The Pearl Theatre Company is extending the world premiere of Kate Hamill’s Vanity Fair through Saturday, May 27th. Kate Hamill leads a seven-member ensemble in the central role of Becky Sharp. The ensemble of Vanity Fair also features Pearl’s Resident Acting Company members Joey Parsons and Brad Heberlee with guest artists Zachary Fine, Tom O’Keefe, Ryan Quinn, and Debargo Sanyal.
The production began previews on March 24 and opened on April 28th. Special post-show discussions with the cast will be held on Tuesday, May 16 and Tuesday, May 23; Associate Artistic Director Kate Farrington will also host a free Saturday Salon on May 13th at 5pm with Diane Sadoff (Rutgers University) discussing Vanity Fair as a novel, a play, and a historical moment.
Directed by Bedlam’s Artistic Director, Eric Tucker and adapted by Kate Hamill (Sense & Sensibility) from William Thackeray’s masterpiece, Vanity Fair exposes a society that cares more for good birth and good manners than for skill. But Becky Sharp, poor, plain, and devilishly clever, is determined to defy the odds through risky romantic entanglements, shady business practices, and social climbing at any cost; she won’t stop until the world lies at her feet.
This year, Hamill’s artful adaptations will premiere in theaters across the country. Hamill’s Pride & Prejudice will be part of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare summer season and can also be seen at Seattle Repertory Theatre and Primary Stages. PlayMaker’s Repertory Company and Oregon Shakespeare Festival will both produce Sense & Sensibility.
“I’m committed to reclaiming the classics for all genders,” shared playwright Hamill. “In adapting Thackeray’s novel, I wanted to write a play that provided a glimpse into a deep female friendship between two different female archetypes and the parallel paths they travel to overcome the limitations posed upon them. I also wanted the play to serve as a reminder not to judge others too harshly, because the truth is we’re all so fallible.”
The Pearl’s Artistic Director Hal Brooks said, “Hamill’s incredibly engaging adaptation tells an audacious story which skewers society, and meditates on the ups and downs of fortune. In keeping with The Pearl’s mission-to explore, expand and enrich the theatrical canon-Vanity Fair perfectly matches Hamill’s funny, physical and raw talent with Tucker’s ability to create in the moment: he merges the actor’s instinct with the text to create a combustible force. This production, with its innate theatricality, will be a fun, moving and dynamic take on one of the great novels of all time, an ideal choice for The Pearl’s audience.”
The creative team includes Sandra Goldmark (Set), Valérie Thérèse Bart (Costumes), Seth Reiser(Lights), Matthew Fischer (Sound) and Katharine Whitney (Production Stage Manager).
Performances of Vanity Fair will take place through May 27 at The Pearl Theatre, which is located at 555 West 42 Street. Tickets are $59-$79 regular, $69-$89 premium, $99-$109 prime ($49 previews, $40 members, $20 student rush, $20 Thursday rush. $30 Limited General Rush) and can be purchased by visiting pearltheatre.org or calling 212.563.9261.
The Pearl Theatre Company explores, expands, and enriches the theatrical canon with a company of resident actors by presenting mainstage productions, providing educational programs and performance training, as well as developing commissions and translations for the stage. Under Artistic Director Hal Brooks, The Pearl seeks to lead a dynamic conversation about the past, present, and future of great plays.
Since its founding in 1984 by Shepard Sobel, Joanne Camp, and a small troupe of actors, The Pearl has acted as the advocate for significant plays across history; the company protects and honors the spirit of every play, guiding its artistic evolution for future generations. Recognized by the Drama Desk Awards, Calloway Awards, Drama League and others for our excellent work, The Pearl strives to balance heritage and innovation to create theatre that entertains, challenges, and engages a diverse audience. The 33rd Season marks Hal Brooks’ third year as Artistic Director of the Company.