The Irondale Ensemble Project is as close as we come these days to the Elizabethan acting companies that once presented Shakespeare’s plays to the Earl of Leicester, Sir Francis Drake and the Virgin Queen of England. …What is on offer is the miracle of the word made flesh. I wish you joy in it.

—Lewis Lapham, editor of Lapham’s Quarterly

The Irondale Ensemble

Brooklyn’s Abolitionist Past Brought to Brilliant Theatrical Illumination to Pose the Most Contemporary of Questions: How Far Have We Come? 

Color Between the Lines

Fort Greene: Sept 13, 7:30pm*
Flatbush: Sept 14, 7:30pm
Park Slope: Sept 15, 4:30pm
Red Hook: Sept 20, 7:30pm

(*Purchase Fort Greene/Irondale Center Tickets Via Separate Link Below)

“Color Between the Lines” is an original work devised by the Irondale ensemble and developed as part of the borough’s first public history project to explore the abolitionist movement in Brooklyn. The whole project, also known as “In Pursuit of Freedom”, will bring to life this fascinating abolition story while teasing out the relevance of the subject for contemporary audiences.

Brooklynites, black and white, who went about living their lives with dignity and perseverance, who signed the petitions, raised the money, opened the schools, started the businesses and came together to change the direction of a nation. In “Color Between the Lines”, their stories are sung.

The project draws on the resources and capacities of two other leading Brooklyn cultural organizations, Brooklyn Historical Society and Weeksville Heritage Center.

* Purchase Tickets To See “Color Between the Lines” At The Irondale Center (FG) on 9/13 here:

The Irondale Ensemble will also be appearing in this year’s BEAT Sideshow at Coney Island on Tuesday, Sept 18. Click below to learn more and get tickets!


About The Irondale Ensemble

The Irondale Ensemble Project was founded in 1983 by Jim Niesen, Terry Greiss and Barbara Mackenzie-Wood as an experimental/research theater to further investigate the performance and education techniques that they had developed as resident artists at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre in the late 1970s. Irondale exists to challenge traditional assumptions about theater–who makes it, how it gets made and how it can be used, all within the context of a permanent ensemble–artists working together, on a daily basis, over an extended period of time.

The majority of the company’s work follows two closely related performance styles: the presentation of established texts in unorthodox and often irreverent productions; and the creation of new theater works, usually by combining original material with a classic and blending multiple styles of performance, music, dance, design and text. Irondale has produced 40 major Off-Broadway shows including the American Premier of Brecht’s Conversations in Exile, radical reinterpretations of Chekhov, Ibsen, Sophocles and Shakespeare, and 11 original works created collaboratively by the company.


All Irondale photos by Gerry Goodstein