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Performances of the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s “Tamburlaine” have been cancelled through December 23: Lead Avery Brooks has fractured three ribs. “It’s hard for him to breathe or talk right now,” says director Michael Kahn.

It’s not the first bout of bad luck that’s hit Kahn’s mounting of the Marlowe play. Recently, Brooks’ understudy was forced to abandon the production due to a family emergency.

“We’re working on preparing his new understudy,” says Kahn. Under-understudy Bill Christ will be tied up in rehearsal until the theatre can re-asses Brooks’ condition and determine who will go on. “It’s a gargantuan role to learn,” says Kahn.

The theater hopes to make a decision on the remainder of the run by Friday.