THE DANCE OF DEATH Opens October 17 At The American Theatre Of Actors

THE DANCE OF DEATH Opens October 17 At The American Theatre Of Actors

In 1815, just months after the decisive Battle of Waterloo, in which the United Kingdom and Germany overthrew Napoleon Bonaparte, the great Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott made a pilgrimage to the battlefield. He memorialized the occasion by writing a poem--"The Field of Waterloo"--to help raise money for the survivors of the battle and their families. Then, when finished with that task, he was overcome by the feeling that the ghosts of of the dead soldiers on the battlefield were being called to join the spirits of other deceased militiamen, joining in the Dance of Death, in which the dead remind the living of their impending demise. The extremely superstitious Scott then wrote a poetic description of this vision, "The Dance of Death."

The American Theatre of Actors, in conjunction with Collectio Musicorum, Inc., presents a dramatic version of Scott's poem, in which a soldier on the eve of the great battle is visited by the spirits of his predecessors. In "The Dance of Death" the spirits of dead soldiers return to earth to let those who will die in battle know the fate that awaits. They dance demonically, scaring the living with visions of life after death. The wild, devilish dance encompasses the entire theatre.

The spooky tale is being presented in time for Halloween, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 PM from October 17-20 and 24-27, with special performances on Sunday, October 21 at 5 PM and Sunday, October 28 at 2 PM. Tickets are $15 and may be reserved by calling 212 581 3044 or may be purchased at as part of the Off-Off Broadway Explorers program.

The production is directed by Jeff S. Dailey, noted as a specialist in the works of Sir Walter Scott and as a stage director specializing in verse drama. His recent productions include dramatic versions of Anglo-Saxon poems and the works of the pre-Shakespearean playwright John Bale. The cast features Zachary Baum, Kyle Ferris, Joshua Karen, Daniel Martin, Matthew Pappadia, Daniel Wuerdeman, JP Zippi.

Founded in 1976 by James Jennings, the American Theatre of Actors is one of New York City's oldest Off-Off Broadway theatres, presenting dozens of performances of both classical and contemporary plays each year. The American Theatre of Actors is located at 314 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019, accessible by the N, Q, and R trains at 57th Street and the 1, A, B, C, and D trains at Columbus Circle.

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