The Swamp Dwellers

Theatre for a New Audience’s Literary Supplement Reading of

The Swamp Dwellers

By Nigerian Nobel Prize-winner, Novelist, Poet, Playwright and Activist

Wole Soyinka

Monday, April 14, at 7:30pm at The Cherry Lane Theatre


NEW YORK – The Swamp Dwellers by Nigerian Nobel Prize-winner, novelist, poet, playwright and activist Wole Soyinka is this season’s final installment in Theatre for a New Audience’s Literary Supplement, the acclaimed reading series that continues to explore the theme of Theatre for a New Audience’s current subscription season. This season, the theme is “Africa, Europe, America: Exploring the Connections.”

The reading of The Swamp Dwellers, directed by Robert O’Hara, is Monday, April 14, at 7:30pm at The Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street.

A powerful, mordant drama that reworks the parable of the Prodigal Son’s return by one of the formative figures in modern African literature, The Swamp Dwellers has often been seen as an allegory of conflicting forces at work in Africa today. Celebrated here as the author of such plays as Kongi’s Harvest and Death and the King’s Horseman, Mr. Soyinka has himself been a notable spokesman for peace in resolving Africa’s conflicts. At times, he has suffered political imprisonment or exile for his views.

Admission is free and reservations are a must: 212-229-2819 ext. 10.

The cast for The Swamp Dwellers include Reg E. Cathey (B’way: The Green Bird Off-B’way: Blue Door, White Chocolate, Talk, Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Macbeth), Chuck Cooper (B’way: The Life [Tony Award], Lennon, Caroline, Or Change [Audelco Award], Chicago, Passion, Someone to Watch Over Me, Rumors, Amen Corner, Getting Away With Murder], Albert Jones (Broadway: Henry IV [Lincoln Center Theater]. Off-Broadway: Oroonoko [TFANA], Pericles [TFANA at BAM], Marjorie Johnson (Hoodoo Love [wining best Supporting Actress Audelco Award] at the Cherry Lane Theatre, The Crucible at the Capital Rep, Clytemnestra at the Hangar Theatre) and Harold Surratt (Currently appearing in Keen Company’s production of the Conscientious Objector; recently appeared in By Oscar Micheaux [Milkcan Theatre], Apostasy [Urban Stages], and King Lear [The Classical Theatre of Harlem]. Broadway: Serious Money).

Robert O’Hara received a 2006 Obie Award for his Direction of the World Premiere production of In the Continuum. He has been awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship, TCG Extended Collaboration Grant, NEA/TCG Fellowship, a Van Lier Fellow at New Dramatists, recipient of the First Mark Taper Forum’s Sherwood Award, and the TANNE Award for Exceptional Body of Work.

This is the second year for The Literary Supplement, curated by the theatre’s Literary Advisor, noted critic and translator Michael Feingold and produced by the Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director, Arin Arbus. The playwrights, all of African origin, have been chosen to reflect varying aspects of the season’s theme, just as last year’s Literary Supplement reflected the theme of Theatre for a New Audience’s 2006-7 season, “The Jew as Outsider,” through readings of plays by Arnold Wesker, A.R. Gurney, John Galsworthy, and Henri Bernstein.

Theatre for a New Audience’s final production of this season is William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra featuring Laila Robins and Marton Csokas in the title roles and directed by Darko Tresnjak . Antony and Cleopatra runs through May 2 at The Duke on 42nd Street, 229 West 42nd Street.

About Theatre for a New Audience

Founded by Jeffrey Horowitz in 1979, Theatre for a New Audience uncovers the contemporary heart of the classics. Shakespeare is its cornerstone and each season Theatre for a New Audience produces Shakespeare alongside classics and great contemporary plays exploring common themes between past and present. Theatre for a New Audience has an ongoing collaboration with the RSC and in 2001 it became the first American theatre to be invited to bring a production of Shakespeare to the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon. After its New York engagement in 2007, Theatre for a New Audience’s The Merchant of Venice starring F. Murray Abraham was presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company. In January 2006, Theatre for a New Audience’s production of Eduardo De Filippo’s Souls of Naples toured to Naples, Italy, in a new translation by Michael Feingold featuring John Turturro.

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