Show to kick off 2009-10 season at Irish

John Douglas Thompson, the thesp whose Off Broadway perf in “Othello” last season won raves, will star this fall in “The Emperor Jones,” set to kick off the 2009-10 season at Off Broadway’s Irish Repertory Theater.

Thompson will play the title character in Eugene O’Neill’s 1920 play about a black man who escapes from prison in the U.S. and becomes emperor of a Caribbean island.

Ciaran O’Reilly, who co-founded Irish Rep in 1988, will helm “Emperor Jones,” which starts previews Oct. 7 before opening Oct. 18.

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