Photo Flash: 'Old Comedy'

Target Margin Theater (David Herskovits, Artistic Director) concludes its acclaimed Greek themed series "On The Greeks" with the world premiere production of OLD COMEDY from Aristophanes' Frogs, by David Greenspan, based on Aristophanes' Frogs, with original music by Thomas Cabaniss presented by Classic Stage Company (Brian Kulick, Artistic Director, Jessica R. Jenen, Executive Director).  Under the direction of David Herskovits, the cast features Purva Bedi, Davina Cohen, Charlie Hudson, III, Michael Levinton, Derek Lucci, Pedro Pascal, Anthony Mark Stockard and Tina Shepard.  Performances began May 7, 2008 for a limited engagement through May 31, 2008 at Classic Stage Company (136 East 13th Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues, just southeast of Union Square).  Opening night is Sunday evening, May 11, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.

Old Comedy from Aristophanes' Frogs is the final production of Target Margin's remarkable two-season exploration of classical Greek literature, drama, philosophy and poetry that began in 2006. This current season included a comprehensive look at Aristophanes in November 2007 with a production of each and every one of his works – except for The Frogs. Over the course of three weeks, 24 pieces were created and presented by artistic associates of Target Margin working under the artistic mentorship of David Herskovits.   

Last season's critically acclaimed Greek work included productions of As Yet Thou Art Young and Rash and Women of Trachis at The Ohio Theater, and The Argument and Dinner Party at The Kitchen. 

As Yet Thou Art Young and Rash based on Euripides' Suppliants, explored the outcome of war, the mourning and the loss.   "In bringing classical tragedy down to earth without losing its forceful poetry, this idiosyncratic version gives our current polis a surprisingly faithful and satisfying dose of healing," Time Out New York. While the New York Times stated "A universal mediation on loss.  A concrete expression of people coming together to take comfort in the rituals of mourning and nostalgia."  

The acclaimed double bill of two one-act adaptations:  the much lauded The Argument based on Aristole's Poetics adapted by and featuring the sublime David Greenspan in a tour-de-force performance. "Mr. Greenspan seems to be in motion of some kind, seducing us through abstruse passages with a clap, a snap, a histrionic flourish of the hand.  He holds the attention through his obviously heartfelt interest in the subject," said the NY Times, and Dinner Party based on Plato's Symposium.  "Rather than telling us what to think, the production encourages us to think, proving that wrestling with ideas can be incredibly entertaining," said Variety.

Old Comedy from Aristophanes' Frogs, a  new adaptation by OBIE-award winner David Greenspan and commissioned by Target Margin Theater and presented by Classic Stage Company, begins in Aristophanes' Athens, which is mired in a horrible and losing war, bereft of political and artistic leadership.  Old Comedy from Aristophanes' Frogs explores a cultural crisis: are the theater's great creators gone? And, if so, how are we to find or create new ones? 

Aristophanes' heroes search for a poet because the state itself needs guidance. Only the poets know what can be done to save it, and what kind of leadership speaks to us meaningfully today. These questions extend to the larger cultural and political life of our country. In the end, Old Comedy from Aristophanes' Frogs gives us the opportunity to reflect on our own culture's loss of an apparent center. 

As Target Margin Theater planned the second season of a two-year exploration of Greek works, it became clear that Aristophanes' Frogs was one of the most compelling and resonant works.  Long-time TMT collaborator David Greenspan was invited to work with the company on the project and was commissioned to write a new adaptation of the piece. Greenspan wrote and performed Target Margin's critically-acclaimed production of The Argument in 2007.  Greenspan and Herskovits collaborated on the ideas, both ancient and modern, that have shaped this adaptation.

"Premiering Old Comedy from Aristophanes' Frogs at Classic Stage Company offers Target Margin a huge opportunity, greatly enhancing the potential impact of the piece," said David Herskovits. "We believe that Target Margin Theater's unique sensibility harnessed to the platform offered by our partners at CSC can make Old Comedy from Aristophanes' Frogs an important event artistically and culturally." 

Brian Kulick, CSC's Artistic Director, echoed the sentiment: "It is a great pleasure to have Target Margin back at CSC after their triumphant production of Faust. Getting them here is always a terrific infusion of energy, invention and abandon that is nothing short of intoxicating. This is a company that knows how to make the perfect 'theatrical cocktail' so prepare to be shaken and stirred." 

The creative team includes David Evans Morris (Set), Meredith Palin (Costumes), and Lenore Doxsee (Lighting). The Production Stage Manager is Ryan C. Durham. 

The performance schedule for Old Comedy from Aristophanes' Frogs is Tuesdays – Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00 p.m.  Single tickets are $45 for weekday performances and $50 for weekend performances and may be purchased online at www.classicstage.org, by calling 866-811-4111, or in person at Classic Stage Company, 136 East 13 Street, between 3rd & 4th Avenue, Monday – Friday 12-6pm, or by visiting www.targetmargin.org. Tickets will be available during previews, May 7-10, at a discounted rate of $33.75.



Charlie Hudson III and Derek Lucci


Pedro Pascal and Derek Lucci


Pedro Pascal (left), Michael Levinton (rear) and Derek Lucci (right)


Purva Bedi and Pedro Pascal


(Front L-R) Purva Bedi, Davina Cohen, (Rear L-R) Charles Hudson III, Michael Levinton and Anthony Mark Stockard

Photos by Joe Dore

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