From The Acting Company

In times of political unrest, must a man die for the greater good of the nation? The assassinations of Rome's great ruler of the Republic and the revolutionary leader Malcolm X share the stage when New York's acclaimed The Acting Company pairs Shakespeare's JULIUS CAESAR with X: OR, BETTY SHABAZZ V. THE NATION, a compelling new play by lauded playwright Marcus Gardley (The House that Will Not Stand, The Gospel of Lovingkindness, Every Tongue Confess, On The Levee). Presented in repertory, each featuring the same outstanding cast, these two gripping dramas examine two charismatic leaders who rise only to fall victim to rivalry, resentment and retribution.

Exploring the tumultuous landscape of religious ideology and activism in the 1960s, X: OR, BETTY SHABAZZ V. THE NATION dramatizes various events in the life of Malcolm X including his relationships with his family, friends and the leaders of the Nation of Islam and his untimely death by assassination. Directed by Ian Belknap, Artistic Director of The Acting Company.

Be part of the action! Limited on-stage seating is available for this show (full price tickets $38; Member tickets $28). Please call 646.223.3010 to purchase.

We strongly suggest that patrons follow the age recommendation for this production. Please see the Heads Up! note to the right and read "Essential Info" before seeing X: OR, BETTY SHABAZZ V. THE NATION.

"Fills the theater with a buzz of big ideas and big emotions"The Arizona Republic  "Playwright Marcus Gardley is rightly celebrated for the roiling stew of poetry and pathos in his mythopoetic narratives and for the insight and sensitivity he brings."Star Tribune "Marcus Gardley has secured his place as one of the most promising contemporary playwrights." BroadwayWorld




Performance Facts

Performance Facts

2 hours, 15 minutes including one intermission
Tickets start at $16.
Individual prices display during seat selection.

Save with Membership discounts.

Heads Up: Parental Considerations

Heads Up:
Parental Considerations

Play dramatizing Malcolm X’s final days and assassination, with influence from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Contains explicit racial epithets, strong language and adult themes. Stylized violence, with simulated explosions and guns. Created for mature audiences.



Play Before the Play!

And after! Experience the art forms onstage in X for yourself: enjoy in-person Family Engagement programs at select performances (free for ticket-holders—see Calendar icons!) and connect with the New Vic on social media to digitally discover awesome activities.

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Getting to Know The Acting Company and Marcus Gardley

Since 1972, The Acting Company has performed 143 productions in 48 states and 10 countries, staging work from Shakespeare to Stoppard for 25,000 theatergoers annually. Their ensemble of classically trained young actors brings live performance to communities with limited access to theater, and their team of teaching artists engages students in those communities in literacy-focused arts education.

Never afraid to juxtapose the classic with the contemporary, The Acting Company is collaborating with decorated playwright Marcus Gardley. In 2011, Gardley received the PEN/Laura Pels Award for Mid-Career Playwright; and his play, On the Levee, which premiered with LCT3 at The Duke on 42nd Street, was nominated for 11 AUDELCO Awards, including Outstanding Playwright. With Gardley's golden pen and The Acting Company's onstage prowess, this partnership is destined for theatrical greatness.

Accolades and Highlights:

  • The Acting Company received a Tony Honors for Excellence in Theater award in 2003.
  • Marcus Gardley has been honored with numerous awards, including the Helen Merrill Award, a Kesselring Honor, the Gerbode Emerging Playwright Award, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Award, the Eugene O'Neill Memorial Scholarship and the ASCAP Cole Porter Award.
  • Gardley's Every Tongue Confess was nominated for a Steinberg New Play Award and the Charles MacArthur Award and was the recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.



All The Way From...

New York, New York
...New York, New York


The Acting Company has to travel only four blocks from their New York City headquarters to The New Victory.

Your Trip to Our Theaters


Just steps from the Times Square-42nd Street subway stops, The New Victory is a 499-seat, historic, jewel box theater restored to its original glory. The majority of our shows are presented here, in the oldest operating theater in New York City. Down in the lobby you'll find stroller parking, free lockers to store your stuff, healthy snacks and New Vic merch to take home. Take a 360° virtual tour!


Located inside the New 42nd Street Studios building, The Duke on 42nd Street is home to New Victory programming that requires a more intimate space.


Located just down the block from The New Victory Theater, the New 42nd Street Studios host New Vic shows geared towards our youngest audience members. The space allows for a variety of seating configurations, including options for floor seating, making it easy to move around and step out of the theater area if you and yours need to do so. Stroller parking and changing tables are available.


Where To Go

 The Duke on 42nd Street and New 42nd Street Studios
229 West 42nd Street New York, NY, 10036

 The New Victory Theater
209 West 42nd Street New York, NY, 10036


Welcome to 42nd Street

Welcome to the Crossroads of the World. We recommend that you come early or stay late and grab a bite with one of our neighborhood partners. Visit Partners & Discounts page.

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