Arena Stage Presents Lookingglass's METAMORPHOSES, 2/8-3/17
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by BWW News Desk
Following its acclaimed 16-week run at the Lookingglass Theatre Company this fall, Metamorphoses brings the mythical tales of Ovid to life at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, 10 years after the Broadway premiere. Written and directed by Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman, Metamorphoses is based on David Slavitt's translation and marks the first time Zimmerman will direct the production since its Broadway run. This is also the first time Zimmerman will stage Metamorphoses in the round, and a custom set will be designed with the largest pool of water ever created for this production. Metamorphoses dives onto the Fichandler Stage February 8-March 17, 2013.
"Mary Zimmerman's work touches deep truths about what it means to be human. Her productions are visual and poetic and she is a master of unusual stagecraft," says Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith. "How exciting to build the muscular world of Metamorphoses in the Fichandler space."
Zimmerman originally created Metamorphoses with students at Northwestern University under the name Six Myths. Its first professional production was at Lookingglass in 1998, and what was originally a five-week run extended to nearly eight months, receiving vast critical acclaim and earning Jeff Awards for New Adaptation and Lighting Design. The production then toured to several regional theater companies and landed at New York's Second Stage Theatre in 2001, where Time magazine named it "Best Play of the Year" and Zimmerman received the Obie Award for Direction.
Metamorphoses opened on Broadway in 2002 at Circle in the Square Theatre and ran for nearly a year, earning Zimmerman the Tony Award for Best Direction. While in New York, Metamorphoses also won Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Music in a Play, as well as the Drama League Award for Best Play and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play. The production and its evolving journey was such a touchstone for many of the original artists involved that three marriages and four children have resulted from the creative relationships formed.
The Arena Stage cast features several actors who have been with Metamorphoses since its earliest stages. Chris Kipiniack (Cinyras) and Louise Lamson (Alcyon) first worked with Zimmerman on Metamorphoses at Northwestern and continued with it through its Broadway production. Raymond Fox (Midas), Doug Hara (Phaeton) and Lisa Tejero (Therapist) will also reprise their roles from Chicago and Broadway. Joining them are Ashleigh Lathrop (Myrrha), Lauren Orkus (Eurydice) and Tempe Thomas (Aphrodite) from the recent Chicago production. Joining the cast in D.C. are Geoff Packard (playing Ceyx, recently seen as the title role in Candide) and Derek Hasenstab (Hermes), who has been part of several Metamorphoses productions across the country.
"Whenever and wherever we have done this show, audiences immediately connect to the stories because metamorphoses-change, unlooked for and often unwanted-is an inescapable fact of our lives; it binds us together," remarks Zimmerman. "These myths give a kind of comfort in that they assert that it was ever thus-that change is the only constant-and yet, out of any destruction, something new is born. And aside from all this, the stories are gripping because they have a kind of wit, an unexpected humor that is born from both their strangeness and their familiarity. I'm really looking forward to revisiting the production after all these years."
The creative team of Metamorphoses who will remount their work in the round includes Set Designer Dan Ostling, Costume Designer Mara Blumenfeld, Lighting Designer T.J. Gerckens, Sound Designer Andre Pluess, Original Music Composer Willy Schwarz, Stage Manager Cynthia Cahill and Assistant Stage Manager Marne Anderson.
About Metamorphoses: Returning to D.C. for the first time since her smash hit productions of The Arabian Nights and Candide in 2011, MacArthur "Genius" Mary Zimmerman returns with Metamorphoses. Zimmerman's magical interpretation of Ovid's Metamorphoses proves myths about romance, family, loss and redemption never go out of style. Through lyrical storytelling and stunning imagery, Zimmerman conjures the force of Ovid's ancient myths into a wondrous world where gods and mortals interact in a giant pool on our famous in-the-round stage. These timeless stories ripple through the depths of imagination, reminding audiences of the transformative power of theater.
Mary Zimmerman (Director and Writer)'s work was first seen at Arena Stage in 2011 with The Arabian Nights, which was, like Metamorphoses, originally produced by Lookingglass Theatre of Chicago. Other D.C. work includes Candide (Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Director, Resident Musical), Pericles (Helen Hayes nomination, Outstanding Director, Resident Play) and Argonautika at the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Metamorphoses appeared on Broadway in 2001-2002 and was nominated for Tony Awards for Best Production, Design and Direction-which Mary won. Other works of Mary's, including The Odyssey, Journey to the West, Eleven Rooms of Proust, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci and The Secret in the Wings originated in Chicago and have been performed all over the country and internationally. She has directed three operas at the Metropolitan Opera. Her most recent work, The White Snake, developed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and just finished a run at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Mary received the MacArthur Fellowship in 1998 and is a Professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern.
The Cast of Metamorphoses (in alphabetical order)
Doug Hara (Phaeton and others) was part of the original Chicago, Off-Broadway and Broadway casts (Lookingglass, Second Stage and Circle in the Square) of Metamorphoses, as well as regional productions at Berkeley Rep, Seattle Rep and Mark Taper Forum. He is an Ensemble Member of Lookingglass Theatre Company where he has participated in 16 productions since 1991 including West, The Arabian Nights, Up Against It, The Master and Margarita, Lookingglass Hamlet, Lookingglass Alice and The Brothers Karamazov. Goodman Theatre productions include Journey to the West and The Odyssey. Arden Theatre productions include A Prayer for Owen Meany, Something Intangible, Threepenny Opera and Cyrano. Two River Theater Productions include Our Town, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Charlotte's Web, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and HONK! Broadway credits: The Boys of Winter and Metamorphoses. Off-Broadway: The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci and Lookingglass Alice. Doug has performed at many regional theatres including About Face Theatre, Jellyeye Drum Opera, Huntington Theatre, Berkeley Rep, Seattle Rep, Mark Taper Forum, The ALLIANCE THEATRE, Syracuse Stage, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Brooklyn Academy Of Music and Joyce Theatre.
Derek Hasenstab (Hermes and others) performed as Zazu in the Broadway National Tour of The Lion King. Chicago credits include: Iago in Disney's Aladdin, Franz/Dennis in Sunday in the Park with George and Peter Quince in Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night's Dream (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Oedipus Complex (Goodman Theatre); A Home at the End of the World, Cloud Nine (After Dark Award, About Face Theatre); Dealer's Choice, Phyro Giants!, Was, Ecstasy (RoadWorks Productions); The Buddy Holly Story, A Christmas Carol, I Hate Hamlet, The Foreigner (After Dark Award, Drury Lane Oakbrook). Other regional credits include: Tom in The Glass Menagerie (Kansas City Rep) and Metamorphoses (Mark Taper Forum).
Chris Kipiniak (Cinyras and others)'s Broadway credits include Metamorphoses (Circle in the Square). Off-broadway: Kit Marlowe (Public Theater), Nora (Marvell Repertory) and Charles Winn Speaks... (Living Image Arts). London: How To Act Around Cops (Soho Theatre, also New York and Edinburgh International Fringe Festivals). Chicago: The Odyssey and Wit (Goodman Theatre). Film/TV: "Delocated," "Law & Order," "The Good Wife," the feature "The Poker Club" and the short "Trying" (also writer, director). Playwriting: Stalled (Horse Trade Theater Group and Hangar Theatre Lab), Save the World (Roundtable Ensemble), Change the Be and IIIINSAAAAAAAANE!!!! (Horse Trade Theater Group). Other writing: Nightcrawler, Amazing Fantasy and Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man for Marvel Comics.
Louise Lamson (Alcyon and others) appeared in an early version of Metamorphoses entitled Six Myths, while still a student at Northwestern in 1996, and was also part of the original Chicago, Off-Broadway and Broadway casts, as well as regional productions at the Berkeley Rep, Seattle Rep and Mark Taper Forum. She is an Artistic Associate at Lookingglass and her credits include The Idiot, Hard Times, The Secret in the Wings, Manuscript Found in Saragossa, The Wooden Breeks, Icarus (at the Getty Villa, L.A.), The Brothers Karamazov, Our Town and The Arabian Nights. Some Chicago credits include About Face Theatre's Bash (After Dark award and Jeff nomination), The Odyssey (Goodman) and The Adventures of Herculina (Next Theatre). New York credits include The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (Second Stage).
Ashleigh Lathrop (Myrrha and others)'s Chicago credits include Short Shakespeare! The Comedy of Errors (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), FML: How Carson McCullers Saved My Life (Steppenwolf Theatre), The Twins Would Like to Say (Dog & Pony Theatre Co.) and Sharee in Cooperstown (Theatre Seven). Other credits include Taming of the Shrew, The Critic, The Cure at Troy, As You Like It, All's Well That Ends Well and Major Barbara (American Players Theatre); Ophelia in Hamlet and I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).
Lauren Orkus (Eurydice and others) most recently performed in Metamorphoses with the Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago. NY credits include: My Sweet Charlie (Abingdon Theatre), End's Eve (NY Fringe Festival), Ivanov (Gene Frankel) and Hollow (Dixon Place). Regional credits include: The Snow Queen (Portland Stage Company); The Comedy of Errors, Two Noble Kinsmen (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival); The Diary of Anne Frank (St. Louis Rep); Doubt (Weston Playhouse); Night of the Iguana (Berkshire Theatre Festival); The House in Hydesville (Geva Theatre); Arms and the Man (Orlando Shakespeare Theater); A Christmas Carol (Am. Drama Group Europe- German Tour); The Crucible, The Diary of Anne Frank (Asolo Repertory Theatre). She has an MFA in Acting from the FSU/Asolo Theatre Conservatory and a BA in Theater from Penn State University.
Geoff Packard (Ceyx and others)'s Broadway credits include Rock of Ages and The Phantom of the Opera. National tours: Wicked and The Phantom of the Opera. Regional credits include: Candide at Goodman Theatre (Jeff Award), Shakespeare Theatre Company (Helen Hayes Award) and Huntington Theatre; Angels in America (Court Theater); LiberTy Smith and Shenandoah (Ford's Theatre); Winesburg, Ohio (Kansas City Rep); Where's Charley? (Goodspeed Opera House) and Violet (CCM's Hot Summer Nights). TV: Guiding Light.
Lisa Tejero (Therapist and others) appeared on and Off-Broadway in Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses. Regional credits include: Henry V and The White Snake (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); A Christmas Carol, Ghostwritten, Mirror of the Invisible World, Silk, The Odyssey, As You Like It, Journey to the West, Skin of Our Teeth, Winter's Tale (Goodman Theatre); Ethan Frome, Fedra: Queen of Haiti, Argonautika, Old Curiosity Shop, 1984, S/M (Lookingglass Theatre Company); Kafka on the Shore (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Lady Macbeth (Oak Park Shakespeare). Also: Victory Gardens, Court Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Cincinnati Repertory, St. Louis Repertory, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Rep, Berkeley Rep, Missouri Rep and Milwaukee Rep. Film: Medicine Show, Chain Reaction, Above the Law, Deevolution of Ethan Chadwick. TV: All My Children, A Man's Woman, Angel Street, Mississippi. She received a 2002 Drama League Distinguished Performance nomination for Metamorphoses and After Dark Awards for Shanghai Gesture and M. Butterfly.
Tempe Thomas (Aphrodite and others) makes her Arena Stage debut in Metamorphoses. She last performed locally as the Queen of El Dorado in Mary Zimmerman's Candide (Shakespeare Theatre Company). Regional credits include Candide (Goodman, Huntington), Gertrude in Seussical (Marriott, Drury Lane), Betty Jean in Marvelous Wonderettes (Northlight, Capitol Repertory Theatre), Little Edie in the Chicagoland premiere of Grey Gardens (Northlight), Maria Elena in Buddy Holly (Drury Lane), Marty in Grease (Marriott), Brooke in Water Coolers (Lakeshore Theatre, Riverfront Theatre) and Percy in Spitfire Grill (Provision Theatre). New York credits include Bessie 1 in the TAM award-winning production of River's End (NYMF) and Carol in ...Tales of the 8th Grade! (NYC Fringe). She has toured with Classical Kids Live! in their production of Tchaikovsky Discovers America.
Tickets for Metamorphoses are $40-$85, subject to change and based on availability, plus applicable fees. For information on savings programs such as student discounts, Southwest Nights, Pay-Your-Age tickets, HOTTIX and Hero's Discounts, visit arenastage.org/shows-tickets/single-tickets/savings-programs. Tickets may be purchased online at arenastage.org, by phone at 202-488-3300 or at the Sales Office at 1101 Sixth St., SW, D.C.
The show runs Sunday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday & Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and weekday matinees at noon on 2/26, 2/27 & 3/6. Full calendar HERE.
Open-captioned performances: 2/20 at 7:30 p.m., 2/21 at 8:00 p.m.
METRO: Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater is only one block from the Waterfront-SEU Metro station (Green Line). When exiting the station, walk west on M Street toward Sixth Street, and the main entrance to the Mead Center is on the right.
PARKING: Parking is available in Arena Stage's on-site garage. Subscribers may purchase parking in advance for $16. Single ticket buyers may purchase parking in advance for $18 or on the day of the performance for $20 on a first-come, first-served basis. Limited handicapped parking is available by reservation. Advanced parking must be reserved by calling 202-488-3300. The entrance to the Mead Center garage is on Maine Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets, and the garage closes one hour after the day's last performance ends. Patrons can also park at the Public Parking Garage at 1101 Fourth Street, one block from the Mead Center, for $11. Street parking is also available along Maine Avenue and Water Street.
VALET PARKING: Arena Stage offers valet service at no additional cost to patrons with accessibility needs who call 202-488-3300 in advance to request valet parking. On days when valet parking is being used for accessibility, it is also available to general patrons one hour prior to show time for $25, based on availability. To use valet parking, pull up to the main entrance on Sixth Street.
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater is a national center dedicated to the production, presentation, development and study of American theater. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith and Executive Director Edgar Dobie, Arena Stage is the largest company in the country dedicated to American plays and playwrights. Arena Stage produces huge plays of all that is passionate, exuberant, profound, deep and dangerous in the American spirit, and presents diverse and ground-breaking work from some of the best artists around the country. Arena Stage is committed to commissioning and developing new plays through the American Voices New Play Institute. Now in its seventh decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of more than 300,000.
Photo Credit: Liz Lauren