The Pearl Theatre Company presents
By Kate Hamill
Adapted from William Thackeray’s novel
Directed by Eric Tucker
Previews: March 24, 25, 31 and April 1 at 8pm; March 26, 28, 30 at 7pm; March 29, April 1, 2 at 2pm
Opening Night: Sunday, April 2 at 7pm
Regular: April 4, 5, 6, 9, 23, 25 at 7pm; April 8, 14, 15, 22 at 8pm; April 9, 15, 16, 22, 23 at 2pm
The Pearl Theatre (555 West 42nd Street)
$59 Regular, $69 Premium ($49 previews, $40 members, $20 rush tickets)
2 hours and 15 minutes with one intermission
The Pearl Theatre Company is pleased to present the world premiere of Vanity Fair by Kate Hamill, best known for her critically-acclaimed, off-Broadway hit Sense & Sensibility. Adapted from the English satire penned by William Thackeray, Vanity Fair will be directed by Eric Tucker, Artistic Director of Bedlam and the Wall Street Journal’s 2014 pick for Director of the Year. The production will run from March 24–April 25 and features Hamill leading a seven-member ensemble in the central role of Becky Sharp.
Vanity Fair is set in a society that cares more for good birth and good manners than for skill. The play’s protagonist Becky Sharp—poor, plain, and devilishly clever—is determined to defy the odds through risky romantic entanglements, shady business practices, and social climbing at any cost. She won’t stop until the world lies at her feet. Vanity Fair was featured in The Pearl’s 2016 Modern/Classics Reading Series.
“I’m committed to reclaiming the classics for all genders,” shared playwright Hamill. “In adapting Thackeray’s novel, I wanted to write a play that provided a glimpse into a deep female friendship between two different female archetypes and the parallel paths they travel to overcome the limitations posed upon them. I also wanted the play to serve as a reminder not to judge others too harshly, because the truth is we’re all so fallible.”
The Pearl’s Artistic Director Hal Brooks said, “Hamill’s incredibly engaging adaptation tells an audacious story which skewers society, and meditates on the ups and downs of fortune. In keeping with The Pearl’s mission—to explore, expand and enrich the theatrical canon—Vanity Fair perfectly matches Hamill’s funny, physical and raw talent with Tucker’s ability to create in the moment: he merges the actor’s instinct with the text to create a combustible force. This production, with its innate theatricality, will be a fun, moving and dynamic take on one of the great novels of all time, an ideal choice for The Pearl’s audience.”
Joining Hamill, the ensemble of Vanity Fair includes The Pearl’s Resident Acting Company members Joey Parsons and Brad Heberlee with guest artists Zack Fine, Tom O’Keefe, Ryan Quinn, and Debargo Sanyal.
The creative team includes Sandra Goldmark (Set), Valérie Thérèse Bart (Costumes), Seth Reiser (Lights), and Katherine Whitney (Production Stage Manager).
Performances of Vanity Fair will take place at The Pearl Theatre, which is located at 555 West 42 Street. Critics are welcome as of Thursday, March 30 for an official opening on Sunday, April 2 at 7pm. Tickets are $59 regular, $69 premium ($49 previews, $40 members, $20 student rush, $20 Thursday rush) and can be purchased by visiting pearltheatre.org or calling 212.563.9261.
About the Artists
Kate Hamill (playwright) is a NYC-based actor and playwright. As playwright: SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (in which she originated the role of Marianne) – Winner, Off-Broadway Alliance Award (Best Unique Theatrical Experience 2016); Nominee, Drama League Award (Best Revival, 2016). S&S was named “Top 10 Theater of 2014” by the NY Times (2X Critic’s Pick) and was called “perhaps the greatest stage adaptation of this novel in history” by the Huffington Post; it ran for 265+ performances off-Broadway. Other plays include In the Mines (2015 Sundance Lab semi-finalist, NEXT New Musical Festival), Em (Red Bull New Play finalist), Little Fellow (2015 O’Neill semi-finalist), Pride & Prejudice (HVSF2). Since its premiere in 2014, S&S has been produced at the Guthrie Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, and Folger Theatre (Best of 2016 – Washington Post). Kate’s Pride & Prejudice premieres at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival this summer. More information at www.kate-hamill.com.
Eric Tucker (director) Wall Street Journal DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR 2014. Off Broadway: Bedlam’s Sense and Sensibility (Off Broadway Alliance Award, Lortel nom, Best Director, Drama League nom, Best Revival); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Drama League nom Best Revival, WSJ Best Classical Production 2015; NY Times Critics Pick), Bedlam’s Saint Joan (NY Times/Time Magazine top 10; Off Broadway Alliance Best Revival 2014), Bedlam’s Hamlet (NY Times top 10; Time Out NY and Backstage Critics’ Pick), Tina Packer’s Women of Will; The Belle of Belfast. For Bedlam: Dead Dog Park, New York Animals (World Premiere by Steven Sater/ Burt Bacharach), Twelfth Night and What You Will (NY Times Critics Picks), The Seagull (WSJ Best Classical Production 2014) and Sense and Sensibility (NY Times top 10; NY Times/Wall Street Journal/Time Out Critics Pick), Saint Joan and Hamlet (NYC and Tour; Elliott Norton Outstanding Visiting Production and Outstanding Ensemble, Boston Globe Top Ten). Other: Sense and Sensibility (The Folger), Copenhagen (Central Square Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (HVSF), The Libertine (IRNE nomination, Best Director). Hamlet (with William Hurt), Mate (The Actors’ Gang), Macbeth (Best Overall Production and Best Director noms LA Weekly). Eric received his M.F.A. from the Trinity Rep Conservatory. He resides in New York City where he is Artistic Director of Bedlam.Funding CreditsVanity Fair is made possible by support from A.R.T./New York’s Creative Spaces grant, which provided the opportunity for The Pearl to host a one-week development workshop for Kate Hamill and Eric Tucker to explore the themes and structure of Vanity Fair in December of 2016.
About The Pearl Theatre Company
The Pearl Theatre Company explores, expands, and enriches the theatrical canon with a company of resident actors by presenting mainstage productions, providing educational programs and performance training, as well as developing commissions and translations for the stage. Under Artistic Director Hal Brooks, The Pearl seeks to lead a dynamic conversation about the past, present, and future of great plays.
Since its founding in 1984 by Shepard Sobel, Joanne Camp, and a small troupe of actors, The Pearl has acted as the advocate for significant plays across history; the company protects and honors the spirit of every play, guiding its artistic evolution for future generations. Recognized by the Drama Desk Awards, Calloway Awards, Drama League and others for our excellent work, The Pearl strives to balance heritage and innovation to create theatre that entertains, challenges, and engages a diverse audience.