The Guerrilla Shakespeare Project (GSP) in New York City will present the world premiere of The Tragedy of King Arthur by W. Shakespeare, a play by Arthur Phillips, adapted from his critically acclaimed book The Tragedy of Arthur.
With preview performances beginning March 22 and opening officially March 24, The Tragedy of Arthur will run through April 7 at TBG Theatre (312 West 36th St., 3rd floor) in Manhattan. GSP Artistic Director Jordan Reeves will direct.
The Tragedy of Arthur centers on the discovery of a lost Shakespeare play and the doubts surrounding its origins. It is an evening of fraud, forgery, and illegitimacy surrounding the complicated relationship between a father and son.
The supposed lost text is billed as the true story of the famous King Arthur from The Bard's point of view. It is a tale of epic war, love, and the search for one man's true calling. The Tragedy of Arthur features Shakespeare's language, poetry, insight, drama, beauty, and history; however the mystery of its true origins begs us to blend and blur what we know and what we choose to believe. Does our birth decide our destiny? Can a bastard be a king? Can a modern man write Shakespeare?
Having always approached Shakespeare's texts as if they were new plays, GSP, under the direction of Executive Director Tom Schwans and Artistic Director Reeves, is ecstatic to hold the exclusive rights to the first "Shakespeare" premier in more than 400 years.
GSP originally hosted a sold-out reading of The Tragedy of Arthur at The Public Theater during the summer of 2011 that American Theater magazine called a "full-throttle reading" of a "swashbuckling, blood-and-guts five-act history play."
The cast of The Tragedy of Arthur will include Jacques Roy, Eric Emil Oleson, Sarah Hankins, Madeleine Maby, Tom Schwans, Jordan Kaplan, and Geordie Broadwater. Design team is Lynne Porter (scenic design), Melissa Mizell (lighting design), Lea Reeves (costume design), David Are (sound design), and Polina Minchuck (props design).
Arthur Phillips is the best-selling author of five novels: Prague (named a New York Times Notable Book and the Los Angeles Times/Art Seidenbaum Award for best first novel), The Egyptologist (international bestseller, cited on more than a dozen “Best of 2004” lists), Angelica (the Washington Post best fiction of 2007), The Song Is You (a New York Times Notable Book and on the Post's best of 2009 list), and The Tragedy of Arthur (a New York Times Notable Book). Phillips has written for TV’s Damages with Glenn Close and Rose Byrne. He is currently developing a series for HBO/Pretty Matches Productions, in addition to two other television pilots.
Founded in 2005, GSP fosters a vibrant, passionate, visceral connection between actor and audience to make inventive and immediate American theater from classical works. Struggling always for simplicity and precision, GSP promises to make the entertainment and beauty of Shakespeare accessible to all. Prizing skillful use of language and athletic storytelling, the ensemble of professional actors, directors, and designers aims to blow apart the audience’s conceptions of what Shakespeare has been by creating something new.
Performances of The Tragedy of Arthur will be 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased through SmartTix by calling 212-868-4444 or online at www.SmartTix.com.
March 14, 2013