Shattered Globe Announce Orpheus Descending at Stage 773
Jan 9, 2012
As part of Shattered Globe's 20th Anniversary Season, the Stage 773 resident company will present Orpheus Descending, written by Tennessee Williams and directed by guest artist Julieanne Ehre.
Orpheus Descending is inspired by the Greek myth and features a young, charismatic musician who descends on a small, repressive Southern town. There, he forms a relationship with a passionate woman who has a tragic past - and is trapped in a loveless marriage. Williams' story of loneliness and desire, sexuality and repression and the ever-present longing for freedom continues to shock and entertain audiences 50 years after its 1957 debut.
"In bringing you Orpheus Descending, we want you to be drawn to Williams' characters, his story and to experience a heightened theatricality that moves away from traditional realism," says director, Julieanne Ehre. "Our production marries Williams' powerhouse, realistic characters with his poetic imagination."
Shattered Globe's Artistic Director, Roger Smart, chose to present Orpheus Descending this season because of the way the play deals with outsiders. "Orpheus Descending deals with differences. Differences in terms of race and belief and how power is exercised in a male dominated society." He said adding, "It isn't very difficult to look at the circumstances Williams presents in this play and relate them to contemporary attitudes towards immigrants or others who might be perceived as 'outsiders'."
Orpheus Descending is written by Tennessee Williams and directed by Julieanne Ehre. The cast includes Shattered Globe ensemble members, Eileen Niccolai as Lady Torrance, Joe Weins as Val Xavier, as well as ensemble members Kevin Kenneally, Alice Pacyga, Drew Schad and Angie Shriner with Jacob Alexander, Courtney Boxwell, Derek Gaspar, Arch Harmon, Katherine Schwartz, Jessica Thigpen and Heather Townsend.
The creative team includes: Courtney O'Neill (scenic design), Lindsay Schmeling (costume design), Charles Cooper (lighting design), Christopher Kriz (sound design), Judy Anderson (production manager), Eva Breneman (vocal coach), Michael Holtzman (assistant director/dramaturg), Noel Huntzinger (props design), Kate LoConti (movement consultant), Greg Poljacik (fight choreographer), Lindsay Ricketts (stage manager) and Amanda Rozmiarek (technical director).
Tennesee Williams was born Thomas Lanier Williams in Columbus, Mississippi in 1911, Tennessee was the son of a shoe company executive and a Southern belle. His first critical acclaim came in 1944 when The Glass Menagerie opened in Chicago and went to Broadway, winning a number of awards. He followed that with a number of other successes including A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
First presented on Broadway in 1957, Orpheus Descending deals with reoccurring themes in Williams' work such as loneliness, the artist as outsider and a desire to escape the corruption of the human spirit. Three years later, a movie version was released. It was renamed The Fugitive Kind and starred Marlon Brando who had previously appeared in the movie version of A Streetcar Named Desire. Orpheus Descending thenresurfaced on Broadway in 1989 at the Neil Simon Theater with director Peter Hall and Vanessa Redgrave as Lady Torrance.
Julieanne Ehre makes her Shattered Globe debut with Orpheus Descending. She has directed productions, workshops and readings for American Blues, American Theater Company, Chicago Dramatists Workshop, Curious Theatre Branch, the Goodman Theatre, Red Tape Theatre, Remy Bumppo Theatre, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Silk Road Theatre Project, Steep Theatre and Victory Gardens. As Artistic Director of Greasy Joan & Co. for five years, she directed and produced premiere adaptations of classics including Sueño by Jose Rivera, Pam Gems' version of Lady from the Sea as well as Macbeth, The Oresteia, The Nose, and Antigone, among others. She was awarded an NEA/TCG New Generations "Future Leaders" fellowship at the Goodman Theatre and was subsequently invited by TCG to attend the 2011 World Theater Congress in Xiamen, China. Julieanne serves on the Arts Committee in the Edgewater neighborhood where she is currently co-producing a Fable Festival for a newly established Arts Center.
Orpheus Descending opens Friday, February 10 at Stage 773, 1225 West Belmont Ave and runs Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm through March 11, 2012. Ticket prices range from $18 to $34 and can be purchase online at www.stage773.com or by calling 773.327.5252, Tuesdays thru Sundays from 1 PM until showtime. For more information on Shattered Globe's 20th anniversary season, please visit www.shatteredglobe.org.
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