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Wednesday, 01 December 2010 13:11

The Bridge Project's RICHARD III starring Kevin Spacey to begin June 2011

Bank of America Merrill Lynch presents


Produced by The Old Vic, BAM and Neal Street







The final season of The Bridge Project starring Kevin Spacey, Artistic Director of The Old Vic, in the title role of Richard III, will open at The Old Vic in London on June 29, 2011. The Bridge Project will then embark on an international tour, arriving at BAM’s Harvey Theater in New York in January 2012. The Bridge Project will again be directed by Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes with whom Spacey worked on the film American Beauty, for which they both won BAFTA and Academy Awards. 

The Bridge Project is a unique three-year series of co-productions by The Old Vic, BAM and Neal Street, devoted to producing large-scale, classical theatre for international audiences.

The full company will again be drawn from leading American and British actors, with complete casting and international dates to be announced. Tickets will go on sale at The Old Vic from January 31, 2011 and at BAM in Fall 2011.

Commenting on the final season, Sam Mendes says:

“I am absolutely delighted to be working with Kevin again for the first time since American Beauty, and I am doubly thrilled that he will be leading year three of The Bridge Project. Richard III is a play I love, and a role I think Kevin is born to play. I’m also thrilled that the partnership between our three entities has strengthened and blossomed over the course of this venture, along with a host of invaluable international partnerships that have enabled us to extend the reach of global touring year after year.”

The Old Vic Artistic Director Kevin Spacey, who plays Richard III, says:

Sam, [BAM Executive Producer] Joe [Melillo], and I are so excited to announce this production. Sam is one of the finest directors I have had the pleasure to work with and to gain this opportunity is beyond my wildest hopes. I love Sam’s perspective on a role, carving and shaping the actor. With such a remarkable character before me I have a feeling this one is going to be a memorable experience. It is also my hope to bring a comprehensive educational programme and opportunities for emerging artists along with our travels, making an argument for the living theatre in all the major cities we will visit throughout 2011. We're delighted that Bank of America Merrill Lynch has come on board for another season as our sponsor and I applaud their continued support for our work.”

BAM Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo says:

“Producing The Bridge Project in association with my counterparts at Neal Street and The Old Vic has been one of the highlights of my professional career. To conclude this extraordinary enterprise with Kevin Spacey performing one of Shakespeare’s most iconic roles under the direction of Sam Mendes gives new meaning to going out on a high note. It speaks so directly to the aims of The Bridge Project to have Kevin anchor the transatlantic cast: an American actor of the highest calibre who is also the head of one of London’s most important theatres.

“The fact that Richard III will be at BAM during our celebration of the institution’s 150th anniversary makes an already momentous occasion feel even more significant. The Bridge Project inaugurated a new phase for BAM of producing work on a global scale, and it is exhilarating that the artistic excellence that Sam has delivered in the previous two Bridge Project seasons will be part of an even more ambitious tour in the third year.”

Rena DeSisto, Global Arts and Culture executive, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, says:

“Our partnership with The Bridge Project has been a tremendous one for our company. We are delighted to collaborate on plans to expand its international reach for its final year. Kevin's portrayal in this classic role will undoubtedly engage audiences throughout the world in a common cultural experience. The arts are unparalleled in their ability to create shared, moving experiences for people of diverse cultures, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch remains committed to supporting these opportunities.” 

The producers gratefully acknowledge Actors' Equity Association and UK Equity for their assistance of The Bridge Project.


The Old Vic, London               June 18, 2011 – September 11, 2011

                                                Press night June 29

                                                Tickets on sale to General Public: January 31, 2011

                                                Tickets on sale to Old Vic Friends & Donors: January 17, 2011

BAM, New York                      January 10, 2012 - March 4, 2012 (tickets on sale Autumn 2011) 



Leadership support for The Bridge Project is provided by The Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Bridge Project Production Partners for 2009/2010: Celia Atkin, John & Samantha Hunt, Sharon E. Karmazin, Donald R. Mullen Jr., The Laura Pels International Foundation, Tony Randall Theatrical Fund, Jon & NoraLee Sedmak, Carol & Ian Sellars, Scott & Kathleen Simpson, Peregrine Whittlesey and Barbara & David Zalaznick.

About Bank of America Merrill Lynch

As a company doing business in more than 100 countries, and with nearly 300,000 employees, Bank of America Merrill Lynch helps a broad spectrum of arts programmes thrive and deliver greater cultural awareness. Support comes in many forms such as grants, sponsorships and loans from its own art collection and most recently, the launch of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Programme.

Other current or near term programmes include: sponsorship of Gauguin: Maker of Myth at Tate Modern, global sponsorship of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, season sponsorship of The Old Vic and exhibitions from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Collection at the Mona Bismarck Foundation, Paris and Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ireland. Community-focused programmes include the Create Art Award, celebrating artists living and working in for East London and Connections, the National Theatre's UK-wide youth theatre programme.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch supports nearly 6,000 arts organisations worldwide, in the belief that greater cultural understanding can foster increased opportunities for communities.


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