Antaeus to Present HENRY IV, PART I, PICNIC & UNCLE VANYA in 2015
Multiple award-wining classical theater ensemble The Antaeus Company has announced three fully partner-cast productions for 2015: Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part I; Picnic by William Inge; and Anton Chekhov's beloved Uncle Vanya.
Directed by Michael Murray, Henry IV, Part I will run March 12 through May 3, with previews beginning March 5. Shakespeare's growing-up tale of a young man caught between the joys of hanging around London pubs with the drunken and immoral Falstaff, and taking his rightful place beside his father as a prince fighting to maintain the crown amidst civil war, is part comedy and part tragedy. From drunken revelry to the bloody battlefield, this engaging tale of fathers and sons remains one of Shakespeare's most exciting histories.
Next up, opening on June 18 with Cameron Watson at the helm, William Inge's Picnic explores girls becoming women, and all that entails. On a balmy Labor Day in the American heartland, a group of women are preparing for a picnic... but they'll have to lay a lot on the line before they can lay out the checkered cloths. The arrival of Hal, a handsome young drifter possessed of uncouth manners and titillating charm, sends the women reeling - especially the beautiful Madge, who must decide whether their fleeting encounter is worth changing the course of her life. Performances of this sensual, powerful and delightfully funny Pulitzer Prize-winning classic continue through Aug. 9, with previews beginning June 11.
Wrapping up the season, Robin Larsen will direct Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. Bursting with passion and fierce humor, Chekhov's tragicomic exploration of the human condition is the story of a grown man who must learn to carry on into middle age and beyond. Vanya and his niece Sonya have toiled for years to maintain the crumbling family estate. When Sonya's father, the retired Professor Serebryakov, returns with his dazzling, much younger wife, old resentments explode and secret longings come to light. Through Dec. 6, with previews beginning Oct. 8.
According to Brochtrup, Nagle and Sloan, each of these classics reveals a hard, shining story with an enduring theme. "Packed with challenging roles and headed by three inspiring directors, these are the kinds of plays that we at Antaeus like to take on."
Antaeus productions are initiated by members of the company, and go through an in-depth development process. This usually involves intensive exploration of the chosen text by actors sitting around the big library table. Some rehearsals may follow, then perhaps a reading on the stage for an invited audience (sometimes accompanied by a potluck) or a more formal public reading as part of an Antaeus ClassicsFest series. Eventually, the project might develop into a full production.
The Antaeus Company exists to create a family of artists and audiences and is dedicated to exploring stories with enduring themes. Taking their company name from the Titan who gained strength by touching the Earth, Antaeus members - many of whom are familiar to film and television audiences - gain creative strength by returning to the wellspring of their craft: live theater performances of great classical plays. Unique among 99-seat theater companies in L.A., Antaeus is known for "partner casting." In all Antaeus productions, two equally talented actors collaborate on every role, working together throughout the rehearsal process and enriching the creative experience. Audiences, who rarely see an understudy, frequently return to see the same play in the hands of an equally excellent but very different set of actors.
For more information about The Antaeus Company and the 2015 Season, call 818-506-5436 or visit online at www.antaeus.org.
"Opening the new season in March, Henry IV, Part I sets up a coming of age theme that is pervasive in all three plays," suggest Antaeus co-artistic directors Bill Brochtrup, Rob Nagle and John Sloan. "As Antaeus itself continues to grow and change, these questions resonate with us, and we think they will resonate with our audience, too."