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Stage Company "Audience" Finds Permanent Home In Brooklyn

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A veteran off-Broadway company that's been around for more than 30 years, bringing Shakespearean classics and other works to the stage, finally has a home of its own. NY1's Frank DiLella filed the following report.

All the city "was" a stage for Theatre For a New Audience until now. Say hello to the company's permanent home in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

On Tuesday morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other city officials gathered alongside theater company heads and artists to mark the unveiling of The Polonsky Shakespeare Center. It's just a stone's throw away from The Brooklyn Academy of Music. The theater complex was named in recognition of a $10 million gift from The Polonsky Foundation.

Theatre For a New Audience's founding father, Jeffrey Horowitz, says the project cost from start to finish about $70 million.

"Dreams rarely come true - you usually wake up and you know it's a dream. In this case I've woken up to something remarkable," Horowitz said.

The stage itself was inspired by The Royal National's Cottesloe Theatre in London - combining an Elizabethan style theatre and modern day black box. The stage can be configured into a variety of ways depending on how the director wants his or her show to look.

"This theatre will be used in ways that I can't imagine after I'm gone - and that's great - because it's for future audiences, for future artists as well as for now," Horowitz said.

First up on the new stage is a production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" directed by Tony winner and long time Theatre For a New Audience artist Julie Taymor.

This production marks the first major work by Taymor since being involved with and then fired from the Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark".

"I really wanted to do 'Midsummer Night's Dream' for the opening show because the show was created by Shakespeare for a wedding and for the blessing of a house. And that's what we actors and designers and all the team feel, is that we're blessing this new house that Horowitz built," Taymor said.

Following Taymor's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" the theatre company is set to produce "King Lear" and Eugène Ionesco's "The Killer".

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