…to help assure the survival of the appreciation of the written word…
Plummer quietly concludes his show with an ardent defense of our literary heritage: “We must implore, beseech, entice, cajole, persuade, induce the children to read everything of value, of beauty while they’re young or what’s a heaven for?”
He then quotes Emily Dickinson, a fitting thing to do for a performer whose art has been galvanized by poetry.
(from the LA Times)
…and what better way to affirm your commitment to doing so than…
Webster’s English is some of the best on offer anywhere, bar none. Become a part of this incredible adventure in logophilia.
I am very pleased to have Pablo Santiago designing the lights for this show. Like Eun Nym Cho, the set and costume designer for The Duchess of Malfi, Pablo is a graduate of the MFA program in design at UCLA.
Pablo is the winner of the Cirque Du Soleil Scholarship Award, James Pendleton Foundation Prize, Kovler Foundation Award and the Executive Board Award. In 2013 he designed “Spring Awakening”, “Il Segreto di Susanna”, L’Enfant et Les Sortileges for Peter Kazaras and the Opera School, in addition to Set and Lights for “Strip Tease” and “The Killing Game”. Last summer Pablo lit “Empanada For A Dream” and “The Psychic Life of Savages” at LATC and “Year of The Rabbit” and “The Belle of Belfast” at EST; He has also designed: “RENT”, “Erendira”, “Adding Machine”, “A Dark Sun”, “The Ginger Man” and “Exploding Lear” at UCLA-TFT. Pablo has also done extensive work in Dance his credits include: “Laudromatinee”, “Catch Your Breath”, by Heidi Duckler, “Mother F*cker” by Christine Suarez and “Surveillance Solos” by Rebecca Alson-Milkman, WAC-MFA concerts at UCLA, “Back Flash Forward”, HiT tHe GrOund/RuNniNG and Exit Strategy; Other credits include: A shared evening by Rande Dorn “As We Grow Down” and Arianne MacBean “People Go Where The Chairs Are,” ”Commuter Festival and Westwaves dance festival (Randé), the AWARDS show LA at REDCAT (Randé and Arianne), and the AWARDS show San Francisco at ODC (choreographer: Manuelto Biag), String Theory at the Broad Theater SM, “H2Eau” for choreographer: Paula Present at Fais Do Do. In addition to “Little Shop of Horrors” and Bugsy, (Director: Nancy Fraciolla).
Eunnym Cho is a scenic and costume designer. She discovered her extraordinary passion for theater when she participated in a backstage workshop at the age of 16. Since then, she has been actively involved in theater as a creative and enthusiastic scenic, costume, and prop designer. Recent scenic design credits include Spring Awakening, directed by Nicholas Gunn, and Antwone Fisher: A Play directed by Antwone Fisher. Recent costume design credits include Time Stands Still, directed by Marya Mazor, and Hay Fever, directed by Jessica Kubzansky. Visit her website for more information at eunnymcho.com.
I am very pleased to be working again with Jeff Gardener, who designed the sound for our inaugural production, Conversation Storm/The House of Cards. Jeff is an “actor/sound designer”, and will be doing both in The Duchess of Malfi. He’ll be playing the role of Antonio, as well as designing the sound.
Jeff is an actor/sound designer born and raised in Los Angeles. He has performed with The Shakespeare Theatre, DC, The Studio Theatre, A Noise Within, The Kennedy Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival and is a member of The Antaeus Company in North Hollywood. Jeff has toured with his award-winning solo show, KILL YOUR TELEVISION, can be seen at LA Theatre Works where he regularly performs live sound effects and is resident sound designer for the Westridge School in Pasadena. Acting credits include MACBETH, KING LEAR (The Antaeus Company); HAMLET (The Globe Playhouse); THE TEMPEST (A Noise Within); LITTLE WOMEN (Kennedy Center, National Tour); SKYLIGHT (The Studio Theatre); HENRY V w/ Harry Hamlin, MEASURE FOR MEASURE w/ Kelly McGillis (The Shakespeare Theatre, DC); Other regional credits include OUR TOWN w/ James Whitmore and THE SEAGULL w/ Christopher Walken (Williamstown Theatre Festival).
So glad to be working with Jeff again!
We made a big announcement today. We have begun fundraising for our upcoming production of John Webster’s play The Duchess of Malfi.
So…John Webster? Who’s John Webster?
Actually, you know.
If you that looks familiar, but you can’t quite place it, you can watch the clip here, although you might have to put up with some pretty annoying advertising.
Better fortune, boy.I was in a play.They cut my head off in Titus Andronicus.When I write plays, they’ll be like Titus.You admire it.I liked it when they cut heads off,and the daughter mutilated with knives.What’s your name?John Webster.Here, kitty, kitty.Plenty of blood.That’s the only writing.I have to get back.See, where he comes. So please you step aside.
THAT’S John Webster. The one feeding the mice to the cat.
And… the part about plenty of blood is no lie.
But it’s also a caricature of what Webster is all about:
But as this article from an Oxford University website points out:
Although Webster’s plays include adultery, murder, treachery, and political machinations, he doesn’t write that way just for the shock value. His plays reveal real, albeit unpleasant, truths about people: he brings out issues of class divide, the nature of justice, love and lust, the role of religion, political obligation, sibling relations, and immorality in the courts. Webster creates characters that both are and are not sympathetic, complex in a manner not unlike real human beings. All the while he masterfully crafts the play’s structure to prolong suspense.
And I think he had a thing or two to say about the anguish of being and facing death as the ultimate test of character. Or as TS Eliot put it:
Webster was much possessed of death/
He saw the skull beneath the skin
Anyway, I hope you’ll join us for the show, which is planned for May, and if you’d consider donating to support our effort, we would be most grateful.
Here’s a slideshow created by the great Alex Fishkin, with music he composed for Uranium Madhouse’s 2012 production of Brecht’s A Man’s A Man, with photographs by Travis Shakespeare and Jim Utter.
Greetings, Sammy Fishkin, brand new son of Alex Fishkin, composer for our upcoming production of A Man’s A Man and member of the Uranium Madhouse Advisory Board. We are deeply honored to make your acquaintance!
Brecht Comedy Finds its Men
Uranium Madhouse Artistic Director, Andrew Utter, has announced the cast for the company’s upcoming production, a new translation of Bertolt Brecht’s A Man’s a Man.
The play tells story of a group of soldiers whose burglary of a local pagoda goes disastrously awry, forcing them to replace one of their own men with a local dockhand. An enterprising widow, keeper of the camp canteen, aids the soldiers in evading discovery by their merciless, bloodthirsty sergeant.
The soldiers will be played by Ian Forester, Andrew Perez, Alex Sell, and Chris Wallinger. Terence Leclere has been cast as the mutable dockhand, Galy Gay. Yolanda Seabourne will play beer wagon proprietress, Leucadia Begbick and Kelly Van Kirk has been cast as her sleuthing paramour, Sergeant Charles Fairchild, also known as “Bloody Five.” The cast is rounded out by Feodor Chin, as keeper of the violated pagoda and Megan Faillace, in the role of Mrs. Galy Gay.
Says Utter of the casting process “We took a “keep-it-in-family” approach to casting this time out, eschewing an open call and working with actors in our own network with a clear commitment to theater. It’s worked out really well.”
In addition to directing, Utter also translated A Man’s a Man from the 1953 version of Brecht’s German text.
Of working on the new translation, Utter says “I love Brecht’s sense of the absurd and the ridiculous, and while I was translating the play, I had the distinct feeling that Brecht was sitting there with me, and we would chortle together about the jokes and shenanigans of the characters. It was a deeply satisfying experience.”
Production design will be handled by Uranium Madhouse Resident Designer, Erik Flatmo. Composer Alex Fishkin is creating original music for the new translation.
A Man’s a Man will be the second production for the company that calls itself, “LA’s most fissionable theater cabal.” Says Uranium Madhouse co-founder, Yolanda Seabourne, “we describe ourselves as “fissionable” because it represents potential for power and impact yet unrealized but at the brink of bursting with possibility.”
A Man’s a Man will be performed at Atwater Village Theater, Fridays and Saturdays from July 13 to August 4. Tickets available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/245480.