Before his brief life came to its shockingly violent end, Shakespeare’s contemporary Christopher Marlow (1564-1593) wrote four daring, outrageous masterpieces of verse drama. The Jew of Malta, the most startling of them (and perhaps for that reason the least frequently revived), tells the story of Barabas, the wealthiest man on the island of Malta. Cheated out of his fortune by the government after he has saved Malta from the Turks, Barabas dedicates his life to wholesale revenge in ways that are terrifying and often terrifyingly funny. A super-hero who is also a super-villain, in what some have thought of as the blank verse equivalent of a comic book, he is a figure for the ages, in a black comedy played out on an epic scale.
In alternating repertory with The Merchant of Venice, Academy-Award winner (Salierei/AMADEUS), F. Murray Abraham will embody the role of Barabas, in a production staged by David Herskovits, artistic director of the innovative Target Margin Theater, fresh from his acclaimed production of the two parts of Goethe’s Faust.
In addition to full productions, TFANA will present a special free Reading Series, Literary Supplement, on four selected Monday nights during the repertory run of The Merchant of Venice and The Jew of Malta. Curated by TFANA’s Literary Advisor, Michael Feingold, the series will explore later dramatic versions of the conflict between outsider and society, written in the shadow of The Merchant of Venice or in direct response to it. Full details of the chosen plays, dates, and how to make reservations will be posted in the fall at www.tfana.org.
F. Murray Abraham, Kate Forbes
Author: Christopher Marlowe
Director: David Herskovits
Set Design: John Lee Beatty
Costume Design: Linda Cho
Lighting Design: David Weiner
Producer: Theatre for a New Audience
Press Agent: Bruce Cohen