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Goodman Theatre to Present Sea Plays Through Jan. 31

For three weekends, January 14 - 31, Goodman Theatre audiences have the rare opportunity to witness Companhia Triptal Director André Garolli's acclaimed contemporary interpretation of three Eugene O'Neill Sea Plays. Performing for the first time outside their native Brazil, Companhia Triptal presents Homens ao Mar (Sea Plays), consisting of three one-act plays: Zona de Guerra (In the Zone), Longa Viagem de Volta pra Casa (The Long Voyage Home) and Cardiff (Bound East for Cardiff) in limited engagements. First performed in a historic warehouse in Brazil, Companhia Triptal's Sea Plays will transform the Goodman's Owen Theatre into a ship called the S.S. Glencairn, with each play exploring a different incident in the lives of the ship's crew. In conjunction with the Sea Plays, the Goodman also presents two special programs: a Theater Thursday event on January 15 for $30, including a reception, an artistic presentation about the play and tickets to the evening's performance of Zona de Guerra; and André Garolli on the Sea Plays, a free discussion with Director André Garolli and Goodman Theatre Associate Producer Steve Scott.

Presented in Portuguese with English supertitles, performances of Homens ao Mar (Sea Plays) are scheduled January 14 - 31 in the Goodman's Owen Bruner Theatre: Zona de Guerra (In the Zone), January 14 - 18; Longa Viagem de Volta pra Casa (The Long Voyage Home), January 21 - 25; and Cardiff (Bound East for Cardiff), January 28 - 31. Tickets are $15; a full calendar, including dates, times, ticket prices and information about the free special events, appears at the end of the release.

Director André Garolli's imaginative approach to O'Neill's Sea Plays takes audiences on a journey through the different floors of the Goodman building as if they were decks of the ship. This unique staging is meant "to open cracks and disclose worlds that the text only suggests," says Garolli. "We will absorb the audience into the play and invite them onto the ship, where they will move from the quarterdeck to the bilge and then down into the basement."

Written between 1914 and 1917, Zona de Guerra (In the Zone), Longa Viagem de Volta pra Casa (The Long Voyage Home) and Cardiff (Bound East for Cardiff) are based on O'Neill's experiences as a young merchant marine on ships that sailed from the Caribbean to Wales and then into Navy service during World War I. All three plays are set aboard a ship called the S.S. Glencairn, with each play exploring a different incident in the lives of the ship's crew: the search for a German spy in their midst in Zona de Guerra, a young seaman on leave in Longa Viagem de Volta pra Casa and the death of a young sailor in Cardiff. The cycle of plays collectively introduces many of the themes that O'Neill would explore more fully in his later works: loneliness, death, hope and friendship. According to Garolli, "O'Neill's Sea Plays deal with characters who fuel themselves with dreams and ideals because their chosen paths lead them to failure."

The cast of Homens ao Mar (Sea Plays) includes: Roberto Leite, Wagner Menegare, Renaldo Taunay, Pepe Ramirez, Kalil Jabbour, Bruno Feldman, Guilherme Lopes, João Bourbonnais, Juliana Liegel, Beth Rizzo, Malú Leiserovitch, André Markaos and Aline Reis.

The chorus for Cardiff (Bound East for Cardiff) includes: Adilson Gutierrez, Alberto Adonay, Alexsandro Santos, Ari Cegatto, Bruno Barchesi, Flavio Victorio, Gabriel Ebling, Guto Almeida, Igor Constantinov, João Carlos Luz, José Jesus, Manolo Rodrigues, Marcos Di Pietro, Mauricio Mascarenhas, Mariva Lima, Paulo Makbee, Reginaldo Costa and Uryas de Garcia.

The design team includes: André Garolli, Wagner Menegare and Cia. Triptal (Set Design); Wagner Menegare and Cia. Triptal (Costume Design); Patricia Alegre (Video Editor); Wagner Menegare and Alexsandro Santos (Prop Design); and Nelson Ferreira and André Garolli (Lighting Design).

About Companhia Triptal

Companhia Triptal was formed in 1990 with the mission of creating innovative productions for children. Their first project, Maria Clara Clareou, staged seven texts of Maria Clara Machado, a popular writer of plays for young people. For the past decade, the company has staged more adult productions with a special interest in the early Sea Plays of Eugene O'Neill. Crafted in a variety of nontraditional spaces, Triptal's rendering of these works has brought the company considerable success in their home country: Zona de Guerra (In the Zone) was awarded the prestigious APCA (Criteria Association) Award for "Best Spectacle" and was nominated for the Premio Shell de Teatro (Shell Theatre Award) for its strikingly gritty production. Cardiff (Bound East for Cardiff) received Shell nominations for its outstanding direction and musical direction, and received the Premio Shell for Best Scenic Design.

Triptal performs most of their work in their home of São Paulo. Through the support of Brazil's Public Programs for Culture Promotion, the company has produced more than 70 works in public spaces on the periphery of São Paulo, as well as in the festivals of Curitiba, Londrina, São José do Rio Preto and Suzano. This marks Companhia Triptal's first time performing outside of Brazil.

About André Garolli

Educated as a Mechanical Engineer at the Engineering College - Mackenzie Univerisity/SP, Garolli's career as a theater artist developed after working with Group TAPA in Brazil. His production of Zona de Guerra (In the Zone) was awarded the prestigious APCA Award for "Best Spectacle," and Cardiff (Bound East for Cardiff) was nominated for the Premio Shell de Teatro for its strikingly gritty production. Garolli's other recent credits as a director include: O Mato Burro (The Donkey Killer) by Fabio Torres; Luar Sobre O Caribe (Moon of the Caribbees) based on the play by Eugene O'Neill; and Pedreira Das Almas (Quarry of the Souls) by Jorge de Andrade. As an actor, he has performed most recently in A Mandrágora (Mandragola) by Maquiavel and Os Executivos (The Executives) by Daniel Besse, both directed by Eduardo Tolentino at Group TAPA; and Os Sete Gatinhos (The Seven Little Cats) by Nelson Rodrigues and O Santo e a Porca (The Saint and the Pork) by Ariano Suassuna, directed by Alexander Reinecke.

About "A Global Exploration: Eugene O'Neill in the 21st Century"

Goodman Theatre begins 2009 with an eight-play landmark theatrical event, "A Global Exploration: Eugene O'Neill in the 21st Century" curated by Artistic Director Robert Falls, January 7 through March 8, 2009. More than 100 artists from six theater companies around the world bring their highly contemporary, inventive interpretations of O'Neill's dramas to the Goodman's Exploration-viewing the 20th century "father of the American drama" through a 21st century international lens.

Productions by participating companies include: The Wooster Group's The Emperor Jones (New York); Companhia Triptal's Homens ao Mar (Sea Plays) (Brazil); The Hypocrites' The Hairy Ape (Chicago); Toneelgroep's Rouw Siert Electra (Amsterdam); and The Neo-Futurists' Strange Interlude (Chicago). The centerpiece of the Exploration is Goodman Theatre's Desire Under the Elms directed by Artistic Director Robert Falls.

The global component of the Eugene O'Neill Exploration expands the international programming that Goodman Theatre has established with productions of The Merchant of Venice in London, Paris and Hamburg; Death of a Salesman in London; Galileo Galilei in London and The Iceman Cometh in Dublin. The biennial Latino Theatre Festival has provided an opportunity for audiences to experience outstanding work from Spain, Mexico and Brazil over the past six years. "In a world in which globalization is a reality, it is essential that outstanding work from the US travels abroad and, at the same time, that Americans experience the cultural life of the rest of the world," said Falls.

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