Antaeus Company Presents World Premiere Adaptation of Honore de Balzac's COUSIN BETTE, 1/30-3/21
L.A.'s Classical Theater Ensemble, The Antaeus Company, presents the World Premiere of an exciting new adaptation of a literary classic, COUSIN BETTE, written by Jeffrey Hatcher and directed by Jeanie Hackett. As the first production in Antaeus' first full season of plays, this world premiere begins previews January 23rd and opens on Saturday January 30th & Sunday January 31st and runs through March 21st at Antaeus' interim home, Deaf West Theatre, located at 5112 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood.
Passion... Obsession... Intrigue... Power... Corruption... Depravity laced with luxury - COUSIN BETTE explores the themes of virtue and vice set in classical French opulence juxtaposed with the squalor of the times. Bette, a cunning spinster, subservient to her wealthy family, decides enough is enough and plots their downfall.
Seductive, cunning, and deliciously wicked, Jeffrey Hatcher's adaptation of Honoré de Balzac's 1846 masterpiece, LA COUSINE BETTE, tells the story of the powerful Hulot family, who inspire hate and loathing in the heart of their poor relative, Bette. Set in Paris in mid 19th century, Bette, under the guise of concern and compassion, plots her family's destruction with the aid of a beautiful, unhappy courtesan. It is a tale of revenge, sexual passion and the devastating effects of violent jealousy.
The world premiere production of COUSIN BETTE will be the kickoff event for Antaeus' 2010 Season which also includes KING LEAR, THE AUTUMN GARDEN and CLASSICSFEST 2010 - a six week festival of more than a dozen separate projects, including workshops, readings of classic plays, new translations, and works in process.
ABOUT THE CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM
Jeffrey Hatcher (Playwright) Award award-winning credits include: BROADWAY: Never Gonna Dance (book). OFF-BROADWAY: Three Viewings and A Picasso at Manhattan Theatre Club; Scotland Road and The Turn of the Screw at Primary Stages; Tuesdays with Morrie at The Minetta Lane; Murder by Poe and The Turn of the Screw at The Acting Company; Neddy at American Place; and Fellow Travelers at Manhattan Punchline. OTHER PLAYS: Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Mrs. Mannerly, Murderers, Mercy of a Storm, Smash, Armadale, Korczak's Children, To Fool the Eye, The Falls, A Piece of the Rope, All the Way with LBJ, The Government Inspector, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and others at regional theatres across the U.S. and abroad. FILM/TV: Stage Beauty, Casanova, The Duchess, and episodes of Columbo. GRANTS/AWARDS: NEA, TCG, Lila Wallace Fund, Rosenthal New Play Prize, Frankel Award, Charles MacArthur Fellowship Award, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, and Barrymore Award Best New Play. He is a member and/or alumnus of The Playwrights Center, the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild, and New Dramatists.
Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) was a French novelist, journalist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of almost 100 novels and plays collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the fall of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1815. Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multi-faceted characters; even his lesser characters are complex, morally ambiguous and fully human. La Cousine Bette (1846) tells the story of "The Poor Relations." The conniving and wrangling over wills and inheritances reflects the expertise gained by the author as a young law clerk. It is believed to be a thinly veiled autobiographical telling of the author's own love affairs. Balzac died in Paris on August 18, 1850.
Jeanie HacketT (Director) is the Artistic Director of The Antaeus Company, and directed the workshop of Cousin Bette for Antaeus in ClassicsFest '08. As Artistic Director of Antaeus since 2004, Jeanie served as Artistic Coordinator for Antaeus' acclaimed productions of Chekhov x 4 and Tonight at 8:30 by Noël Coward. Also for Antaeus, Jeanie produced the acclaimed productions of Mother Courage and Her Children, Pera Palas, American Tales, as well as four festivals of classical plays. She has directed here in L.A. at The Classical Theater Lab and with the 2nd company at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. As an actress, Jeanie has appeared on Broadway as Stella in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire and in Eugene O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness. Other theater work includes several seasons with the Williamstown Theatre Festival along with noted performances in classics and new plays Off-Broadway, at South Coast Rep, the Geffen Playhouse and The Pasadena Playhouse, among others. She is the head of the Antaeus Academy, a training program for upcoming professional actors, and the author of two books on acting, The Actor's Chekhov and Toward Mastery, both based on the work of the late director Nikos Psacharopoulos.