Theatre Pro Rata to Present 1984, Opening 10/17
On October 17th Theatre Pro Rata will open its 2014-15 season with an adaptation of George Orwell's classic novel 1984 at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis, MN. The dystopian tale of an authoritarian government that controls every aspect of its citizens' lives has been adapted for the stage by Michael Gene Sullivan.
This version of Orwell's story takes place entirely in the interrogation room as Winston Smith is questioned about his activities and "thoughtcrimes" by other members of the ruling Party in the nation of Oceania.
Director (and Pro Rata Artistic Director) Carin Bratlie said of the decision to produce the play said, "We read a couple versions before settling on this one. It was immediately apparent that it was the best choice... it is gripping, suspenseful, terrifying. It's all the spirit of the book but adapted perfectly for theater."
The timing of the production is also particularly apropos, given recent news headlines. The production's dramaturg, Christine "Kit" Gordon, said, "Given Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA, the news that Facebook is running psychological experiments on its users, and ongoing revelations about those in power lying to citizens (most recently highlighted in coverage of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin resolution, 50 years ago this month), we seem to be under more surveillance than ever. The concept of Big Brother is particularly prevalent and troubling today. The question is 'Do we care?'"
The play stars Pro Rata company member Grant Henderson as Winston Smith and features theater veteran and Twin Cities favorite John Middleton as the sinister party member/interrogator O'Brien.
Since 2001 Pro Rata, Latin for "in proportion," has produced smart, vivid, varied, and gutsy theater in the Twin Cities. Focusing on the text of the play, the company offers performers and audiences the chance to engage the characters, themes and language more completely. Ranging from classic dramas to modern black comedies, Theatre Pro Rata produces scripts that engender this exploration while still bringing visceral theatrical experiences to the stage.
Recent accolades for Pro Rata include rave reviews, record-breaking attendance, and multiple BroadwayWorld Award nominations for its production of Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight (2013); T Bone N Weasel being named one of the top ten productions of the year (2012 City Pages); and three year end mentions for Waiting for Godot (2011, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, and City Pages).
Theatre Pro Rata utilizes a unique sliding scale for ticketing, allowing patrons to name their own price from $14 to $41.