Theatre for a New Audience has unveiled its 2019–2020 programming, marking the theatre's 40th anniversary. The season includes a revival of María Irene Fornés' Fefu and Her Friends, a production of Waiting for Godot starring Michael Shannon and Paul Sparks, the American premiere of a new Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne work, Will Eno's Gnit, and Shakespeare's Timon of Athens.
Kicking off the season in the fall will be the U.S. debut of Brook and Estienne's Why?, a new work about the nature and driving force of theatre starring Kathryn Hunter, Marcello Magni, and Hayley Carmichael. Currently playing in Paris, Why? will play at TFANA's Polonsky Shakespeare Center as part of the Crossing the Line Festival from the French Institute Alliance Française. Performances will be September 21–October 6.
Also in the fall will be a revival of Fornés' classic play, Fefu and Her Friends, directed by Obie Award winner Lileana Blain-Cruz (Marys Seacole, Thunderbodies). Seen through multiple perspectives and featuring numerous scenes that are staged simultaneously in different locations, Fefu and Her Friends is the story of a group of intelligent, outgoing women who gather in a New England country house in 1935 to discuss life, gender, friendship, and more. Performances will be at the Polonksy Shakespeare Center November 16–December 8.
In the new year, TFANA teams up with D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre Company and the Royal Shakespeare Company in the U.K. for a production of William Shakespeare's Timon of Athens, directed by Simon Godwin (The Cherry Orchard on Broadway). Olivier Award winner Hunter will return to TFANA to play the role of Timon, an Athenian who loses her wealth and is forced to swap her world of opulence for a life in the forest. Performances will be at Polonsky Shakespeare Center January 11–February 9, 2020.
Next spring, TFANA will present the Off-Broadway premiere of Eno's Gnit, directed by the playwright's frequent collaborator, Oliver Butler. Eno's take on Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt re-imagines the satirical, 19th-century quest tale about a self-absorbed wannabe epic hero as a quick-paced contemporary journey-play about a glib, non-committal sloucher.
TFANA presented a reading of Gnit last year with a cast led by Michael C. Hall alongside Tony and Emmy winner Tyne Daly, Ari Graynor, Eboni Booth, Peter Francis James, and Matthew Maher. Casting for the New York premiere is yet to be announced; performances will run March 7–29.
Rounding out the season will be Beckett's well-known existential drama Waiting for Godot starring Shannon (currently on Broadway in Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune) and Emmy winner Sparks (House of Cards, Boardwalk Empire), with further casting to be announced. The two actors reunite at TFANA following their performances in Darko Tresnjak's production of Ionesco’s The Killer.
A director for Waiting for Godot is yet to be announced; performances will run April 25–May 24 at Polonksy Shakespeare Center.
TFANA is currently presenting the Soho Rep. staging of Jackie Sibblies Drury's Pulitzer Prize–winning Fairview. For more information on this and the upcoming season visit Tfana.org.