Patrick Page to Lead A.R.T.'s THE TEMPEST; Aaron Posner to Co-Direct with Famed Magician Teller
The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, under the Artistic Direction of Diane Paulus, will present the last production of its 2013/14 Season, THE TEMPEST, adapted and directed by Aaron Posner and Teller from the play by William Shakespeare, with magic by Teller, music by Tom Waits, and movement by Matt Kent of Pilobolus Produced in association with The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada, the production will begin performances in Cambridge on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Loeb Drama Center and run through Sunday, June 15, 2014. It will be available for press viewing from Wednesday, May 14 at 7:30pm.
Experience Prospero's wizardry as never before in this thrilling new production featuring magic by the illusionist Teller (of the legendary duo Penn and Teller). When shipwrecked aristocrats wash up on the shores of Prospero's strange island, they find themselves immersed in a world of trickery and amazement, where Tom Waits' dusty music and Pilobolus' athletic movement animate the spirits and monsters. But the revels come to an end when the master magician realizes he has neglected his life in service of his art, and must now relinquish his conjuring in order to reclaim his life and provide for the future of his only child.
The cast will be led by Patrick Page as Prospero, whose Broadway credits include Scar in The Lion King, De Guiche in Cyrano de Bergerac, The Green Goblin in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Brutus in Julius Caesar, Lumière in Beauty and the Beast, and The Kentucky Cycle; most recently he was seen as Rufus Buckley in A Time to Kill. His Off-Broadway credits include Rex, Richard II, The Duchess of Malfi, and The Sound of Music at Carnegie Hall. He has performed nationwide in numerous regional theaters and has been nominated for Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Awards, and has received the Princess Grace Award, Helen Hayes Award, Craig Noel Award, Joseph Jefferson Award, Matador Award for Classical Theatre, Will Award for Classical Theatre, and the Utah Governor¹s Medal for the Arts.
Director and adaptor Aaron Posner is a Helen Hayes and Barrymore Award-winning playwright and director. His adaptations include Macbeth (with Teller, from Shakespeare), Stupid Fucking Bird (adapted from Chekhov's The Seagull), Who Am I This Time? (& Other Conundrums of Love) adapted from Kurt Vonnegut short stories, The Chosen and My Name is Asher Lev (adapted from the Chaim Potok novels), Sometimes a Great Notion (adapted from Ken Kesey), a nine-actor Cyrano, and musical adaptation of Mark Twain's A Murder, A Mystery & A Marriage, and many more. He is a founder and former Artistic Director of Philadelphia's Arden Theatre and has directed at major regional theaters from coast to coast. He is an artistic associate at Milwaukee Rep and the Folger Theatre in Washington, DC (where his recent production of Romeo and Juliet received rave reviews).
Director and adaptor Teller has been the smaller, quieter half of Penn & Teller since 1975. With Penn Jillette, he has played off and on Broadway, toured in North America and Britain, and is currently the longest-running headline act in Las Vegas. Penn & Teller have written and starred in television series and specials, including eight seasons of the Emmy-nominated Showtime series "Penn & Teller: Bullshit!;" "Penn & Teller Tell a Lie" on Discovery; "Penn & Teller's Sincity Spectacular" on FX; "Behind the Scenes," a PBS children's series on the arts; "The Unpleasant World of Penn & Teller," a magic and comedy series on England's Channel 4; and the recent ITV variety series, "Penn & Teller: Fool Us." Teller has written for The Atlantic Monthly, Smithsonian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Esquire, GQ, The New Yorker; as well as three books with Penn Jillette and two on his own. He is also a frequent contributor to All Things Considered on NPR. In 2008, Teller and Aaron Posner co-directed a version of Shakespeare's Macbeth, conceived as a supernatural horror thriller that employed stage magic to represent the play's uncanny hallucinations and manifestations. He also co-wrote and directed the original Off-Broadway and Los Angeles productions of Play Dead and co-directed the performance film. Tim's Vermeer, a feature documentary film, which will be released in theaters internationally in 2014 by Sony Picture Classics.
Founded in 1971, Pilobolus has built its fervent and ever-expanding international following by proving the human body to be the most expressive, universal, and magical of media. Pilobolus maintains its own singular style while actively collaborating with the best and brightest minds from all conceivable professions the world over. Based in Washington Depot, Connecticut and New York City, in recent years Pilobolus has transformed from avant-garde Dance Company into an international entertainment brand featured on the likes of Oprah, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and the Academy Awards. The company has engaged in activities as varied as making circuses, creating television advertising, publishing books, breaking world records, teaching in schools, and producing music videos. Pilobolus has been awarded prestigious honors over the years, including the Berlin Critic's Prize, the Scotsman Award, the Brandeis Award, a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cultural Programming, the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement in Choreography, a TED Fellowship for presenting at the TED conference in 2005, and 2012 Grammy® Award nomination for its interactive music video collaboration with OK Go and Google Chrome Japan, "All Is Not Lost" (allisnotlo.st). Pilobolus achieves all of this without ever losing sight of its core mission: to make art that builds community.
Choreographer Matt Kent is the Associate Artistic Director of Pilobolus and has worked with the company since 1996 as a dancer, collaborator, creative director, choreographer, and associate artistic director. Past Pilobolus projects include Head Choreographer for Andre Heller's Magnifico, a large-scale circus production; Choreographer for a Sports Emmy-nominated teaser created in collaboration with the NFL network; and Choreographer for a television appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Matt is one of the creators of the Pilobolus's European hit Shadowland, and he has performed in over 24 countries and on Pilobolus's appearance on the 79th Academy Awards. Outside of Pilobolus, he has worked as zombie choreographer for AMC's hit series "The Walking Dead" and as movement consultant on the Duncan Sheik musical, Whisper House. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two sons.
Tom Waits is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor, with a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car." With this trademark growl, his incorporation of pre-rock music styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music, Waits has built up a distinctive musical persona. He has worked as a composer for movies and musical plays and has acted in supporting roles in films, including Paradise Alley and Bram Stoker's Dracula; he also starred in the 1986 film Down by Law. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on One from the Heart.
ASL interpreted performances are scheduled for June 3 at 7:30 PM and June 8 at 2:00 PM. Audio described performances for blind and low-vision patrons are scheduled for June 4 at 7:30 PM and June 7 at 2:00 PM.
Photo by Walter McBride