Park Avenue Armory, in collaboration with the National Theatre and Neal Street Productions, will present the North American premiere of The Lehman Trilogy, by Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power, directed by Sam Mendes at the Wade Thompson Dill Hall, Park Avenue Armory, following a sold-out run at the National Theatre from 22 March – 20 April 2019. Adam Godley, Ben Miles, and Simon Russell Beale will reprise their critically-acclaimed roles.
Told in three parts in a single evening, the production will unfold in the soaring 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall.
The Lehman Trilogy weaves through nearly two centuries of Lehman lineage, following the brothers Henry, Emanuel, and Mayer Lehman from their 1844 arrival in New York City to the 2008 collapse of the financial firm bearing their name. Adam Godley, Ben Miles, and Simon Russell Beale play the Lehman brothers, and a cast of characters including their sons and grandsons. As the inaugural production of the 2019 season, The Lehman Trilogy builds on the Armory’s history of presenting bold and engaging theatre productions that explore the unexpected possibilities of the cross-genre cultural institution.
The world premiere of Stefano Massini’s The Lehman Trilogy opened at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan in 2015. It turned out to be Artistic Director Luca Ronconi’s final production before his death. A long-time admirer of Ronconi’s, Sam Mendes was inspired to begin planning an English adaptation for Neal Street Productions. Ben Power, Deputy Artistic Director for the National Theatre, was commissioned to create a new version of this epic play, using a literal English translation by Mirella Cheeseman.
The cast is Adam Godley, Ben Miles, and Simon Russell Beale. The Lehman Trilogy is written by Stefano Massini and adapted by Ben Power, directed by Sam Mendes with set designs by Es Devlin, costume design by Katrina Lindsay, video design by Luke Halls, lighting design by Jon Clark, and music and sound design by Nick Powell. The music director is Candida Caldicot, with movement by Polly Bennett.
“For many years, Sam Mendes spoke passionately to me about directing The Lehman Trilogy, and I knew the result would be extraordinary. His production, first seen at the National Theatre in London, is a theatrical milestone and one of the most virtuosic and inspiring pieces of theater I have ever attended, not least because of the contribution of three stupendous actors and Ben Power’s masterful adaptation of the wonderful text by Stefano Massini,” said Pierre Audi, the Marina Kellen French Artistic Director of Park Avenue Armory. “Manhattan is the natural home for this epic play, and the Armory an iconic space for staging it, continuing a line of productions by major international directors who are thrilled to incorporate the Wade Thompson Drill Hall into their vision. With The Lehman Trilogy, we are once more making this dream come true.”
“The Lehman Trilogy is a uniquely American story of an immigrant family who, in building their empire, were active protagonists in two centuries of American history,” said Rebecca Robertson, President and Executive Director of Park Avenue Armory. “Our space provides a non-traditional platform to examine a show that is epic in all aspects—temporally, artistically, and thematically. We are honoured to bring these talented artists – Sam Mendes, Ben Power, Stefano Massini, Es Devlin, Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley, and Ben Miles – to New York audiences.”
Lisa Burger, Executive Director of the National Theatre said, “The Lehman Trilogy shows the very best of British theatre and I’m delighted that the first place it will be seen outside our London home on the South Bank is Park Avenue Armory. We’re so pleased to be working with Neal Street Productions and the Armory to bring it to audiences in New York so they can witness this incredible feat of storytelling about how one family and one company changed the world.”
The Lehman Trilogy is part of Park Avenue Armory’s 2019 season, to be announced in the coming months. Previous theatrical productions at the Armory include Ivo van Hove’s staging of The Damned; Simon Stone’s critically acclaimed, Obie Award-winning, and four-time Drama Desk-nominated production Yerma, starring Billie Piper and performed within glass walls; Obie Award-winning and eight-time Drama Desk-nominated play The Hairy Ape, directed by Richard Jones and starring Bobby Cannavale in a production where the audience was surrounded by a massive revolving stage; Obie Award-winning A Room in India (Une chambre en Inde) with Le Théâtre du Soleil under the direction of Ariane Mnouchkine; Macbeth, directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, and starring Branagh and Alex Kingston for which the Wade Thompson Drill Hall was transformed into a bloody, rainy Scottish heath; and the unprecedented residency of the Royal Shakespeare Company of five productions in repertory over six weeks in association with Lincoln Center Festival.
The Lehman Trilogy
North American Premiere
Produced by the National Theatre and Neal Street Productions, in collaboration with Park Avenue Armory
Previews: March 22 – 26, 2019
Friday – Saturday: 7:30pm
Monday – Tuesday: 7:00pm
Performances: March 27 – April 20, 2019
Monday – Thursday: 7:00pm
Saturday: 1:00pm and 7:30pm
Tickets start at $35 for previews, $45 for performances and can be purchased now at armoryonpark.org / 00 1 (212) 933-5812. Tickets will also be available as part of a season subscription, which will go on sale at a date to be announced.
Thompson Arts Center at Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Avenue at 67th Street, New York, NY
Citi and Bloomberg Philanthropies are the Armory’s season sponsors.
Support for Park Avenue Armory’s artistic programming has been generously provided by the Charina Endowment Fund, the Altman Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Foundation, the Marc Haas Foundation, The Kaplen Brothers Fund, the Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation, the Leon Levy Foundation, the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, the Richenthal Foundation, and the Isak and Rose Weinman Foundation.
The Lehman Trilogy is supported in part by a generous grant from the Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Foundation.
The Wall Street Journal is the media sponsor.
ABOUT STEFANO MASSINI
Stefano Massini’s work has been translated into 22 languages and performed around the world. His plays have been directed by Luca Roncini, Lluìs Pasqual, Arnaud Meunier, Irina Brook, Anton Koutznezov, Declan Donnellan, Marius von Mayenburg, Stephan Bachmann and Sam Mendes. In 2015 he became the artistic consultant at Piccolo Teatro di Milano/Teatro d’Europa. Stefano Massini is the author of many novels and essays and contributes regularly to Italian newspaper La Repubblica. In film he has collaborated with production companies such as Fandango and Cattleya. He appears weekly on Italian talk-show Piazzapulita on La7.
ABOUT BEN POWER
Ben Power is a writer for theatre and film and the Deputy Artistic Director of the National Theatre where his work includes Husbands & Sons, Medea and Emperor and Galilean. He has worked as a dramaturg on over 60 productions at the National and ran the temporary theatre, The Shed, during its three years on the South Bank. He was the associate director of Headlong, where his adaptations included Six Characters in Search of an Author, Faustus and Paradise Lost. Other work for theatre includes A Tender Thing for the RSC and dramaturgy on A Disappearing Number (Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle awards for Best Play). Screenplays include five episodes of The Hollow Crown (Royal Television Society and Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Single Drama; BAFTA nomination for Best Single Drama and Best Mini-Series).
ABOUT SAM MENDES
Sam Mendes founded and ran the Donmar Warehouse for ten years. He was the first Artistic Director of the Minerva in Chichester and the founding director of The Bridge Project and Neal Street Productions. His work has been seen at the National Theatre, the RSC, the Royal Court, the Old Vic, the Young Vic, in the West End and on Broadway. Film includes American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, Away We Go, Skyfall and Spectre. Awards include Academy Award for Best Director, Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical, Olivier Award for Best Director, the Olivier Special Award, Evening Standard Award for Best Director, Empire Inspiration Award, Empire Award for Best British Director, Directors Guild of America Award and the Shakespeare Prize. He has also won the Director’s Guild Award for lifetime achievement.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL THEATRE
The National Theatre makes world-class theatre that is entertaining, challenging and inspiring, to appeal to the widest possible audience. Based in London, its work reaches across the UK and around the world, with a global audience reach of 8 million. In 2017-2018, the National Theatre produced 20 productions in its three theatres on London’s South Bank. National Theatre productions are seen in the West End, on tour throughout the UK, on Broadway, internationally, and in collaborations and co-productions with partners around the world. Last year the NT toured more work across the UK than at any other point in its history, with 10 productions visiting 52 venues in 44 towns and cities. National Theatre Live broadcasts some of the best of British theatre to over 2,500 cinema screens in 65 countries.
In New York, NT America collaborates with the U.S. theatre community and produces the National Theatre’s productions for Broadway, Off-Broadway and on tour. Previous work on Broadway includes Angels in America (3 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Play; Drama Desk Award; Drama League Award; Outer Critics Circle Award); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (5 Tony Awards including Best New Play; Drama Desk Award; Drama League Award; Outer Critics Circle Award); One Man, Two Guvnors starring James Corden (Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play); War Horse (6 Tony Awards including Best Play; Drama Desk Award; Drama League Award; Outer Critics Circle Award); and The History Boys (6 Tony Awards including Best Play; Drama Desk Award; Drama League Award). Other recent work in the US includes Off-Broadway: People, Places & Things (St. Ann’s Warehouse), The Effect (Barrow Street Theatre); US Tour: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, War Horse. The Jungle, a Good Chance Theatre co-production with the National Theatre and the Young Vic set in the sprawling refugee camp in Calais, France, will transfer to St Ann’s Warehouse in December 2018.
The National Theatre is led by Rufus Norris, Director and Lisa Burger, Executive Director.
www.nationaltheatre.org.uk | @nationaltheatre
ABOUT NEAL STREET PRODUCTIONS
Neal Street produces film, television and theatre. Formed in 2003 by Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris and Caro Newling, with Nicolas Brown joining as fourth director in the company’s tenth year. In 2015 Neal Street moved under the umbrella of parent company, All3Media. Previously Sam Mendes and Caro Newling established and ran the Donmar Warehouse 1992-2002, producing over 70 productions, since when Newling has produced the theatre slate for Neal Street Productions.
Recent: The Ferryman by Jez Butterworth, Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre/Gielgud Theatre, The Moderate Soprano by David Hare, This House by James Graham.
Previous: The Bridge Project, a three-year transatlantic venture with the Old Vic & Brooklyn Academy of Music presenting five classic plays for worldwide stages across fifteen international cities, directed by Sam Mendes.
Premieres: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, David Greig with Warner Brothers Theatre Ventures, Shrek The Musical, by Jeanine Tesori and David Lindsay-Abaire with DreamWorks Animation. Also Three Days of Rain, The Vertical Hour, The House of Special Purpose, All About My Mother, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Days of Wine and Roses, Anna in the Tropics, Fuddy Meers. West End/Broadway transfers: South Downs/The Browning Version, Enron, Hamlet, Mary Stuart, Red, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park, The Painkiller.
Film and television: Heidi Thomas’ series Call the Midwife, John Logan’s series Penny Dreadful, Stuart A Life Backwards, Starter for Ten, Things We Lost in the Fire, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, Away We Go, Blood, The Hollow Crown for BBC2 featuring Richard II (dir. Rupert Goold), Henry IV Part 1 & Part 2 (dir. Richard Eyre), Henry V (dir. Thea Sharrock), Henry VI parts 1 and 2 and Richard III (dir. Dominic Cooke), Britannia written by Jez Butterworth, and forthcoming TV series Informer by Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani.
ABOUT PARK AVENUE ARMORY
Part palace, part industrial shed, Park Avenue Armory fills a critical void in the cultural ecology of New York by enabling artists to create, students to explore, and audiences to experience, unconventional work that cannot be mounted in traditional performance halls and museums. With its soaring 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall—reminiscent of 19th-century European train stations—and an array of exuberant period rooms, the Armory offers a platform for creativity across all art forms. Together, these and other spaces within the historic building utilized for arts programming comprise the Thompson Arts Center, named in recognition of the Thompson family’s ongoing support of the institution.
Since its first production in September 2007, the Armory has organized and commissioned immersive performances, installations, and cross-disciplinary collaborations in its vast Drill Hall that defy traditional categorization and challenge artists to push the boundaries of their practice. In its historic period rooms, the Armory presents small-scale performances and programs, including its acclaimed Recital Series, which showcases musical talent from across the globe within the intimate salon setting of the Board of Officers Room; and the new Artists Studio series in the newly restored Veterans Room, which features innovative artists and artistic pairings that harken back to the imaginative collaboration and improvisation of the original group of designers who conceived the space. The Armory also offers robust arts education programs at no cost to underserved New York City public school students, engaging them with the institution’s artistic programming and the building’s history and architecture.
Programmatic highlights from the Armory’s first 10 years include Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s harrowing Die Soldaten, in which the audience moved “through the music”; the event of a thread, a site-specific installation by Ann Hamilton; the final performances of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company across three separate stages; WS by Paul McCarthy, a monumental installation of fantasy, excess, and dystopia; an immersive Macbeth set in a Scottish heath and henge by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh; a profound and radically inclusive staging of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion staged by Peter Sellars and performed by Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker; Louis Andriessen’s De Materie in a highly imaginative staging by director Heiner Goebbels that included floating zeppelins and a flock of 100 sheep; Circle Map, two evenings of immersive spatial works by internationally acclaimed composer Kaija Saariaho performed by the New York Philharmonic with mise-en-espace by Armory Artistic Director Pierre Audi; and Taryn Simon’s An Occupation of Loss, a monumental work with 30 professional mourners from around the world that blended sculpture, sound, architecture, and performance in an exploration of the boundaries of grief between living and dead, past and present, performer and viewer; Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto, a multi-channel cinematic installation featuring Cate Blanchett; eight-time Drama Desk-nominated play The Hairy Ape, directed by Richard Jones and starring Bobby Cannavale; Hansel & Gretel, a new commission by Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, and Ai Weiwei that transformed and activated the Drill Hall to explore the meaning of publicly shared space in the era of surveillance; and Simon Stone’s heralded production of Yerma starring Billie Piper in her North American debut.
Concurrent with its artistic program, the Armory has undertaken an ongoing $215-million revitalization of its historic building, designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron. www.armoryonpark.org.