1984, THE WOODSMAN & THE ILLUSION Set for Theatre Pro Rata's 2014-15 Season

1984, THE WOODSMAN & THE ILLUSION Set for Theatre Pro Rata's 2014-15 Season

Theatre Pro Rata announced its 2014-2015 season today, featuring an adaptation of George Orwell's 1984, The Woodsman by Steven Fechter, and The Illusion by Tony Kushner.

Theatre Pro Rata's 14th season contains adaptations from literature and classical theater as well as a play that was itself adapted into a successful film (2004's The Woodsman, starring Kevin Bacon).

The season opens with Michael Gene Sullivan's tightly-wound stage adaptation of George Orwell's dystopian novel, 1984. The play will feature Twin Cities theater and film veteran John Middleton as the insidious interrogator O'Brien, questioning Winston about his thoughtcrimes in order to scourge him clean of his dissidence against Big Brother. Director Carin Bratlie said of the play, "I've always loved George Orwell's writing, and when we came across this new adaptation of 1984, it was a fantastic, fresh, captivating version of the story. I think our audiences will agree."

The second show, The Woodsman by Steven Fechter, follows the uneasy road back into society for Walter, a sex offender recently released from prison. Erik Hoover will direct the piece, saying he was drawn to the script because "The Woodsman raises profound questions about sexual violence and provides no easy answers; it charts the difficult course of healing and redemption for both victim and transgressor alike."

Pro Rata's summer production will round out the season and mark the official beginning of its partnership with Park Square Theatre, producing Tony Kushner's The Illusion on the new 200-seat Andy Boss Thrust Stage. Adapted from a 17th century comedy by Pierre Corneille, L'Illusion Comique, the play showcases Kushner's well-known knack for poetic dialogue while stepping away from his more dramatic work and into the realm of hilarious romp, bordering on farce.

Throughout the season Pro Rata will also continue its Playreading Series, allowing the general public to attend readings of scripts under consideration by the company for future seasons. Audience members are encouraged to provide feedback afterward, discussing the play with the actors and each other, giving them a voice in helping to choose upcoming seasons. These fun, informal gatherings are a great way to see the very beginning of Pro Rata's process as they first delve into a script. Dates are TBA.

Show dates and descriptions follow:

By Michael Gene Sullivan (adapted from the work by George Orwell), directed by Carin Bratlie
October 17-26, 2014
Performing at Intermedia Arts
In this innovative adaptation of the classic George Orwell novel, the story begins in the interrogation room. Winston is questioned about his thoughtcrime against the nation and held accountable by a handful of hive-mind party members who draw upon his memories and his actions. He will learn-as we all must-that truth is not for discovery. It is a burden that has been gloriously lifted from us, allowing us to march into victory stronger, and we thank Big Brother for that mercy and protection.

The Woodsman
By Steven Fechter, directed by Erik Hoover
March 2-22, 2015
Performing at Nimbus Theater
Most people harbor a darkness in their mind and struggle against it... most win. Some don't. After twelve years in prison, a convicted child molester moves back to his home town determined not to lose the struggle this time. His effort is complicated by the woman in his bed, the police officer in his shadow, and the grade school across the street. Prejudice. Suspicion. Temptation. Recognition. Sometimes the only way to triumph over darkness is to meet it with darkness, and live in hope that forgiveness will someday follow.

The Illusion
by Tony Kushner, directed by Carin Bratlie
June 12-28, 2015
Performing in the inaugural season at Park Square Theatre's Andy Boss Thrust Stage
After his son runs off to find his fortune, Pridamant seeks the aid of an eccentric illusionist; a sorcerer with the ability to conjure images and dreams. Scenes from the son's life marvelously appear before them, each an exotic and perplexing situation, each more inexplicable than the last, with varying names, shifting places, and dizzying rivalries. Adapted by Tony Kushner from Pierre Corneille's classic comedy, The Illusion reveals the boy's fate only at the very end, for better or for worse, and that it's not quite what his father was lead to believe.

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