Antaeus co-artistic directors Bill Brochtrup, Rob Nagle and John Sloan have announced three classic plays for 2013 that include Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw, The Crucible by Arthur Miller and David Ives' adaptation of Pierre Corneille's The Liar.
"These three plays, which come from very different periods in history, all pose important questions for our lives today," wrote Brochtrup, Nagle and Sloan in a joint statement. "They were all drawn from our pipeline of works in process, so they are, first and foremost, plays that sparked the interest of our actors. We hope audiences will enjoy watching the Antaeus ensemble tackle these terrific roles while being challenged by the brilliance of Shaw, Miller and Corneille via David Ives."
Opening the season in March, Robin Larsen directs Mrs. Warren's Profession, George Bernard Shaw's penetrating and entertaining look at mothers, daughters and the idea of a "woman's place." Mrs. Warren has worked hard to provide a good life for her daughter. But when Vivie finds out the truth about her mother's profession, sparks fly. Armed with wicked wit and astute insight, Shaw pits mother against daughter to expose the corruption and hypocrisy of Victorian society. (March 14-May 5, with previews beginning on March 7)
Next up, in June, Armin Shimerman and Geoffrey Wade co-direct The Crucible, Arthur Miller's parable of mass hysteria that draws a chilling parallel between the Salem witch trials of 1692 and the McCarthyism which gripped America in the 1950s. In a frightening depiction of what can happen when fear clouds fact and reason is replaced by blame, the small community of Salem is stirred into madness by superstition, paranoia and malice. (June 13-August 4, with previews beginning on June 6)
October brings The Liar. Casey Stangl (Peace in Our Time) directs David Ives' wicked "translaptation" (according to Ives, "a translation with a heavy dose of adaptation") of Pierre Corneille's farce that asks whether truth really matters at all in an age obsessed by the surface of things. When the charming and handsome pathological liar Dorante enters Paris, he impresses everyone who hears his stories. But as his lies multiply, will Dorante be able to keep them straight and still manage to get the girl? (October 10-December 1, with previews beginning on October 3)
In addition, Antaeus will present its trademark ClassicsFest-staged readings of classics initiated by company members-in three four-week installments, as well as two scheduled productions by the A2 Ensemble, a subsidiary company of emerging professional actors that represents the next generation of The Antaeus Company.
Antaeus is a cooperative theater ensemble founded to empower the actor and to bring classical theater to Los Angeles. The company exists to create a family of artists and audiences and is dedicated to exploring stories with enduring themes. Taking their company name from the Titan who gained strength by touching the Earth, Antaeus members-many of whom are familiar to film and television audiences-gain creative strength by returning to the wellspring of their craft: live theater performances of great classical plays.
On any given day at Antaeus, ensemble members may get together at the theater or in someone's living room to read and explore a play. That exploration might last one evening, or continue over a period of weeks, or culminate in a ClassicsFest reading where audiences get to hear the play too. Mrs. Warren's Profession, The Crucible and The Liar were all selected for full season production following ClassicsFest readings.
Unique among 99-seat theater companies in L.A., Antaeus is known for "partner casting." In all Antaeus productions, two equally talented actors collaborate on every role, working together throughout the rehearsal process and enriching the creative experience. Audiences, who never see an understudy, frequently return to see the same play in the hands of an equally excellent but very different set of actors. Members of the company and its board span a wide range of age, ethnicity and experience; they have performed on Broadway, at major regional theaters across the country, in film and television, and on local stages, and are the recipients of multiple accolades including Tony, Los Angeles and New York Drama Critics Circle, Ovation, LA Weekly, and Back Stage Garland nominations and awards.