Starts on 12 Oct 2017,
Ends on 15 Oct 2017

This fall Le Skyroom is hosting the US Premiere of “No Longer Without You” as part of Crossing the Line Festival. The show is a searing, outrageous, hilarious conversation between a real-life mother and daughter. Havva Oral is a traditional Muslim immigrant living in the Netherlands; her westernized daughter Nazmiye Oral is a journalist and modern Dutch woman. In the intimate circle of a staged living room, they confront each other’s faith, sexuality, and values, with both love and anger. Directed by Adelheid Roosen and set to live music by Seval OkyayNo Longer Without You is a theatrical look at an important rite. 

Buy tickets here.

“No Longer Without You”

Out of love for her progressive daughter Nazmiye, the Islamic, traditional, headscarf-wearing mother Havva Oral (68) goes on stage week after week to talk through, in the presence of the audience, everything they haven’t spoken about with each other for years: the hymen, marriage, sex, children, faith and homosexuality. “My mother is prepared to risk the condemnation of the Dutch Islamic community to fight with me, her daughter, in public. There is nothing I wouldn’t dare tell my mother anymore. Saying everything to each other on stage has become a kind of experiment, the exploration on no two nights the same. To me, this is a majestic act of her love”, says Nazmiye.

Brave residents share their story! In every town that Zina plants itself, the team goes in search of people who carry a No Longer Without You story within themselves. So too in New York, Zina sought out stories about things such as homosexuality, so-called honor killings, love, generational conflict, shame, vulnerability, and freedom. These New Yorkers don’t just open debate behind closed doors but join the public mother and daughter conversation by sharing their story as part of the performance.

Nederland, Amsterdam, 20-6-2015
Adelheid Roosen, carabetiere en programmamaker.
FOTO : Guus Dubbelman / de Volkskrant

About Adelheid Roosen

Dutch filmmaker, actress, and director Adelheid Roosen has been making theater about “unspeakable” topics since 1989. Her mission is to shift perspectives about what we see as “other” and whom we call strangers. Roosen uses theater to lay bare some of our most sensitive social issues, and to deepen public discussion.

About Nazmiye Oral

Dutch writer and actress Nazmiye Oral has an extensive theater career in the Netherlands and abroad. She is a co-founder, with Adelheid Roosen, of Zinaplatform, a theater company that travels to different neighborhoods throughout the Netherlands and stages performances based on the lives of locals in the community. Her collaborations with Roosen on the plays The Veiled Monologues and No Longer Without You have met with great success. Since its creation, No Longer Without You has toured extensively throughout the world. It was presented during the prestigious Holland Festival in 2015 where Nazmiye won the Audience Award for her performance. In 2016 she won a Golden Calf Award for her role in the film In Vrijheid (In Freedom).

About Crossing The Line Festival 

Crossing the Line is an international arts festival for New York City produced by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in partnership with leading cultural institutions. 

France has a long history of supporting national and international cultural practices, welcoming and nurturing new ideas and influential perspectives from around the world. FIAF, as the leading French cultural institution in the US, critically maintains that practice through the Crossing the Line Festival, presenting leading-edge artists from France and the US alongside their peers from around the world. 

Since its inauguration in 2007, Crossing the Line has cultivated an increasingly large and diverse following, and received numerous accolades in the press including “Best of” in The New York TimesWall Street JournalThe New YorkerTime Out New YorkArtforum, and Frieze. Festival performances have earned Obie and Bessie awards.

Oral photo: Aicha Qandisha

Via Selman Aqiqi, Toneelgroep Amsterdam; Dutch Culture U.S.A.




Phoenix Theatre Ensemble announces the opening of Moliere’s great comedy Tartuffe in the New York premiere of a sizzling adaptation by David Ball . . .  Tartuffe will begin previews on October 21st and open on Friday, October 27st and will run for 22 performances only through November 12th at The Wild Project in NYC. 

PTE Producing Artistic Director Craig Smith directs the Ball adaptation, which was developed originally for Theatre de la Jeune Lune . . .  The production cast will feature Phoenix Theatre Ensemble resident actors,  Matt Baguth, Alicia Marie Beaty, Ariel Estrada, Eileen Glenn, Oscar Klausner, John Lenartz, Morgan Rosse, Wes Spencer, Elise Stone, and Josh Tyson as Tartuffe (pictured).

The design team for Tartuffe includes Debbi Hobson for period costumes, Ellen Mandel for original music and sound, Attilio Rigotti for projection and video design, Tsubasa Kamei for Lights.  Karen Case Cook is assistant director, Carrigan O’Brien is dramaturg, and Meghan McVann is production stage manager.

The story of Tartuffe concerns a wealthy man, Orgon, who brings home a religious con-man, Tartuffe,  who systematically arranges a wedding with Orgon’s daughter, seduces Orgon’s wife,  convinces Orgon to sign over to him Orgon’s house and fortune . . . It is a comedy about religious hypocrisy.  Smith states “PTE’s Season 2017-18 is ‘the year of the charismatic’ – we’re asking why seemingly smart people often lose their way, their moral center, and blindly follow bad people or dogmas.  Orgon thinks he has found a charismatic messiah in Tartuffe and brings him home, an action that disrupts the entire household and chaos ensues. But in our production, we see Tartuffe through the eyes of Orgon, and perhaps, just perhaps Tartuffe might be miraculous.” 
What:   Tartuffe by Moliere; Adaptation by David Ball

When:   Previews:  October 21-26; Opening October 27 and playing through November 12; performances Tues-Sat @8:00 PM; Sunday matinees at3:00 pm;  and special  Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2:00 pm Oct 25, Nov 4 & 8.

Full Schedule: Sat 10/21 8pm; Sun 10/22 3pm; 10/24-28 8pm; Sun 10/29 3pm; Nov 1-4 8pm; Nov 5 3pm; Nov 7-11 8pm; Sun Nov 12 3pm; Wed matinee 10/25 & 11/8 2pm; Sat matinee 11/4 2pm.

Information:;   212-465-3446

Tickets:   Tickets are $18.50 for previews and $30 each regular performances; Call 212-352-3101 or visit

Where: The Wild Project @ 195 East 3rd Street (Avenue A and Avenue B)

Transportation: By Subway: F Train to 2nd Avenue; M Train at Essex and Delancey; by Bus A14 to 4th Street and Ave A; 8th Street Crosstown.

Photo Caption:  Josh Tyson cast as Tartuffe at NY’s Phoenix Theatre Ensemble 

Phoenix Theatre Ensemble is a non-profit theatre company now in its 14th season of presenting new and classical works.   The 2017-18 season includes  American Moor by Keith Hamilton Cobb (July/August @ Boston Center for the Arts); Tartuffe by Moliere (October/November in  NYC), The Cult Play, world premiere of a serialized drama by Topher Cusumano (January/February in NYC); and Mephisto, world premiere adaptation of Klaus Mann’s novel (April/May in NYC).  The reading series for 2017-18 will be rarely performed plays by Pirandello.  www.PhoenixTheatreEnsemble.



(from the Folger Shakespeare Library; via Pam Green.)

Two literary scholars discuss Shakespeare’s influence on the politics, history, and literary culture of East Africa. 

Edward Wilson-Lee, the son of white wildlife conservationists, spent his childhood in Kenya and now teaches Shakespeare at the University of Cambridge in England. Over the past few years he has spent extended periods back in Kenya, as well as in Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, and South Sudan, researching his book, Shakespeare in Swahililand

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong’o, the renowned Kenyan playwright, novelist, dissident, and social activist, grew up in Kenya when it was still a British colony and is now a Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. His most recent work is the memoir Birth of a Dream Weaver

Ngũgĩ and Edward were interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

(Read more)

Photos (top to bottomg)

Edward Wilson-Lee: YouTube 

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong’o: Face2Face Africa


Reimagining SHAKESPEARE’s rabidly ambitious king with a confrontational interpretation, THOMAS OSTERMEIER returns to BAM with RICHARD III. THE INFLUENTIAL GERMAN DIRECTOR and artistic head of BERLIN’S SCHAUBÜHNE THEATRE turns Shakespeare’s study of EVIL into a gritty, unflinching spectacle.  THE FULL-THROTTLE ADAPTATION is set in A MUD-SPLATTERED ARENA, designed by JAN PAPPELBAUM, where GLITTER FALLS FROM THE SKY as a club-footed sociopath STALKS THE STAGE. Playwright MARIUS VON MAYENBURG converts SHAKESPEARE’S POETIC PENTAMETER TO FORTHRIGHT PROSE and LARS EIDINGER portrays the antihero as part ROCK STAR, PART GHOULISH COMEDIAN. The production isn’t restricted to the demonization of one man––it is also a portrait of A POWERFUL ELITE TORN APART BY INTERNAL STRIFE, out of whose midst A PERVERSE DICTATOR EMERGES. Ostermeier contends that Richard’s monstrosity is not exceptional, but rather REPRESENTATIVE OF OUR MOST BASIC HUMAN INSTINCTS. “The true horror of watching Richard III” says Ostermeier, “SHOULD BE THE RECOGNITION THAT WHAT WE SEE IS ACTUALLY A VISIT TO OUR VERY OWN INNERMOST ABYSS.”


Influential German director Thomas Ostermeier returns to BAM with Schaubühne Berlin’s production of Richard III, Oct 11––14

“Lars Eidinger stars as a mesmerising, rapping, swearing Richard; an outsider who seizes centre stage with relish, caressing his microphone like a rock star gone to seed.” –The Guardian

Bloomberg Philanthropies is the Season Sponsor

Richard III By William Shakespeare

Translation and adaptation by Marius von Mayenburg

Schaubühne Berlin Directed by Thomas Ostermeier

Set design by Jan Pappelbaum

Costume design by Florence von Gerkan in collaboration with Ralf Tristan Sczesny

Music by Nils Ostendorf Video by Sébastien Dupouey

Dramaturgy by Florian Borchmeyer

Lighting design by Erich Schneider

BAM Harvey Theater (651 Fulton St.)

Oct 11—14 at 7:30pm Tickets start at $35 In German with English titles

Iconic Artist Talk: Thomas Ostermeier In conversation with Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Oct 12 at 6pm BAM Rose Cinemas (30 Lafayette Ave) $25 General Public; $12.50 for BAM Members

Visit BAM:

Photos: Arno Declair

Press: Christian Barclay/BAM


(Michael Paulson’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/8; via the Drudge Report.) 

Broadway is breaking another price barrier.

Producers of “Hello, Dolly!” are now charging $998 for front row seats at many performances between late November and mid-January, when Bette Midler leaves the cast, according to a review of ticket prices on the Telecharge website. With fees, each of those seats will cost $1,009.

The price is a record for a non-holiday performance on Broadway. “Hamilton” is the only show that has reached that level before, charging $998 for some seats during the Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks last year.

The high “Dolly” ticket, which is for weekend performances, reflects strong demand to see Ms. Midler’s Tony-winning turn before her run ends on Jan. 14. And the front row provides an opportunity for fans to be quite close to her: She performs the title song on a passerelle, a walkway that arcs in front of the stage, and she often reaches out toward audience members, sometimes shaking their hands.

Rick Miramontez, a spokesman for “Hello, Dolly!” producer Scott Rudin, declined to comment on the show’s premium prices.

Although $998 for a Broadway ticket remains exceptional, prices overall are rising: thus far this season, the average ticket price on Broadway is $116. Last season it was $109.

Continue reading the main story

Photo: Gay Times Magazine


Belarus Free Theatre presents Burning Doors from La MaMa on Vimeo.


Returns to La MaMa with

NY premiere of


October 12-22, 2017

Cast includes Maria Alyokhina from PUSSY RIOT 

Belarus Free Theatre (BFT) – the internationally acclaimed troupe known for its stage works that confront some of the most urgent issues of the day – returns to La MaMa (66 E. 4 St. in NYC) with the NY premiere of BURNING DOORS:  previews are set to begin October 12 prior to a press opening Oct. 16.  La MaMa presents BURNING DOORS in association with Belarus Free Theatre, the only theatre in Europe banned by its government on political grounds.

Devised and performed by Belarus Free Theatre, BURNING DOORS is directed by Nicolai Khalezin and Natalia Kaliada.  DOORS is written by Mr. Khalezin, with dramatury by Mr. Khalezin and Ms. Kaliada, choreography by Bridget Fiske and Maryia Sazonava and original testimony is by Maria Alyokhina


The cast of BURNING DOORS includes guest performer and collaborator Maria Alyokhina of PUSSY RIOT, the Russian feminist punk-rock group, along with performers and co-creators Pavel Haradnitski, Kiryl Masheka, Siarhei Kvachonak, Maryia Sazonava, Stanislava Shablinskaya, Andrei Urazau and Marnya Yurevich.


As governments clamp down and walls go up, BURNING DOORS examines how art persists under oppression, and how artists living under dictatorship illuminate complacency in democratic societies, reminding us of the true cost of freedom and the danger of passivity.  BURNING DOORS draws from the personal experiences of three dissidents who were arrested and imprisoned by the government of Vladmir Putin of Russia – Ms. Alyokhina, Petr Pavlensky and Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian national who has been imprisoned in Russia on terrorism charges after Russia invaded Crimea.


In the case of Mr. Sentsov, who has served three years of his 20-year sentence, his experiences are depicted as told to the creators of BURNING DOORS by members of his family, who have been allowed rare visits and received one smuggled correspondence from him during his time in prison.

BURNING DOORS debuted last year in London, where critics called it:

            “A scorching piece of theatre:  uncompromising, urgent and angry.  4 stars.” Financial Times

            “A spiky, furious mosaic.  4 stars.”  The Sunday Times

Belarus Free Theatre is the leading refugee-led theatre company in the UK. BURNING DOORS draws on the company’s own experience of political oppression and continues their campaign to stand up to artistic freedom and human rights across the globe.

Belarus Free Theatre has previously performed at La MaMa:  TRASH CUISINE, BEING HAROLD PINTER, DISCOVER LOVE and ZONE OF SILENCE.

BURNING DOORS is dedicated to Pavel Sheremet, Oleg Sentsov and all the Kremlin hostages.  The production features the following contributions: 

            –“Fear” and “Russian Contemporary Artist in a Russian Jail.” By Petr Pavlensky

            –“Final Statement” by Oleg Sentsov

            –Extract from “How to Start a Revolution” by Maria Alyokhina

            –“Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison by Michel Foucault

            –“The Idiot” and “The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

            –“Lonely” by Boombox

            –Russian and Belarusian folk songs

BURNING DOORS was created in partnership with ArtReach as part of Journeys Festival International; Co-commissioned by Arts Centre Melbourne; Developed at Falmouth University’s Academy of Music and Theatre Arts (AMATA), and funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

La MaMa is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. The organization has a worldwide reputation for producing daring performance works that defy form and transcend barriers of ethnic and cultural identity. Founded in 1961 by award-winning theatre pioneer Ellen Stewart, La MaMa has presented more than 5,000 productions by 150,000 artists from more than 70 nations. A recipient of more than 30 Obie Awards and dozens of Drama Desk, Bessie, and Villager Awards, La MaMa has helped launch the careers of countless artists, many of whom have made important contributions to American and international arts milieus.

La MaMa’s 56th season highlights artists of different generations, gender identities, and cultural backgrounds, who question social mores and confront stereotypes, corruption, bigotry, racism, and xenophobia in their work. Our stages embrace diversity in every form and present artists that persevere with bold self-expression despite social, economic, and political struggle and the 56th season reflects the urgency of reaffirming human interconnectedness.

Scheduled October 12 to 22, BURNING DOORS will perform weeknights at 8 pm (no performance October 17), Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 4 pm.  Tickets are $30 ($25 for students/seniors) and can be purchased by calling 212-352-3101 or online at

BURNING DOORS is performed in Russian and Belarusian with English surtitles.

(Photos, top to bottom:  Alyokhina, Oslo Freedom Forum, Kaliada and Khalezin,; Pavlensky,; Sentsov, the Voice Project. 




(Robin Pogrebin’s and Michael Cooper’s article appeared in the New York Times, 10/4.)  

The media mogul David Geffen, one of the cultural world’s leading philanthropists, attacked wealthy New Yorkers on Wednesday for what he called a “shameful” record of failing to donate to the city’s concert halls and allowing these institutions to downsize their ambitions.

Mr. Geffen, in a telephone interview, was searing and candid about Lincoln Center’s announcement on Tuesday that it was scaling back a $500 million renovation of the New York Philharmonic’s home, David Geffen Hall, a project to which he had donated $100 million. Mr. Geffen spoke out on the same day that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art said he was donating $150 million — a dollar amount and a bit of timing that only highlighted the cultural rivalry between New York and Los Angeles for money and prestige.

[David Geffen Pledges $150 Million to LACMA Building Campaign]

“That a city that has as many wealthy individuals who’ve made a fortune in New York — that they couldn’t show up and support the most important cultural institution in New York, I think is too bad and shameful,” Mr. Geffen said. “New York deserves to have the best concert hall for the Philharmonic. New York should have the best of everything.

(Read more)




Peacock Theatre, Dublin

Who haunted Shakespeare when he wrote Hamlet? A play so steeped in death, full of demanding fathers, hapless sons and restless ghosts, it was completed just three years after the death of his young son, Hamnet. If the name of the Dane was intended as a memorial, it backfired: Shakespeare’s overwhelming legacy and pitted biography have reduced poor Hamnet to the status of a typo.

“You haven’t heard of me,” apologises the 11-year-old boy who arrives onstage alone with a hoodie and a backpack – although, like any contemporary kid, he knows he shouldn’t talk to strangers.

That we are the strangers is made obvious. The expanse of the backdrop to Andrew Clancy’s design holds, as ‘twere, a mirror up to the stage, a live projection from the rear wall that affords us two images: the boy before us and his video apparition.

(Read more)

Photo: Dead Centre


(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian 10/3.)

Sixty-five years ago, Kenneth Tynan identified the qualities of a young Peter Brook as “repose, curiosity and mental accuracy – plus, of course, the unlearnable lively flair”. Now 92, Brook may walk more slowly than he did but those gifts are still abundantly there. He is as busy as ever, with a new book full of aphoristic wisdom, Tip of the Tongue, and a new stage project, The Prisoner, due to open in Paris next year.

When we meet in London, he has just caught up with a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies at the National Theatre, which he calls “one of the greatest musicals I’ve ever seen – a perfect combination of palpable emotion and dazzling spectacle”. To those who think of Brook as some kind of theatrical monk, dedicated to empty spaces and a refined austerity, his rapture over Follies may come as a shock. But Brook’s early career embraced everything from Shakespeare and boulevard comedy to opera and musicals. He directed Irma La Douce in the West End and Harold Arlen’s House of Flowers on Broadway.

(Read more)


(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 9/26; via Pam Green.)

PRINCETON, N.J. — It’s hard to imagine a more exuberant wake for Sam Shepard than the party being thrown — and I mean thrown, like a beer bottle in a bar fight — at the McCarter Theater Center here. That’s where A Red Orchid Theater’s revival of his strange “Simpatico” is running — and jumping, stumbling, falling down drunk, writhing on the floor and gleefully reminding us of the fierce and anarchic humor of Shepard, who died in July.

Though Shepard is, in my book, a great American playwright, “Simpatico,” first staged at the Public Theater in New York in 1995, is not a great play. On the page, at least, it finds its author awkwardly trying to shoehorn his fabled sense of a melting American identity into the intricate plots and counterplots of the genre known as noir.

But as lyrical as Shepard could be as a prose writer, he is best experienced not on the page but the stage, where the raw physicality of his brand of theater can be given space to roam wild. That’s the space so jubilantly occupied by this production out of Chicago, directed by Dado and starring the off-center film star Michael Shannon in expertly demented form.

(Read more)