Christopher Lloyd to Headline Reading of POUND in NYC
On Monday, September 18th at 7pm, Triumvirate Artists will present a "one-night-only' reading of POUND by playwright Sean O'Leary featuring award winning actor Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future trilogy) as Ezra Pound and directed by Kathleen Butler. The play is produced by Triumvirate Artists (John Essay, Daniel Butler and Kathleen Butler).
During World War II the American poet, Ezra Pound, made propaganda broadcasts for Mussolini's fascist government. As a result, he was charged with treason. But, before he could be tried, Pound was judged to be mentally unfit to stand trial and was remanded to the custody of St. Elizabeths psychiatric hospital, where he would remain from 1945 until 1958 when the indictment was dismissed and he was released.
Near the end of his stay, this aggressive and manipulative man, who dominated St. Elizabeths much as he had the literary world in the first half of the 20th century, suddenly retreated into an emotional shell and, eventually, "The Great Silence" - a period of despair and seclusion from which he never fully recovered. The play, Pound, imagines what might have happened in those last days at St. Elizabeths to irreversibly change the character of Ezra Pound.
At rise the overbearing, 73-year-old Pound is confronted by Mary Polley, a young psychiatrist who aspires to help the man who has been labeled "incurable". Pound dismisses her, as he has so many psychiatrists, but when he learns of his imminent release, he experiences an inexplicable dread that drives him to Mary for help.
Mary embarks on a course of treatment that, at first, seems merely peculiar and perhaps justified given the short time in which she must work. But, soon her techniques become disturbing, visiting extreme guilt upon Pound for a lifetime of manipulation and abuse. Then, after reducing Pound to almost childlike vulnerability, Mary reveals her true purpose - revenge against the man whose radio broadcasts during the war demonized Jews and encouraged "a purge" - a purge that consumed, among others, Mary's parents.
The play Pound challenges us with questions about whether words can be as powerful as actions, whether revenge can be just, and, ultimately, whether sanity is possible when we're made to see the world as it is and not as we would have it.
The reading will take place at The Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street). Click here for directions. Seating is limited and on a first come first serve basis. RSVPs are mandatory and should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or TriumvirateArtists@gmail.com.
Sean O'Leary (Playwright) is the author of seven full-length plays, six of which have been professionally produced. His most recent, play, The Boy in the Box, was commissioned by Barter Theatre. Walt Whitman's Secret premiered at the Frank Theatre in Vancouver, BC in October 2016. Valu-Mart, was the 2007 winner of The University of Alabama at Birmingham's Ruby Lloyd Apsey Award for plays confronting racial and ethnic issues. It was also the winner of the 2007 Best Play award from the West Virginia Writers Conference and was a finalist in the National Arts Club's 2006 Playwrights First competition. Valu-Mart premiered at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater in March 2010. Beneath Shelton Laurel was commissioned by The Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre where it played to record audiences between 2005 and 2006 and won a National Endowment for the Arts "Access to Artistic Excellence" grant for a touring production. Rain in The Hollows (Claudie Hukill) received its professional premiere three months earlier at Tri-State Actors Theater in New Jersey and has gone on to numerous productions as well. Sean's first play, Wine to Blood was produced by Oglebay Institute's TownGate Theatre and selected by Brandeis University for its Permanent Collection of works inspired by the Spanish Civil War. Sean is the 2004 winner of the West Virginia Commission on The Arts Fellowship for Drama and was recently added to The Literary Map of West Virginia. He lives in Indianola, Washington.
Christopher Lloyd (Ezra Pound) is best known for his roles as Emmett "Doc" Brown in the Back to the Future trilogy, Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Merlock the Magician in DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, Uncle Fester in The Addams Family and its sequel Addams Family Values, and Grigori Rasputin in Anastasia. He has an equally prominent television profile, having won two Primetime Emmy Awards for playing Jim Ignatowski on the comedy series Taxi, third Emmy for his 1992 guest appearance on Road to Avonlea as well as having earned two Daytime Emmy Award nominations and is also an Obie and Drama Desk Award winner.
Kathleen Butler (Director/Producer) began directing three years ago when invited to direct a production of Marriage Play by Edward Albee at the Theatre Artists Studio in Phoenix, Arizona; Delirium's Daughters (Players Club), Falling: A Wake with Judith Ivey and Edward Herrmann (Players Club). She is the Artistic Director of Wise Owl Theatre Company dedicated to promoting work for theatre professionals over 55 and is a partner in the Production Company, Triumvirate Artists. As an actress, she appeared in the world premiere productions of three of Edward Albee's plays, Three Tall Women (B), Occupant (Louise Nevelson) and Marriage Play (Gillian) among many others. Film credits include: A League of Their Own (Dir. Penny Marshall), Thursday (MoMa), Night Curtain (Hong Kong Film Festival) and recently the short film Vision 20/20. Television credits: Mozart in the Jungle, Odd Mom Out, Louie, Law and Order, Kenny The Shark, The Great American Plays Series, As The World Turns, Loving, Search for Tomorrow.
John Essay (Producer). In addition to being a partner in Triumvirate Artists, John has been a theatrical manager and producer for over 30 years. His company, Essay Management, represents a handful of wonderfully gifted artists who work as actors, writers, directors, as well as in other unique positions such as audio book narrators, hand models, hosts for corporate events, composers, lyricists, master teachers and producers. His website TheActorsGuideToEverything.com was created to help empower actors and give them the tools they need to start their own acting businesses. John also teaches seminars for actors with the information from his website. He has been a contributor to Backstage Experts on Backstage.com.
Daniel Butler (Producer) fundraising career began at the United Way of Tri State in NYC. He has held senior positions Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, directing the capital campaign for the Juilliard School, Fordham University, serving as Associate Director of Development, Adelphi University as Special Assistant to the President for University Relations and Development and Managing Partner, Eastern Division, Jerold Panas and Partners, a firm specializing in fundraising and Development consultation. Since launching Daniel P. Butler Company, he continues to serve clients in the areas of healthcare, education, youth service and the arts. In addition, Mr. Butler has served as Higher Education Development Counsel for the State of New York, working with many of the private colleges and universities throughout the state. He is presently an Assistant Professor at New York University's School of Professional Studies.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride