Performance Network Theatre to Open 2013-14 Season with AN ILIAD, 9/26-10/27
A contemporary theatrical dramatization of Homer's masterpiece, "An Iliad" adapted by Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare makes its Michigan Premiere on September 26 through October 27, 2013 with an all star cast and high-end designers at Performance Network Theatre, Michigan's most award winning professional theatre as their season opener. Single tickets will be on sale soon. Subscriptions can be purchased online at performancenetwork.org or by calling the theatre at 734-663-0681.
Directed by Tim Rhoze ("The Glass Menagerie," "The Piano Lesson," and "K2"), "An Iliad" stars John Manfredi ("A Picasso" and "K2"). The award winning, Michigan based, set designer Monika Essen creates the setting of the play. Essen will construct the set along with the costumes and props.
Director, Tim Rhoze said, "The challenge of directing this awesome play that dares to give a singular voice to the retelling of arguably one of the greatest works of the Western world is very exciting. In the way that the singing poets of 8th century BC Greece orally told the story of the Trojan War, I will have the opportunity to direct brilliant actor John Manfredi as he embodies the characters Achilles, Hector and many of the gods and goddesses of this epic poem; this too will be very exciting for me. Stay tuned!"
Open-to-the-public previews run September 26 - October 3, 2013 and give the creative team an opportunity to present the piece in front of an audience before critics view the show. Comment cards are handed out to audiences after every preview performance which are then reviewed by the director, cast, and designers for the final week of rehearsals. Performance Network Theatre is offers discounts to seniors, students, industry members, and military members and families. The theatre will celebrate with an Opening Night Ceremony on October 4, 2013 that will include a complimentary champagne toast and hors d'oeuvres buffet with the actors, designers, and staff of the theatre. Traditional performances of the hot new play will take place October 5 -October 27, 2013.
In this present-day retelling of Homer's classic, a lone figure (John Manfredi) appears on an unadorned stage and shares the tragic narrative he is fated to tell for eternity. This epic narrative brings humor, pathos, and excitement to the ancient tale of the Trojan War, colliding it with the contemporary world and creating a wholly captivating theatrical experience.
Most recently, John Manfredi has been a producer, director, choreographer and teacher with an extensive resume in film, stage and television. John M. Manfredi most recently directed a series of productions for Palace Sports and Entertainment at the Meadow Brook Music Festival that included "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" and "The Chronicles of Narnia." The critically acclaimed director of "Driving Miss Daisy," "Syncopation and Macbeth" at The Theatre Ensemble, Manfredi has been in the professional theater for over 30 years as an award-winning actor. But, when "A Picasso" opened at Ann Arbor's Performance Network Theatre, he returned to his true passion of acting. Furthermore, as a fight choreographer, his work has been seen on stage and in many films and television shows, including "Unsolved Mysteries", "Thou Shalt Not Kill...", "The Pirates of Penzance", "Don Giovanni", "Macbeth", "Real Stories of the Highway Patrol", and "Hill Street Blues". In nearly a decade as an adjunct professor at Oakland University, he has participated in many productions including "Zastrozzi" and "Romeo and Juliet." He has also been nominated and received honors as Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Musical Performer from The Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, The Oakland Press, The Michigan Association of Professional Theatres and many others.
Ticket reservations to "An Iliad" are $22 - $41 (with 10 Pay-What-You-Can tickets available every Thursday) and can be made at the Performance Network Box Office at 734-663-0681, online at performancenetwork.org, or at Performance Network Theatre (120 East Huron St., Ann Arbor, 48104) Monday - Friday 10am-6pm, and Saturday 11am-6pm.
Founded in 1981, Performance Network Theatre has grown from a fledgling company to Ann Arbor's resident professional theatre. The Network reaches 40,000 theatre patrons and children each year through the year-round Professional Series and the Children's Theatre Network. Performance Network also presents the Fireside New Play Festival and a series of classes on theatre-related topics. The Network provides uncompromising artistic leadership in the region and produces works that engage, challenge and inspire audiences and artists.