James Franco Re-Mounts Tennessee Williams-Inspired THE MAGIC TOWER This Weekend
Actor, writer, director and performance artist James Franco is set to make his Broadway debut later this year in OF MICE & MEN, but the multi-hyphenate is re-mounting a multi-media stage piece of his based on the work of Tennessee Williams titled THE MAGIC TOWER this weekend for a special presentation in Santa Monica.
The official description of THE MAGIC TOWER is as follows: "In Fall 2013, Academy Award-nominated actor, director and artist James Franco, and co-teacher Deborah LaVine, Co-Director of CalArts' Fim Directing Program, reprised their successful class, One Act to Cinematic Event, at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). The result is The Magic Tower, a live multi-media production of one-act plays inspired by Tennessee Williams' rarely performed collection of short dramas. The Magic Tower will be performed at The Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica from Friday, January 17th through Sunday, January 19th. For The Magic Tower, Franco and Lavine mentored ten student film directors along with cast and crew to develop contemporary interpretations of Williams' iconic plays. Franco noted, "We built on a model of cross departmental collaboration. The design students contributed a set that is more than just a space on which the actors perform; it is an integral aspect of the whole piece. Others contributed audio and visual components that make the show even more immersive than last year. And we have added a host of amazing dancers to the huge group of awesome actors and directors." The goal of the class, One Act to Cinematic Event, is to create a collaborative synthesis of live performance and media. The addition of media in The Magic Tower heightens the tension implicit in Williams' theatrical universe and brings his astute observations of human psychology into the current moment. "So many of Williams' characters are dreamers who live in their imaginations," commented Franco. "The conflicts arise when their dreams must contend with brutal reality. That's Tennessee: Blanche Dubois in one hand and Stanley Kowalski in the other. This kind of conflict is perfect for students in art school because they live in the wonderful land of infinite possibility-but just outside the walls of CalArts, after the graduation bell tolls they will be forced to face the professional world with only their delicate art to guide them. They are all Tennessee's, all Blanches, getting ready to face the big bad Stanley world." The source for the performance is an anthology of Williams' early works titled The Magic Tower. It includes one-acts the playwright would later expand to powerful full-length dramas such as The Pretty Trap, a cheerful take on The Glass Menagerie and Interior Panic, a stunning precursor to A Streetcar Named Desire."
More information on THE MAGIC TOWER is available at the official site here.
View the trailer for James Franco's THE MAGIC TOWER below.