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Christopher Lloyd and Elizabeth Davis in Brecht's "The Caucasian Chalk Circle," with music by Duncan Sheik, at Classic Stage Company in 2013. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Classic Stage Company Announces Season Ranging from Greeks to Ibsen

Also offered will be ‘Mother Courage’ starring Tonya Pinkins and the seldom-seen ‘Nathan the Wise’ starring F. Murray Abraham.

NEW YORK CITY: Classic Stage Company announced plans for its 2015–16 Season, its 49th, with a roster of Greeks, Brecht, Ibsen and a seldom-performed Jewish classic.

The season will begin in August and September with a “Greek Festival,” a celebration of classical Greek theatre as explored by some of the downtown theatre scene’s most exciting artists, as well as workshops, readings, seminars and other samplings Greek culture. Anchoring the festival will be a mainstage production of Iphigenia in Aulis, in a new translation by Anne Washburn, directed by Rachel Chavkin. Euripides’s seldom-performed last play is the one about Agamemnon having to choose to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia, to get his troops to Troy.

The festival’s staged reading series, called “The Fragments,” will feature the work of playwrights Ellen McLaughlin, Charles L. Mee and Mac Wellman, who will each weave bits classical Greek plays into three full dramatic evenings. A series of seminars will be curated by Greek scholar Helene Foley, professor of Classical Studies at Barnard College. And director Jonathan Vandenburg will lead an open workshop deconstructing Aeschylus’s Oresteia.

Next, in December, will be artistic director Brian Kulick’s staging of Brecht’s harrowing Mother Courage and Her Children, which will star Tonya Pinkins and feature new music by Duncan Sheik.

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s Nathan the Wise follows in March 2016, in a translation by John Christopher Jones. Kulick will direct and F. Murray Abraham will star in this 18th-century play set in 12th-century Jerusalem, where the ruling sultan asks of the title character: Which of the city’s three Abrahamic religions—Islam, Judaism or Christianity—is most beloved by God?

Next is Ibsen’s fantastical epic Peer Gynt, in May 16, in a new version adapted and directed by John Doyle.

The season will also include a series of special events. In January 2016, each Monday night actors and audiences will explore Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. In March 2016, CSC’s Young Company will stage a version of Othello tailored for young audiences; the company is a collaboration with the Graduate Acting Program of Columbia University’s School of the Arts. And in May 2016, in conjunction with its staging of Peer Gynt, CSC will offer a reading series of Ibsen’s other seminal works, including Hedda GablerA Doll’s House and The Wild Duck.

CSC is an award-winning Off-Broadway theatre committed to reimagining the classical repertory for contemporary audiences.

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