Uncensored Version Of THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY Comes to Book-It

Uncensored Version Of THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY Comes to Book-ItBook-It Repertory Theatre brings The Picture of Dorian Gray to Seattle this June. Directed by Victor Pappas, the famously dark 1890 novel by Oscar Wilde was adapted for the stage by Judd Parkin.

When the irresistible Dorian Gray sees the magnificent portrait his friend Basil Hallward has painted of him, he laments that he will grow old while picture will always remain young. Dorian strikes a Faustian bargain and is granted eternal youth while the portrait ages and records his sins. As his pursuit of pleasure devolves into a life of sin and corruption, Dorian's bargain brings devastating consequences.

Published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890, Oscar Wilde's only novel scandalized Victorian England with its open examination of sex, drugs, and even murder, and its ultimate declaration that hiding from one's true self is the real sin.

The Picture of Dorian Gray was subsequently expanded and sanitized to create the novel version that most readers are familiar with. Book-It has a proud history of presenting banned literature and will stage an adaptation of the original, uncensored edition of the novel. This version depicts the characters' excessive lifestyles, and portrays the attraction between its male characters more explicitly than the republished version. The Picture of Dorian Gray was used as evidence during Wilde's trial for "gross indecency"-a term referring to Wilde's homosexuality-and was a part of the reason he was convicted.

Parkin, who has adapted Book-It titles including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Uncensored and A Moveable Feast, is returning for his fourth production at Book-It which he considers to be his "spiritual and artistic home." He is excited about adapting this particular novel because his mother introduced him to the "wonderfully ghoulish painting" The Picture of Dorian Gray at The Art Institute of Chicago when he was a child. The painting was commissioned for the 1945 film version starring Angela Lansbury and Hurd Hatfield.

Local actor Chip Sherman, who appeared in Book-It's 2017 production of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings as Bailey, will be bringing the devilishly handsome Gray to life. Sherman is overjoyed to have been cast by Victor Pappas in this production because "we as queer theatre practitioners do not get many opportunities to work on stories in the genre of gay suspense."

The cast includes Ian Bond as Ensemble, Anastasia Higham as Sibyl/Ensemble, Jon Lutyens* as Basil Hallward, Michael Patten* as Ensemble, Chip Sherman as Dorian Gray, and Brandon J. Simmons* as Lord Henry Wotton.

The design team includes scenic design by Pete Rush, costume design by Ron Erickson, sound design by Johanna Melamed, and lighting design by Andrew D. Smith.

*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

The Picture of Dorian Gray plays June 6-July 1, 2018 (Opening/Press Night on June 9) at The Center Theatre at the Armory (305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109). Performance tickets start at $26 with group rates available. $15 tickets will be available to students during the entire run with valid school ID. Purchase at book-it.org or by calling the box office at 206.216.0833. The box office is open Tues through Fri, 12:00pm - 5:00pm (Tues - Sat during production run), located in the outer lobby of The Center Theatre at the Armory, 305 Harrison St., Seattle.

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