Benefits happen all the time, but this, one occurring tonight at 7 p.m. in New York at the Peter Jay Sharpe Theatre at Playwrights Horizon’s couldn’t sound any more fun. A benefit purely for theatre’s sake is taking place, with honorary benefit host Marisa Tomei and the kick off to the Red Bull Theatre’s Revelation Reading Series for 2007-2008, the play being read is called Desdemona and is a one night only affair.
The Red Bull Theatre has chosen its mission in being for the presentation of new tellings of heightened language plays as well as the development of new plays which are written similarly. Red Bull Theatre has employed the assistance of the fantastically talented, Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright, Paula Vogel for the play, which is described as being “a play about a handkerchief.”
Desdemona is really a retelling of the classic work of Shakespeare, Othello, as told from the women’s perspective. A “hilarious, satirical and provocatively alternative view” of the Shakespeare tragedy, this play is right in line with the Red Bull Theatre’s philosophy to “challenge the intellect and engage the imagination of today’s theatergoers.” Employing the acting talents of Mamie Gummer, Jessica Hecht, and Jennifer Ikeda all under the direction of Jesse Berger, this production of Desdemona should kick off an exciting series of readings from the Red Bull Theatre.
This evening at the Playwrights Horizon’s Theatre will be followed by a cocktail reception with the playwright, the actors, as well as a number of special guests. Among these special guests is the Americana singer-songwriter-actor Addie Brownlee who will be performing live music immediately following the reading. Other scheduled special guests should include the actors Michael Cerveris, Daniel Breaker, Matthew Rauch, Marc Vietor, Margot White, and many others.
Red Bull Theatre is a not-for-profit who has particular focus on Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries through company-created, resonant, and provocative staging of classic stories. Revelation Readings is an OBIE award winning reading series that has been called the “Best Play-Reading Series” by the Village Voice. Other featured events announced as part of this season of Revelation Readings includes a new version of Christopher Marlowe’s “Edward the Second” on the main stage at Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, “Don’t Fuck With Love” by Kay Matschullat, “Once in Elysium” by David Grimm b Johann Winckelmann, and “The Lady’s Not for Burning,” by Christopher Fry featuring Lynn Redgrave and Richard Easton.