Founded in 1979 by Jeffrey Horowitz, Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA) is home for Shakespeare and other contemporary playwrights. It nurtures artists, culture, and community. Recognizing that each audience is new and different from the last one, TFANA is dedicated to forging an exchange between artist and playgoer that is immediate and direct, and to the ongoing search for a living, human theatre. With Shakespeare as its supreme guide, TFANA explores the ever-changing forms of world theatre and builds a dialogue spanning centuries between the language and ideas of Shakespeare and diverse authors, past and present. TFANA is committed to building long-term associations with artists from around the world and supporting the development of plays, translations, and productions through residences, workshops and commissions. In the spirit of Elizabethan theatre, TFANA performs for an audience of all ages and backgrounds; is devoted to economic access; and promotes a vibrant exchange of ideas through its humanities and education programs.
TFANA’s productions have played nationally, internationally and on Broadway. In 2001, it became the first American theatre company invited to bring a production of Shakespeare to the Royal Shakespeare Company.
TFANA created and runs the largest program to introduce Shakespeare and classic drama in New York City’s Public Schools. Since its inception in 1984, the program has served 138,000 students.
In 2013, TFANA opened its permanent home, Polonsky Shakespeare Center (PSC), in the Brooklyn Cultural District. The heart of PSC is its performance space: the 299-seat Samuel H. Scripps Mainstage, a uniquely flexible space with extraordinary acoustics, capable of multiple configurations between stage and audience, as well as the 50-seat Theodore C. Rogers Studio.
In addition to productions, TFANA supports ongoing artistic development through its Studio program, which provides artists with residencies and workshops to create and explore outside the pressures of full production.
Greenlight Bookstore is proud to be the official bookseller for Theatre for a New Audience.
As we continue to observe social distancing measures, TFANA remains dedicated to gathering as a community to explore great language and ideas.
See below for books for sale associated with TFANA's digital programming, including the TFANA Talk on Saturday May 30th with authors and professors Scott Newstok, James Shapiro, and Emma Smith:
Use coupon code SHAKES in the coupon discount section at checkout to get 20% off this title until June 7th!
How to Think like Shakespeare offers an enlightening and entertaining guide to the craft of thought — one that demonstrates what we’ve lost in education today, and how we might begin to recover it. In fourteen brief, lively chapters that draw from Shakespeare’s world and works, and from other writers past and present, Scott Newstok distills vital habits of mind that can help you think more deeply, write more effectively, and learn more joyfully, in school or beyond.
Scott Newstok is professor of English and founding director of the Pearce Shakespeare Endowment at Rhodes College. A parent and an award-winning teacher, he is the author of Quoting Death in Early Modern England and the editor of several other books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.
From leading scholar James Shapiro, a timely exploration of what Shakespeare’s plays reveal about our divided land, from Revolutionary times to the present day
The plays of William Shakespeare are rare common ground in the United States. They are read at school by almost every student, staged in theaters across the land, and long valued by conservatives and liberals alike. For well over two centuries, Americans of all stripes—presidents and activists, writers and soldiers—have turned to Shakespeare’s works to explore the nation’s fault lines, including such issues as manifest destiny, race, gender, immigration, and free speech. In a narrative arching across the centuries, from Revolutionary times to the present day, leading scholar James Shapiro traces the unparalleled role of Shakespeare's four-hundred-year-old tragedies and comedies in illuminating the many concerns on which American identity has turned. Reflecting on how Shakespeare has been invoked—and at times weaponized—at pivotal moments in our past, Shapiro takes us from President John Quincy Adams’s disgust with Desdemona’s interracial marriage to Othello, to Abraham Lincoln’s and his assassin John Wilkes Booth’s competing obsessions with the plays, up through the fraught debates over marriage and same-sex love at the heart of the celebrated adaptations Kiss Me, Kate and Shakespeare in Love. His narrative culminates in the 2017 controversy over the staging of Julius Caesar in Central Park, in which a Trump-like leader is assassinated.
Deeply researched, and timely, Shakespeare in a Divided America reveals how no writer has been more closely embraced by Americans, or has shed more light on the hot-button issues in our history. Indeed, it is by better understanding Shakespeare's role in American life, Shapiro argues, that we might begin to mend our bitterly divided land.
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An electrifying new study that investigates the challenges of the Bard’s inconsistencies and flaws, and focuses on revealing—not resolving—the ambiguities of the plays and their changing topicality
A genius and prophet whose timeless works encapsulate the human condition like no other. A writer who surpassed his contemporaries in vision, originality, and literary mastery. A man who wrote like an angel, putting it all so much better than anyone else. Is this Shakespeare? Well, sort of. But it doesn’t tell us the whole truth. So much of what we say about Shakespeare is either not true, or just not relevant.
In This Is Shakespeare, Emma Smith—an intellectually, theatrically, and ethically exciting writer—takes us into a world of politicking and copycatting, as we watch Shakespeare emulating the blockbusters of Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Kyd (the Spielberg and Tarantino of their day), flirting with and skirting around the cutthroat issues of succession politics, religious upheaval, and technological change. Smith writes in strikingly modern ways about individual agency, privacy, politics, celebrity, and sex. Instead of offering the answers, the Shakespeare she reveals poses awkward questions, always inviting the reader to ponder ambiguities.