Red Bull Theater announces details for Spring Off-Broadway productions: THE WHITE DEVIL and MAC BETH at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 06:42 pm EST 02/06/19

Announces Spring Off-Broadway Productions



Tickets Now On Sale

Red Bull Theater (Jesse Berger, Artistic Director | Jim Bredeson, Managing Director) today announced details for two upcoming Off-Broadway productions at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street between Bleecker & Hudson Streets). Tickets are now on sale.

“Red Bull Theater is making a full-throttled return to our work with the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries with Louisa Proske’s thrilling new production of John Webster’s The White Devil and director Erica Schmidt’s Mac Beth, a timely take on Shakespeare’s play,” said Mr. Berger. “These two productions, each led by visionary directors with extraordinary design teams, will speak in powerful ways to our current moment, and appeal to those with tastes for both traditional classical productions and innovative contemporary twists.”

Berger continued, “We’re reconfiguring the Lucille Lortel Theater seating arrangement into a three quarter-thrust to create a wonderfully intimate experience. And with soon-to-be-announced casts featuring the finest actors in New York, I can’t wait to share the experience with New York’s finest theater audiences!”

Louisa Proske will direct John Webster’s The White Devil—a play that was was first performed at the original Red Bull theatre in the early months of 1612—is being given its first NY production in over fifty years (It was last revived in 1965 at the Circle in the Square starring Frank Langella). Performances will begin March 19th, with opening night set for March 31st. The limited run will continue through April 14th.

"Webster is a playwright for our time. Writing about a society on its slide towards civil war, he described the corrosion of institutions by greed and hypocrisy and the lack of any future for young people with an urgency that makes the complex, accelerating plot of The White Devil seem as if snatched from current headlines. Its deeper concerns – corruption, rampant voyeurism, and systemic misogyny – speak directly to our present experience, though in the poetic, visceral, juicy language of 1612 rather than the truncated twitter lingo of 2019. And in spite of his dark subject matter, Webster’s gallows humor and satirical gift keeps his audience engaged and laughing. Our production will interpret his White Devil as a poignantly contemporary dystopia, a deep dive into the dizzying maze of political power. Using live video to mirror Webster’s world of seductive images, perversion, surveillance and violence, it traces an explosive love affair and the story of an extraordinary woman in a world of deceit, objectification, and fake news,” said Ms. Proske.

Louisa Proske is the recipient of a 2018 Princess Grace Award and was chosen as the Musical America New Artist of the Month for May 2018. She is co-artistic director of Heartbeat Opera, a company that grows vivid theatrical worlds through revelatory adaptations, radical rearrangements, and ingenious design. Theatre productions include peerless (nominated for a Berkshire Theatre Award for Outstanding Direction), Gaslight, This, Engagements (all Barrington Stage Company), One Day When We Were Young (Assembly, Edinburgh), Pinkalicious the Musical (Hangar Theatre, Ithaca), The Winstons (Juilliard School of Drama), ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore (The Tank), Cymbeline and As You Like It at Yale School of Drama.

The White Devil will have set design by Kate Noll, costume design by Beth Goldenberg, lighting design by JiYoun Chang, sound design by Chad Raines, and video design by Yana Birÿkova. Casting will be announced shortly.

MAC BETH, adapted and directed by Erica Schmidt from Shakespeare, will be the second production, playing a limited Off-Broadway engagement May 7th through June 2nd only, with Opening Night set for May 19th.

In Schmidt’s production seven girls meet up to do a play in an empty lot outside the city on an autumn afternoon. School uniform tartan transforms in this American urban wasteland. The girls are witches, ghosts, and kings. They hurl headlong into the unchecked passions of Macbeth, as the line between real life and blood fantasy quickly blurs. Through prophecies and smartphones, unexpected resonances emerge from Shakespeare’s dark nightmare of ambition gone awry.

Erica Schmidt’s numerous credits include Richard II with Robert Sean Leonard; All the Fine Boys (The New Group, wrote and directed); Turgenev’s A Month in the Country with Peter Dinklage and Taylor Schilling (CSC); Taking Care of Baby (MTC); Trust (The Play Company, Callaway Award nomination); As You Like It (Public Theater/NYSF); Debbie Does Dallas (wrote and directed Off-Broadway).

Mac Beth will have set design by Catherine Cornell, costume design by Jessica Pabst, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, and sound design by Erin Bednarz. This adaptation was given its premiere by Seattle Repertory Theater in June 2018. Running time is 90 minutes with no intermission. Casting will be announced shortly.

Red Bull Theater, hailed as as “the city’s gutsiest classical theater” by Time Out New York, brings rarely seen classic plays to dynamic new life for contemporary audiences, uniting a respect for tradition with a modern sensibility. Named for the rowdy Jacobean playhouse that illegally performed plays in England during the years of Puritan rule, Red Bull Theater is New York City’s home for dynamic performances of great plays that stand the test of time. With the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as its cornerstone, the company also produces new works that are in conversation with the classics. A home for artists, scholars and students, Red Bull Theater delights and engages the intellect and imagination of audiences, and strives to make its work accessible, diverse, and welcoming to all. Red Bull Theater believes in the power of great classic stories and plays of heightened language to deepen our understanding of the human condition, in the special ability of live theater to create unique, collective experiences, and the timeless capacity of classical theater to illuminate the events of our times. Variety agreed, hailing our work as: “Proof that classical theater can still be surprising after hundreds of years.”

Since its debut in 2003 with a production of Shakespeare’s Pericles starring Daniel Breaker followed by the breakout hit production of The Revenger’s Tragedy, Red Bull Theater has served adventurous theatergoers with Off-Broadway productions, Revelation Readings, and the annual Short New Play Festival. The company also offers outreach programs including Shakespeare in Schools bringing professional actors and teaching artists into public school classrooms; Bull Sessions, free post-play discussions with top scholars; and Master Classes in classical acting led by veteran theater professionals.

Acclaimed as “a dynamic producer of classic plays” by The New York Times and “the most exciting classical theater in New York” by Time Out NY, Red Bull Theater has produced 17 Off-Broadway productions including the recent runaway hit The Government Inspector starring Michael Urie, and over 150 Revelation Readings of rarely seen classics, serving a community of more than 5,000 artists and providing quality artistic programming to an audience of over 65,000. The company’s unique programming has received ongoing critical acclaim, and has been recognized with Lortel, Drama Desk, Drama League, Callaway, Off Broadway Alliance, and OBIE nominations and Awards.

The productions are made possible through special arrangement with THE LUCILLE LORTEL THEATRE FOUNDATION, created in 1998. Lucille Lortel granted the historic theatre bearing her name to the Foundation to continue her legacy of promoting excellent work long into the future without the economic burdens normally associated with theatre space. The Foundation therefore makes the Lortel Theatre available to not-for-profit organizations at a subsidized cost. The Lucille Lortel Theatre has hosted dozens of theatre companies and is also made available to community groups for meetings and other events. For the calendar of all upcoming activities, a history of the theatre, and more, please visit www.lortel.org.

Subscriptions, offering a ticket to both The White Devil and Mac Beth, are available for only $128-150. Single tickets to both productions are available now for $75-$115.

For tickets and more information about any of Red Bull Theater's productions and programs, visit Redbulltheater.com.

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