Part of Citywide Recognition Peter Brook/NY, This Free Event Will Be Captured by Partner Organization WNET/ALL ARTS for Future Broadcast

Thursday, September 26 at approximately 8:45pm
Polonsky Shakespeare Center (262 Ashland Place, Brooklyn)
Free and open to the public

Peter Brook/NY (Karen Brooks Hopkins, Executive Producer) today announces that Tarell Alvin McCraney will interview Peter Brook following the Thursday, September 26, performance of Why?, written and directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne; featuring Hayley CarmichaelKathryn Hunter, and Marcello Magni; and presented by Theatre for a New Audience. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be filmed by partner organization WNET/ALL ARTS for future broadcast. For complete Peter Brook/NY programming information, please visit Download images here.

About the Artists

Tarell Alvin McCraney is an acclaimed writer. His script In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue is the basis for the Academy Award-winning film Moonlight directed by Barry Jenkins, for which McCraney and Jenkins won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. He wrote the film High Flying Bird which premiered on Netflix directed by Steven Soderbergh. McCraney’s plays include Ms. Blakk for President (co-written with Tina Landau), The Brother/Sister Plays trilogy, Head of PassesWig Out!, and Choir Boy which was nominated for four Tony Awards. McCraney is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Grant, the Whiting Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, the Evening Standard Award, the New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award, the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the Windham Campbell Award, and a USA Artist Award. He is currently Chair of Playwriting at Yale School of Drama; an ensemble member at Steppenwolf Theatre Chicago; and a member of Teo Castellanos/D-Projects. McCraney is currently working on an original scripted TV series, David Makes Man, for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network, produced by Michael B. Jordan and Page Fright Productions.

Peter Brook was born in London in 1925. Throughout his career, he distinguished himself in various genres: theatre, opera, cinema and writing. He directed his first play there in 1943. He then went on to direct over 70 productions in London, Paris, and New York. In 1971, he founded the International Centre for Theatre Research in Paris with Micheline Rozan, and in 1974, opened its permanent base in the Bouffes du Nord Theatre. Most recently, he has directed The Suit (2012), The Valley of Astonishment (2014), Battlefield (2015), and The Prisoner (2018).

About Peter Brook/NY

A consortium of New York City cultural, educational, and media institutions come together to create Peter Brook/NY (Karen Brooks Hopkins, Executive Producer), a citywide recognition of Brook’s work and his collaborations with Marie-Hélène Estienne from 1953 to the present. In addition to the U.S. Premiere of Brook and Estienne’s Why? which Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA) presents September 21 – October 6 at Polonsky Shakespeare Center, Peter Brook/NY features programing from BAMThe Center for FictionColumbia UniversityFrench Institute Alliance Française’s Crossing the Line FestivalHunter CollegeThe Juilliard SchoolTFANA, and WNET.  A booklet produced by BAM Hamm Archives—featuring historic photographs, a timeline of Brook’s productions and New York presence, an essay by writer Violaine Huisman, and information about Peter Brook/NY events—will be available to all attendees and online at and

Leadership support for Peter Brook/NY is provided by The JKW Foundation in honor of Jean Stein and The Lostand Foundation. Additional support is provided by Paul and Caroline Cronson/Evelyn Sharp Foundation, Jeanne Donovan Fisher, and John Lichtenstein.

About Why? (U.S. Premiere)

Written and Directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne
Featuring Hayley Carmichael, Kathryn Hunter and Marcello Magni 
Presented by Theatre for a New Audience
September 21-October 6, 2019 (opening September 26)
Polonsky Shakespeare Center (262 Ashland Place, Brooklyn)
Tickets, starting at $20, at, 866.811.4111, and the Polonsky Shakespeare Center box office

At the beginning of the 20th Century “why” and “how to do theatre” became burning questions. What was theatre about? How could it be more alive, more open to all? How could the actor be helped to be truer? What could be a new space? A new way of acting? These questions and many others take us on an exploration joyful and dramatic. This is “why” we do Why?

“Theatre is a very dangerous weapon.” These words were written in the 1920s by one of the most creative, most innovative, directors the theatre has known. His name is Vsevolod Meyerhold. He saw all the menacing dangers that the theatre and art in general were going through in the 1930s in Russia. He read “the writing on the wall”, as we call it, but he did not stop. He hoped until the last minute that the Russian Revolution would win. Meyerhold paid for this with his life.

The three actors—Hayley Carmichael, Kathryn Hunter, and Marcello Magni—will unfold for us this very human story. 
—Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne, Paris 2019

Why? received its world premiere at C.I.C.T/Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris, France on June 19, 2019. The project was co-commissioned by C.I.C.T./Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord; Theatre for a New Audience; Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw, National Performing Arts Center; Taiwan R.O.C. – National Taichung Theater; Centro Dramatico Nacional, Madrid; Teatro Dimitri, Verscio; Théâtre Firmin Gémier, La Piscine.

Support for the production of Why? is provided by the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the French Institute Alliance Française, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, and many generous donors to Theatre for a New Audience. 

The production is part of the Crossing the Line Festival organized by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), as well as Brooklyn Falls for France, a cultural season organized by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and FACE Foundation in partnership with Brooklyn venues. 

McCraney Photo:

Via Adriana Leshko


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *