Classic Stage Company to Present Back-to-Back Productions of Our Class and The Merchant of Venice Off-Broadway | Playbill

Off-Broadway News Classic Stage Company to Present Back-to-Back Productions of Our Class and The Merchant of Venice Off-Broadway

The New York premiere cast of Our Class will reunite for the limited transfer engagement, with several to star in The Merchant of Venice as well.

The company of Our Class at Brooklyn Academy of Music Pavel Antonov

The Brooklyn Academy of Music production of Tadeusz Slobodzianek's Our Class is set to transfer to Classic Stage Company (CSC)'s Lynn F. Angelson Theater for a limited Off-Broadway run September 12-November 3, with Igor Golyak at the helm. CSC will then present Golyak's adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice November 22-December 22, featuring many of the same cast members. 

The cast of Our Class features Gus Birney (The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window) as Dora, Andrey Burkovskiy (Call DiCaprio!) as Menachem, José Espinosa (Take Me Out) as Rysiek, Tess Goldwyn (New Amsterdam) as Zocha, Will Manning (As Reaper in the Summer Gain) as Heniek, Stephen Ochsner (Chicks) as Jakub Katz, Alexandra Silber (Fiddler on the Roof) as Rachelka/Marianna, Richard Topol (IndecentThe Normal Heart) as Abram, Ilia Volok (Gemini Man, The Gaaga) as Władek and Elan Zafir (Hedda Gabler) as Zygmunt.

The work follows 10 Polish classmates, five Jewish and five Catholic, growing up as playmates, friends, and neighbors, who later turn on one another with life and death consequences. Our Class made its New York premiere at BAM, running January 11-February 11. 

Much of the company will return for The Merchant of Venice. Richard Topol will play Shylock, joined by Birney, Espinosa, Goldwyn, Ochsner, and Silber as Portia. Additional casting is to be announced.

“During its premiere at BAM earlier this year, Our Class struck a nerve and took on a life of its own that continues to grow as world events unfold. With this Our Class transfer to the illustrious Classic Stage Company, we have the opportunity to share it with more audiences, this time with a powerful companion,” Golyak said in a statement. “I feel compelled to pair it with The Merchant of Venice because the human tendencies illuminated in Our Class track back through the centuries, and there is an artistic connection between the two pieces—they speak to each other. There are powerful threads that link these incredible stories and our lives today. We think it’s important and timely that both plays will be performed all autumn, on stage in the same theatre, with many of the actors acting in both productions, and with the magnificent Richard Topol playing Rabbi Abram and then Shylock. There is no project that feels more important to direct right now than this one."

The creative team for Our Class includes scenic designer Jan Pappelbaum, сostume designer Sasha Ageeva, lighting designer Adam Silverman, music director Lisa Gutkin, projection designer Eric Dunlap, chalk drawings designer Adreea Mincic, choreographer Or Schraiber, intimacy designer Leana Gardella, hair and makeup designer Timur Sadykov, and dramaturg Dr. Rachel Merrill Moss. Kyra Bowie is the production stage manager. The production also features music by Anna Drubich.

The two productions are part of the four-month Arlekin Residency at CSC, helmed by Arlekin artistic director Golyak and producing director Sara Stackhouse, in partnership with Sofia Kapkova of MART Foundation.

Our Class is co-executive produced by Kapkova and Stackhouse, who also executive produces The Merchant of Venice

Visit for Our Class tickets, and for The Merchant of Venice

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