Royal Shakespeare Company to send ensemble to New York

Mon Feb 8, 2010 5:28pm EST
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company will build a replica of its new Stratford-upon-Avon theater in New York for five performances by the company in 2011, theater groups said on Monday.

For the first time the famed classical theater company will send its entire cast of 44 actors and 23 musicians, as well as directors and stage management, to New York for five Shakespearean plays to be selected from the company's current season.

A full-scale replica of the company's new Royal Shakespeare Theater will be built for the six-week residency starting July 6 inside a Manhattan armory that will be turned into a theater as part of New York's Lincoln Center festival.

The fate of the theater after the productions is still undecided.

Props also likely to make the trip include four prosthetic wounds and five tins of lychees that are used as eyeballs, the company said.

The replica theater, which uses a "thrust stage" that extends the stage platform into the audience, will cost several hundred thousand dollars to build, according to the New York Times.

"Our thrust stage, wrapping the audience around the action, allows people to reach out to the actors and to each other," Michael Boyd, the artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, said in a statement.

The five plays will be chosen from the company's current line-up which includes "Antony and Cleopatra," "Julius Caesar," "King Lear," and "Romeo and Juliet."

The company's new Royal Shakespeare Theater, which is undergoing redevelopment in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, is due to open later this year.

(Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Patricia Reaney)