Rock 'n' Roll Musical BEOWULF: A THOUSAND YEARS OF BAGGAGE Kicks Off 2016-17 at Trinity Rep

By: Aug. 03, 2016

Tony Award-winning Trinity Repertory Company kicks off their 2016-2017 season, Ghosts of the Past, Dreams of the Future with Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage, directed by Curt Columbus. Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage running September 8 - October 9, 2016 in Trinity Rep's Chace Theater. Tickets are available at, by calling (401) 351-4242 or at the theater's box office at 201 Washington St., Providence.

Based on one of the most famous pieces of literature of all time, Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage is a raucous rock 'n' roll re-telling of the blood-soaked Old English poem. With music by Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812), the swaggering hero Beowulf defends the great hall of Heorot against the monster Grendel, Grendel's mother, and a fire-breathing a panel of academics overanalyzes his every move. With music The New York Times called, "catchy and pop-infused with echoes of Tom Waits," Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage is the epic legend seen in a visceral, brutal, and tender new light.

"Something we do extremely well at Trinity is to bring bold, new life to classic texts," remarks director Curt Columbus. "We are kicking off our season in this vein, by taking one of the most ancient English texts - Beowulf - and refashioning it for a modern audience with this wild, radical, and funny re-telling. Jason Craig and Dave Malloy have given us a thrilling, musical reinvention that will delight audiences."

Trinity Rep resident company member Charlie Thurston stars as the titular Beowulf. He is joined by fellow company members Stephen Berenson, Janice Duclos, Rebecca Gibel, Anne Scurria, Rachael Warren, and Joe Wilson, Jr. and Brown/Trinity Rep actors Rachel Clausen, Laura Lyman Payne, and Brad Wilson.

The creative team includes Michael McGarty (set design), Olivera Gajic (costume design), Dan Scully (lighting design), Peter Sasha Hurowitz (sound design), Michael Rice (music direction) and Shoshanna Utchenik (puppet design) with stage manager Kelly Hardy.

Jason Craig (book and lyrics) is Co-Founder/Co-Artistic Director of Banana Bag & Bodice, a New York based theater group, where he has produced over ten shows that he has written, including national and international performances of Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage. His work has been commissioned by Shotgun Players in Berkeley CA, Here Arts space and Juggernaut Theater. He has received the Will Glickman Award for Best New Play, and the Herald Angel Award for Best Play at the Edinburgh Fringe festival. Next winter, his musical about Rasputin entitled Beardo will have its New York premiere with Pipeline Theater (co-created with Dave Malloy).

Dave Malloy (music) is a composer/writer/performer/Sound Designer. His shows include Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (headed to Broadway fall of 2016); Ghost Quartet; Preludes; Black Wizard/Blue Wizard; Three Pianos; All Hands; Beardo; Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage; The Sewers; Sandwich; Clown Bible; and (The 99-cent) Miss Saigon. He is the winner of two Obie Awards, the Richard Rodgers Award, an ASCAP New Horizons Award, and a Jonathan Larson Grant. Future projects include adaptations of Moby-Dick and Shakespeare's Henriad. He lives in Brooklyn.

Director Curt Columbus became Trinity Repertory Company's fifth artistic director in January 2006. He is also the artistic director of the Brown/Trinity MFA programs in Acting and Directing. Trinity Rep directing credits include Middletown, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Merchant of Venice, His Girl Friday, Camelot, Cabaret, The Odd Couple, The Secret Rapture, The Receptionist, Memory House, Blithe Spirit, A Christmas Carol ('06, '15), The Cherry Orchard and the world premieres of The Completely Fictional, Utterly True, Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allen Poe and Social Creatures. Trinity Rep has been home to the world premieres of three of his plays, Paris by Night, The Dreams of Antigone, and Sparrow Grass. Trinity has also produced his translations of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard and Ivanov, as well as Georges Feydeau's A Flea in Her Ear.

Prior to coming to Trinity Rep, Curt lived and worked in the Chicago theater scene for almost twenty years. He was artistic associate of Victory Gardens Theater from 1989-1994, the director of the University of Chicago's University Theater from 1994-2000, and the associate artistic director of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater Company from 2000-2005, where he premiered his translations of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and The Cherry Orchard, and Elsa Bernstein's Maria Arndt.

Curt's adaptation of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment (with Marilyn Campbell) has won awards and accolades at theaters around the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. His translation of Chekhov's Three Sisters, developed at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia, was published by Dramatists Play Service, as was his play, Sparrow Grass, and his translation/adaptation of Ivanov.

Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage is sponsored by The Gould Charitable Lead Unitrust. Trinity Rep's 53rd season is sponsored by Ocean State Job Lot and made possible in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The State Theater of Rhode Island, Trinity Repertory Company is now in its 53rd season. Since its founding in 1963, Trinity Repertory Company has been one of the most respected regional theaters in the country. Featuring the last permanent resident Acting Company in America, Trinity Rep presents a balance of world premiere, contemporary, and classic works for an estimated annual audience of approximately 145,000. Since 1963, the theater has produced 66 world premieres, mounted national and international tours, and, through its MFA program, trained hundreds of new actors and directors.

Subscriptions for the 2016-2017 season Ghosts of the Past, Dreams of the Future are now on sale. The season includes Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage, book and lyrics by Jason Craig and music by Dave Malloy, Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, The Mountaintop by Katori Hall, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the world premiere of Faithful Cheaters by Deborah Salem Smith and Fuente Ovejuna by Lope De Vega Carpio. For more information and to purchase tickets, call the box office at (401) 351-4242 or visit Trinity Rep's website at


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