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord's production of Why?. Photo by Simon Annand.


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THE PRODUCTION CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM (Actor) is a co-founder of Told By An Idiot and has both devised and performed in many of their productions. Other theatre includes: Crave (Barbican), Cymbeline (Kneehigh), The Dispute (RSC), Bliss (Royal Court), Zumanity ( Cirque de Soleil), Street of Crocodiles (Complicite ), Theatre of Blood (RNT/Improbable). In 2009, she first collaborated with Peter Brook and MarieHélène Estienne in Fragments by Samuel Beckett, and more recently in The Prisoner. Film/ television includes: Tale of Tales Dir: Matteo Garrone (2015), Kiss me First (C4), Chewing Gum (C4), The Witness for the Prosecution (BBC, 2016), Dernier Amour Dir: Benoît Jacquot(2019), Tonight the World Dir: Daria Martin (2019). HAYLEY CARMICHAEL

(Actor) is an internationally renowned award-winning actress and director. Her many leading appearances include title roles in Timon of Athens, Prometheus Bound, Richard III, King Lear, Antony & Cleopatra, Yerma, The House of Bernarda Alba, Spoonface Steinberg, The Skriker (Time Out Best Actress Award), Mother Courage and The Visit (Olivier Award for Best Actress), Cards (created by Robert Lepage), A Tender Thing, and The Bee. Previous work at TFANA: The Emperor, Kafka’s Monkey (both Young Vic), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Julie Taymor), The Valley of Astonishment and Fragments (both Peter Brook). Directing credits include: Napoleon Disrobed (Told By An Idiot), The Birds (National Theatre), Comedy of Errors, Pericles (both for Shakespeare’s Globe), Glory of Living (Royal Court) and Mr Puntilla (Almeida). Film and television credits include: Flowers, Les Miserables, Black Earth Rising, Tale of Tales, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Harry Potter and the Order the Phoenix, Mike Leigh’s All or Nothing, and Rome. KATHRYN HUNTER

(Actor) is an Italian actor, director and movement director. He studied at Jacques Lecoq School. A co-founder of Complicité in London in 1983, he has worked with the company for twenty-four years. He also created a solo show, Arlecchino, with Jos Houben and Kathryn Hunter. Furthermore, he performed in The Merchant of Venice, Comedy of Errors, and Pericles at Shakespeare’s Globe. In 2006 he performed in a world tour of Fragments, directed by Peter Brook, including performances for TFANA’s 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons. He also performed in The Valley of Astonishment, by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne, created in April 2014 in Paris and presented in New York by TFANA that same year. Marcello has also performed at TFANA in Marcel with J. Houben in 2017. He has worked with Peter Brook on A Magic Flute and the documentary The Tightrope. He has also collaborated with Hideki Noda, Robert Lepage, Mike Alfreds, Stavors Tsakiris, Helena Kaut Howsen, Yorgos Kimoulis and Valerio Binasco. His film credits include Nine, The Adventures of Pinocchio, "Doctor Who", Mr. Turner and "The Crown". MARCELLO MAGNI

(Pianist) ) is a pianist, composer and improvisor. He studied as a classical pianist, alongside the choral method of Zoltan Kodaly. He has performed as a soloist at the BBC concert hall Bristol, Queen Elisabeth Hall, Institute Francais, Festival de Mayo—Guadalajara, Teatro de san Telmo—Buenes Aires, amongst many other venues. He recently performed as a soloist Mozarts Piano Concerto No.24 with Exeter Symphony Orchestra and Concerto No. 23 with The English Chamber Orchestra at St Martins in the Fields. As a composer and improviser he has worked with The Jose Limon Dance company and Peter Brook at the National and Boueffes du Nord in Paris. Laurie has just finished his first role as Musical Director at the National Theatre in London working on Alexzander Zeldin’s Faith Hope and Charity. He currently lectures at City University London having held teaching posts at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Dartington International Summer school. LAURIE BLUNDELL

(Lighting Designer) started at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in 1985 as a light operator on Le Mahabharata and assisted on the light design for Woza Albert and La Tempête, all directed by Peter Brook. Since 1993, he has designed the lights for Peter Brook’s plays in the Theatre PHILIPPE VIALATTE

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des Bouffes du Nord. Qui est là, Je suis un phénomène, Le Costume, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Far Away, La mort de Krishna, La Tragédie d’Hamlet, Ta Mayn dans la mienne, Tierno Bokar, Le Grand Inquisiteur, Sizwe Banzi est mort, Fragments, 11 and 12, and recently A Magic Flute, The Suit, The Valley of Astonishment, Battlefield and The Prisoner. (Director) was born in London in 1925. Throughout his career, he distinguished himself in various genres: theater, opera, cinema and writing. He directed his first play there in 1943. He then went on to direct over 70 productions in London, Paris and New York. His work with the Royal Shakespeare Company includes Love’s Labour’s Lost (1946), Measure for Measure (1950), Titus Andronicus (1955), King Lear (1962), Marat/Sade (1964), US (1966), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1970) and Antony and Cleopatra (1978). In 1971, he founded with Micheline Rozan the International Centre for Theatre Research in Paris and in 1974, opened its permanent base in the Bouffes du Nord Theatre. There, he directed Timon of Athens, The Iks, Ubu aux Bouffes, Conference of the Birds, L’Os, The Cherry Orchard, The Mahabharata, Woza Albert!, The Tempest, The Man Who, Qui est là, Happy Days, Je suis un Phénomène, Le Costume, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Far Away, La Mort de Krishna, Ta Mayn dans la Mienne, The Grand Inquisitor, Tierno Bokar, Sizwe Banzi, Fragments, Warum Warum, Love is my Sin, 11 and 12, Une Flûte Enchantée (opera) and lately The Suit (2012), The Valley of Astonishment (2014) and Battlefield (2015)—many of these performing both in French and English. In opera, he directed La Bohème, Boris Godounov, The Olympians, Salomé and Le Nozze de Figaro at Covent Garden; Faust and Eugene Onegin at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, La Tragédie de Carmen and Impressions of Pelleas at the Bouffes du Nord, Paris and Don Giovanni for the Aix en Provence Festival. Peter Brook’s autobiography, Threads of Time, was published in 1998 and joins other titles including The Empty Space (1968)—translated into over 15 languages—The Shifting Point (1987), There are no Secrets (1993), Evoking (and Forgetting) Shakespeare (1999) and The Quality of Mercy (2014). His films include Moderato Cantabile, Lord of the Flies, Marat/Sade, Tell me Lies, King Lear, Meetings with Remarkable Men, The Mahabharata, and The Tragedy of Hamlet. PETER BROOK

(Director) In 1974, she worked with Peter Brook on the casting for Timon of Athens, and consequently joined the Centre International de Créations Théâtrales (CICT) for the creation of Ubu aux Bouffes in 1977.
She was Peter Brook’s assistant on La tragédie de Carmen, Le Mahabharata, and collaborated on the staging of The Tempest, Impressions de Pelléas, Woza Albert ! and La tragédie d’Hamlet (2000). She worked on the dramaturgy of Qui est là. With Peter Brook, she coauthored L’homme qui and Je suis un phénomène at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord. She wrote the French adaptation of Can Themba’s play Le costume, and Sizwe Bansi est mort by authors Athol Fugard, John Kani, and Winston Ntshona. In 2003 she wrote the French and English adaptations of Le Grand Inquisiteur—The Grand Inquisitor based on Dostoievsky’s Brothers Karamazov. She was the author of Tierno Bokar in 2005, and of the English adaptation of Eleven and Twelve by Amadou Hampaté Ba in 2009. With Peter Brook, she co-directed Fragments, five short pieces by Beckett, and again with Peter Brook and composer Franck Krawczyk, she freely adapted Mozart and Schikaneder’s Die Zauberflöte into Une flûte enchantée. She shares in the creation of The Suit, The Valley of Astonishment and The Prisoner. MARIE-HÉLÈNE ESTIENNE

BLAKE ZIDELL & ASSOCIATES (Press Representative) is a Brooklyn-based public relations firm

representing artists, companies and institutions spanning a variety of disciplines. Clients include St. Ann’s Warehouse, Soho Rep, The Kitchen, Ars Nova, BRIC, P.S.122, Abrons Arts Center, Taylor Mac, LAByrinth Theater Company, StoryCorps, Irish Arts Center, Café Carlyle, Peak Performances, Batsheva Dance Company, The Playwrights Realm, Stephen Petronio Company, The Play Company, and FIAF’s Crossing the Line Festival. 14

T H E AT R E F O R A N E W AU D I E N C E 36 0 ° S E R I E S



JEFFREY HOROWITZ (Founding Artistic Director) began his career in theatre as an actor and appeared

on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in regional theatre. In 1979, he founded Theatre for a New Audience. Horowitz has served on the Panel of the New York State Council on the Arts, on the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group, the Advisory Board of the Shakespeare Society and the Artistic Directorate of London’s Globe Theatre. Awards: 2003 John Houseman Award from The Acting Company; 2004 Gaudium Award from Breukelein Institute; 2019 Obie Lifetime Achievement Award. (Managing Director) joined Theatre for a New Audience in 2003. She spent the previous ten years devoted to fundraising for the 92nd Street Y and the Brooklyn Museum. Ryan began her career in classical music artist management and has also served as company manager for Chautauqua Opera, managing director for the Opera Ensemble of New York, and general manager of Eugene Opera. She is a 2014 Brooklyn Women of Distinction honoree from Community Newspaper Group. DOROTHY RYAN

MICHAEL PAGE (General Manager) joined TFANA in 2013, where he has managed over 20 productions

at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center. Prior to TFANA Michael was the general manager of the Tony Award-winning Vineyard Theatre and the managing director of Off-Broadway’s Barrow Street Theatre where he managed the U.S. premiere of Nina Raine’s Tribes and David Cromer’s landmark production of Our Town, among many others. Michael sits on the Board of Directors for the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), is active with the Off-Broadway League, and is on the adjunct faculty at CUNY/ Brooklyn College’s Department of Theater.

Polonsky Shakespeare Center. Photo © David Sundberg/Esto.

Samuel H. Scripps Mainstage. Photo by Francis Dzikowski/OTTO.

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ABOUT THEATRE FOR A NEW AUDIENCE About Theatre for a New Audience Founded in 1979 by Jeffrey Horowitz, the mission of Theatre for a New Audience is to develop and vitalize the performance and study of Shakespeare and classic drama. Theatre for a New Audience produces for audiences Off-Broadway and has also toured nationally, internationally and to Broadway. We are guided in our work by five core values: a reverence for language, a spirit of adventure, a commitment to diversity, a dedication to learning, and a spirit of service. These values inform what we do with artists, how we interact with audiences, and how we manage our organization. Theatre for a New Audience Education Programs


Founding Artistic Director Jeffrey Horowitz Managing Director Dorothy Ryan General Manager Michael Page Director of Institutional Advancement James J. Lynes Finance Director Mary Sormeley Education Director Kathleen Dorman Director of Marketing & Communications Jennifer Lam Associate Producer / Director of the Studio Nidia Medina Associate Director of Develeopment Barbara Toy Associate General Manager Kiana Carrington Theatre Manager Steven Gaultney Production Manager Zach Longstreet Box Office & Subscriptions Manager Allison Byrum Building Operations Manager Jordan Asinofsky Marketing Manager Torrence Browne Grants Manager Sara Billeaux Manager of Humanities / Assistant to Artistic Director Tatianna Casas Quiñonez Finance Associate Michelle Esposito Education Associate Philip Calabro Associate Facilities Manager Rashawn Caldwell Development Associate Richard Brighi Development Associate Allison Haglund Press Representative Blake Zidell & Associates Resident Literary Advisor Jonathan Kalb Resident Casting Director Jack Doulin


Theatre for a New Audience is an award-winning company recognized for artistic excellence. Our education programs introduce students to Shakespeare and other classics with the same artistic integrity that we apply to our productions. Through our unique and exciting methodology, students engage in hands-on learning that involves all aspects of literacy set in the context of theatre education. Our residencies are structured to address City and State Learning Standards both in English language Arts and the Arts, the New York City DOE’s Curriculum Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Theater, and the Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts. Begun in 1984, our programs have served more than 130,000 students, ages 9 through 18, in New York City Public Schools city-wide. A Home in Brooklyn: Polonsky Shakespeare Center Theatre for a New Audience’s home, Polonsky Shakespeare Center, is a centerpiece of the Brooklyn Cultural District. Designed by celebrated architect Hugh Hardy, Polonsky Shakespeare Center is the first theatre in New York designed and built expressly for classic drama since Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont in the 1960s. The 27,500 square-foot facility is a unique performance space in New York. The 299-seat Samuel H. Scripps Mainstage, inspired by the Cottesloe at London’s National Theatre, combines an Elizabethan courtyard theatre with modern theatre technology that allows the stage and seating to be arranged in seven configurations. The new facility also includes the Theodore C. Rogers Studio (a 50-seat rehearsal/ performance studio), and theatrical support spaces. The City of New York-developed Arts Plaza, designed by landscape architect Ken Smith, creates a natural gathering place around the building. In Addition, Polonsky Shakespeare Center is also one of the few sustainable (green) theatre in the country, with LEED-NC Silver rating from the United States Green Building Council. Now with a home of its own, Theatre for a New Audience is contributing to the continued renaissance of Downtown Brooklyn. In addition to its season of plays, the Theatre has expanded its Humanities offerings to include lectures, seminars, workshops, and other activities for artists, scholars, and the general public. When not in use by the Theatre, its new facility is available for rental, bringing much needed affordable performing and rehearsal space to the community.

T H E AT R E F O R A N E W AU D I E N C E 36 0 ° S E R I E S


Chairman: Robert E. Buckholz Vice Chairman Kathleen C. Walsh President Jeffrey Horowitz Founding Artistic Director Vice President and Secretary Dorothy Ryan Managing Director Executive Committee Robert E. Buckholz Jeffrey Horowitz John J. Kerr, Jr. Seymour H. Lesser Larry M. Loeb Audrey Heffernan Meyer Kathleen C. Walsh Monica Gerard-Sharp Wambold Josh Weisberg Members John Berendt* Sally Brody William H. Burgess, III Zoë Caldwell* Ben Campbell Robert Caro* Constance Christensen Dr. Sharon Dunn* Dana Ivey* Catherine Maciariello* Caroline Niemczyk Marc Polonsky Theodore C. Rogers Philip R. Rotner Mark Rylance* Daryl D. Smith Susan Stockel Michael Stranahan John Douglas Thompson* John Turturro* Frederick Wiseman* *Artistic Council

Emeritus Francine Ballan Dr. Charlotte K. Frank Jane Wells



Even with capacity audiences, ticket sales account for a small portion of our operating costs. The Theatre expresses its deepest thanks to the following Foundations, Corporations, Government Agencies and Individuals for their generous support of the Theatre’s Humanities, Education, and Outreach programs.

The 360° Series: Viewfinders has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Viewfinder do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. A Challenge Grant from the NEH established a Humanities endowment fund at Theatre for a New Audience to support these programs in perpetuity. Leading matching gifts to the NEH grant were provided by Joan and Robert Arnow, Norman and Elaine Brodsky, The Durst Organization, Perry and Marty Granoff, Stephanie and Tim Ingrassia, John J. Kerr & Nora Wren Kerr, Litowitz Foundation, Inc., Robert and Wendy MacDonald, Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder, The Prospect Hill Foundation, Inc., Theodore C. Rogers, and from purchasers in the Theatre’s Seat for Shakespeare Campaign, 2013 – 2015. Theatre for a New Audience’s Humanities, Education, and Outreach programs are supported, in part, by The Elayne P. Bernstein Education Fund. For more information on naming a seat or making a gift to the Humanities endowments, please contact James Lynes, Director of Institutional Advancement, at 212-229-2819 x29, or by email at jlynes@tfana.org. Theatre for a New Audience’s productions and education programs receive support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Additional funding is provided by the generosity of the following Foundations and Corporations through either general operating support or direct support of the Theatre’s arts in education programs: PRINCIPAL BENEFACTORS

($100,000 and up) National Endowment for the Humanities New York City Department of Cultural Affairs The SHS Foundation The Shubert Foundation, Inc. The Thompson Family Foundation LEADING BENEFACTORS

($50,000 and up) Bloomberg Philanthropies Deloitte & Touche LLP The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust MAJOR BENEFACTORS

($20,000 and up) The Achelis and Bodman Foundation Sidney E. Frank Foundation Hearst The Dubose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP Latham & Watkins LLP National Endowment for the Arts New York State Council on the Arts May and Samuel Rudin Foundation Inc. The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation Troy Chemical Corporation The Winston Foundation


($10,000 and up) The Howard Bayne Fund Consolidated Edison Company Of New York, Inc. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation, Inc. Fiduciary Trust International Geen Family Foundation Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP Joseph and Sally Handleman Foundation Trust A Irving Harris Foundation Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti, LLP The J.M. Kaplan Fund King & Spalding LLP Kirkland & Ellis LLP Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison Select Equity Group, Inc. Sidley Austin LLP Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP Wells Fargo Bank The White Cedar Fund PRODUCERS CIRCLE— THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR’S SOCIETY

($5,000 and up) Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP Axe-Houghton Foundation Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, NY City Council Discretionary Funding

Dorsey & Whitney LLP Forest City Ratner Companies The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP Litowitz Foundation, Inc. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP Richenthal Foundation The Starry Night Fund The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation Michael Tuch Foundation, Inc. Whiting Foundation PRODUCERS CIRCLE—EXECUTIVE

($2,500 and up) The Norman D. and Judith H. Cohen Foundation Dewitt Stern Group, Inc. Lucille Lortel Foundation Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund PRODUCERS CIRCLE—ASSOCIATE

($1,000 and up) Actors’ Equity Association EMM Wealth Management Kinder Morgan Foundation The Grace R. and Alan D. Marcus Foundation The Randolph Foundation Richmond County Savings Foundation

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W W W . T FA N A . O R G