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30th Anniversary Poster: The Wood Demon

"Woodblock printmaking is my preferred medium. When Antaeus Theater Company commissioned me to create a poster for “The Wood Demon” in celebration of their 30th Anniversary, I jumped at the opportunity." - Larry Hughes

Written by: Anton Chekhov, In a World Premiere Translation by Nicholas Saunders & Frank Dwyer.

Act I – The garden on Zheltoukhin’s estate. After 2:00 p.m.
Act II – The Serebryakov’s dining room. After 1:00 a.m.
Act III – The Serebryakov’s living room. Daytime.
Act IV – The forest. The house by the water mill. Late afternoon.

Remembering: The Wood Demon

  • “A spectacular production … with a terrific translation. Director Frank Dwyer and actor Nicholas Saunders, who collaborated on the adaptation, breathe life into this Russian corpse with brusk, playful language. … As a rep group, they’re superb.” – Dan Cox, Daily Variety
  • “A production that is richly nuanced, fast moving, and finely articulated. It modulates gracefully from farcical comedy to near tragedy and back again. … This Wood Demon is a rare treat.” – Neal Weaver
  • “Sumptuously colorful, compellingly performed staging … this is probably the best production of The Wood Demon that any Chekhov fan would want.” – Paul Birchall, Los Angeles Reader

About the Artist

Larry Hughes

Award winning woodblock print artist, Larry Hughes, has been juried into numerous national and international exhibitions. His work can be seen in Artsy, an international online site for art and artists, in an exhibit called “Art In The Time Of Corona” Volume 1 and Volume 2 presented by DabArts.

Although this is his first time designing a poster for the theater, Larry is no stranger to the theater. As a professional musician, Larry has performed in nearly every major Broadway musical to have come to Los Angeles, including having performed with Los Angeles Opera. Currently he is principal clarinet for Opera Santa Barbara, a position he has held for 15 years.

Larry took drawing classes at California State University, Northridge with Hans Burkhardt, the famous Swiss-American abstract expressionist artist, while receiving his Bachelor of Music degree there. He then received his Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

Larry has been working with woodcuts for 25 years but never publicly showed until entering Brand Library’s annual national juried exhibition “Works on Paper” four years ago where he won the “Robert Brown Award” for print making. This experience inspired him to pursue a more public appoach to his work. 

Larry currently lives in Pasadena with his wife, Karla, and his daughter, Elina.

Check out Larry Hughes’ work at LarryPHughes.com.

Creating the Poster:

Woodblock printmaking is my preferred medium. When Antaeus Theater Company commissioned me to create a poster for “The Wood Demon” in celebration of their 30th Anniversary, I jumped at the opportunity. 

Immediately I had ideas about Chekhov’s play and the feelings I wanted to express in a single image. 

His characters all seem to come apart as the play progresses. The character in my woodcut has a manic look and is “coming apart” towards the bottom of the image. The intermingling of the trees reflects the tangled relationships they all share with one another. 

Whether these ideas come through or not is important, but not as important as the image itself. I want my prints to be interesting to look at. If they point to something deeper, all the better, but they must be visually compelling. 

I use wood from the local lumberyard’s scrap woodpile. This gives me the raw quality I’m looking for in the image.

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