Irondale Ensemble Explores Bertolt Brecht's Masterpiece THE LIFE OF GALILEO
Irondale Ensemble, an immersive home for theater, will premiere its 2019 headlining work, The Life of Galileo, February 13-March 9, 2019. Galileo is the first of a 3-part Bertolt Brecht series Brecht in Exile. Mother Courage and Her Children (1943) and The Good Person of Szechuan (1941) will be presented over the next few seasons.
In a battle between his scientific principals and struggles with the Catholic Church, The Life of Galileo follows the legendary astronomer and physicist Galileo as he worked to prove the Copernican theory that the sun, not the earth, is the center of the universe. Galileo's findings and claims challenged the Catholic Church's omnipotent religious rule. Accused of heresy and brought to trial, Galileo forcefully recanted his findings and was confined to house arrest for the rest of his life, forbidden to continue to write further about a moving earth or a stationary sun. The adaptation, using Mark Ravenhill's translation, also showcases a new political system coming into power and the extreme intellectual conflict experienced by technology and information.
In curating each season, Irondale carefully selects and develops works that are relevant to the current climate of today's society-politically, morally, and socially. "When we started working on this play, we saw it as being about the rejection of science by fundamentalism," explains Jim Niesen, Artistic Director of the Irondale Ensemble. "In really living within this work during the rehearsal process, the themes are in line with what we struggle with today in our society-raw power, the persecution of those with differing beliefs, the quest for truth in the face of outrageous lies, and a contempt for humanity if you can't make money from it. That's heady stuff."
An ensemble of 4 actors, including Irondale ensemble members Michael-David Gordon, Joey Collins and Terry Greiss with newcomer Chantelle Guido, will portray over 20 characters, both male and female. This type of casting transforms the play into an intimate epic event, where the acting becomes more focused and contained for a heightened audience experience, and the actors are challenged by the quick and imaginative transformations throughout Brecht's texts.
Immediately following their spotlight on Brecht, Irondale will co-present the U.S. premiere of The Dog, The Night and the Knife by German playwright Marius von Mayenburg, March 15-April 6. With Galileo as the antecedent to this work, Irondale bridges the gap between German thinkers across expansive generations to highlight the impact that Brecht continues to have on contemporary creators and audiences.
The Life of Galileo will run from February 15-March 9, 2019. General admission tickets are $30 with discounts for students, seniors and working artists and will be on sale to the public January 1, 2019. Combined tickets to Galileo and The Dog, the Night and the Knife will be $40 and include admission to both productions.
Preview performances will take place on February 6, 7, 8, 9, 13 and 14, and tickets will cost $10.
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