"Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption... there is always something."
These are the words of Willie Stark in Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, All the King's Men. Although it was written in 1946, Warren's story of secrets and the misuse of power extends much deeper than the political arena, and it remains as relevant today as ever. Nola Productions is proud to present this poignant piece, as adapted by Adrian Hall, August 10 - September 15 in the Historic El Portal Theatre's Forum Theatre in North Hollywood.
Following the journey of Jack Burden, this journalist and idealist in 1930's Louisiana meets rising political star Willie Stark and quickly becomes his right-hand man. Stark soon becomes one of the state's most powerful and ruthless figures, lifted onto the shoulders of the poor and the neglected – the people who he gave a voice when no one else would – and carried into the Governor's mansion. As Burden becomes entrenched in Stark's career, it also becomes evident that he is lost in his own life, searching for anything or anyone to believe in. Through his eyes, it is revealed that even the best of men have hidden truths, corruption is timeless and power can be used to create or destroy the lives it touches.
"Warren writes such beautifully poetic and fully fleshed out characters," director David Chrzanowski said of the nation's first Poet Laureate. "Willie continues to fascinate me, because he has a magnetic and gravitational pull on both crooked and honest people alike. And I really trust the source material – it's rich, complex and a constant guiding light during the rehearsal process."
Chrzanowski, who is thrilled to be working on such a challenging and thought-provoking piece with Nola Productions, encouraged the actors to take ownership of the material during that process, looking for both honest and lighter moments. "If we go for the honesty, we won't fail – especially in this play," he shared.
All the King's Men marks Nola Productions' debut on the Los Angeles theatre scene; the company presented another Southern classic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, to enthusiastic audiences in Santa Barbara last summer. Chrzanowski, however, is not new to the likes of theatre in L.A. – he recently directed the wildly popular and critically-acclaimed West Coast premiere of The Spidey Project this past year.
"This play is not just about politics," added producer Gordon Carmadelle, a Louisiana-native. "When you read the novel, there is actually very little about it. People are plotting revenge, trying to bury their pasts, stabbing each other in the back – the tale is filled with sex, infidelity, intimidation, extortion, betrayal, lost love, and so much more. People are fighting for survival inside this political world, and they're willing to do whatever it takes to stay on top."
To purchase tickets online and learn more, visit www.nolaprods.com.