WSC Avant Bard | theater on the edge
Illyria, or What You Will, freely adapted from Twelfth Night by Jonelle Walker and Mitchell Hébert, directed by Mitchell Hébert. October 18 to November 18, 2018.
Illyria reimagines Shakespeare's crossed-signal love story in a downtown Manhattan '80s dive bar, whose habitués are club kids of assorted genders and orientations who have come to the one place where they can be who they are. Walker's play TAME., a feminist take on The Taming of the Shrew, was produced by Avant Bard in 2016 and received a Helen Hayes Award nomination. Hébert has received Helen Hayes Awards for both acting (After the Fall) and directing (Glengarry Glen Ross) in addition to other nominations as an actor and director.
Advisory: This show, which is set in the 1980s New York City club scene, contains strong language, depictions of drug use, and risqué situations.
Topdog/Underdog, the Pulitzer Prize-winning contemporary classic by Suzan-Lori Parks. March 14 to April 14, 2019.
Topdog/Underdog is about two African American brothers, named Lincoln and Booth, who banter about playing three card monte during their own game of one-upsmanship. Parks encapsulates 400 years of African American history in a Cain-and-Abel fable, where the promise of American Dream gets tested in the deception of a con game. In June The New York Times named this tensely funny and dead serious tragicomedy the best American play of the last 25 years.
A Misanthrope, a new distillation of Molière's classic comedy by Manhattan-based playwright Matt Minnicino. May 30 to June 30, 2019.
A Misanthrope is a brisk, biting comedy about a cynic who thinks insincerity is a sin—but the joke’s on him when he falls for an ingenue who’s more than his intellectual equal. Minnicino’s A Misanthrope is written in slang-filled rhyming couplets, one howler after another. Hypocrisy has never been more hilarious.