Getty Museum and CNP's PROMETHEUS BOUND Begins Today
This September, the Getty Museum and CalArts' Center for New Performance (CNP), in association with Trans Arts, will present Prometheus Bound, the eighth annual outdoor theater production in the Getty Villa's Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater. Featuring a newly-translated text by noted poet and essayist Joel Agee, Prometheus Bound will be directed by Travis Preston, artistic director of CNP and dean of the CalArts School of Theater, and include original music by composer Ellen Reid and celebrated jazz multi-instrumentalist Vinny Golia (who will also perform live onstage).
In the mythic tradition, the Titan Prometheus, progenitor and champion of humankind, stole fire from Mount Olympus to give to mortals. In this play, he also taught them crafts and skills essential for human civilization. As punishment, Zeus dooms him to an eternity chained to a mountaintop, where Prometheus spends his days and nights railing against the gods and their injustices.
The striking central element of this original production of the ancient Greek drama will be a mammoth steel wheel, twenty-three feet tall that will be installed in the outdoor theater. As envisioned by director Preston and scenic designer Efren Delgadillo, Jr., the remote mountaintop is represented by this enormous steel wheel, to which Prometheus is strapped in the opening scene of the play.
Notes Preston: "Prometheus Bound addresses man's relationship to the eternal order of the cosmos. The circle represents the cosmos and is also an image of time. The drama is placed at The Edge of civilization, as well as at the border between ritual and artistic expression. Prometheus Bound also depicts the enfranchisement of human capability. It is a hosanna to human culture and achievement."
Of the surviving ancient Greek dramas, Prometheus Bound (of unknown date, but perhaps first performed in the 450s B.C.) is considered to be one of the most beautifully written, theatrically unique, and theologically profound: a masterpiece of Western theater. It has equally proven to be one of the most challenging to translate and present to contemporary audiences. While continuing to be ascribed to the tragic poet Aeschylus, the play's authorship has been the subject of scholarly debate in recent decades. Composed in the most ancient extant dramatic form,Prometheus Bound unfolds almost as an epic poem or extended hymn, rarely yielding the dramatic action generally associated with later Greek tragedies.
The Getty Villa's annual outdoor theater production is part of the Getty Museum's innovative theater program that enhances the visitor's experience of the ancient world. Live performances of classical drama offer insights into the social, cultural, and political realities of life in ancient Greece and Rome while, in the galleries, works of art serve to deepen the connection between modern audiences and the mythical stories underlying the tragedies and comedies on stage.
"We are delighted to be collaborating with the widely respected and highly innovative team of theater artists at CalArts for this new presentation of Prometheus Bound," says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. "In the ancient world, theater was a fundamental part of religious and social life, and as our theater program at the Getty Villa demonstrates, Classical drama still connects strongly with contemporary playwrights, actors, and audiences."
Performances of Prometheus Bound will be held on Thursdays through Saturdays, September 5 - 28, 2013, with previews from today, August 29-31, at the Getty Villa's Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater. Tickets go on sale July 1 and are $42 ($38 for students and seniors, $25 for preview performances). Tickets may be purchased online atwww.getty.edu or by telephone at (310) 440-7300.
Prior to each evening's performance, the museum galleries will open at 6:30 p.m. for theater-goers to enjoy the Villa's collection and gardens. The Cafe at the Getty Villa will once again offer a special pre-theater prix fixe sit-down dinner.
About the Company
Director Travis Preston is Artistic Director of the CalArts Center for New Performance, the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts, and Dean of the CalArts School of Theater. He directs theater and opera throughout the world and recently directed the Master Builderat the Almeida Theater in London, starring Stephen Dillane and Gemma Arterton, which is currently being readied for film production. He also directed the acclaimed production of Macbeth with Stephen Dillane for CNP at REDCAT in Disney Hall, which subsequently performed at The Almeida Theatre in London and then traveled to Sydney and Adelaide, Australia. Upcoming projects include The Long Road to Freedom with Harry Belafonte. In 2006 he was named Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture for "contributions to the arts in France and throughout the world."
- Mandy Patinkin and Taylor Mac Begin Performances in Classic Stage Company's THE LAST TWO PEOPLE ON EARTH Tomorrow
- Donna Lynne Champlin, Kevin Isola, Kelly McAndrew & More Set for Transport Group's ALMOST, MAINE
- STEINBRENNER! the Play Gets Reading at The Roundabout
- Jemma Redgrave, Jason Durr and More Cast in DONKEYS' YEARS at the Rose Theatre Kingston, Feb 6
- Samantha Bond and John Marquez Join DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS - Full Cast Announced!
- BWW's On This Day - December 13, 2013
- Hottest Articles on BWW from Thursday, Dec. 12
- The Fulton to Offer First-Ever Chicago Theatre Tour; Registration Deadline 1/8
- Pilobolus to Return to Houston 1/10; Program Features Collaborative Work with Penn & Teller
- Photo Flash: First Glance at Lookingglass Theatre's THE LITTLE PRINCE