Antaeus Theatre Company has announced an electric slate of plays for its 2017-18 season at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. Best known for its meticulous productions of classical theater, Antaeus Theatre Company will push boundaries with four plays aimed squarely at modern sensibilities.
Opening the season in October will be Les Liaisons Dangereuses, adapted by Christopher Hampton from the novel by Choderlos de Laclos, directed by Robin Larsen. Sex, revenge, betrayal… let the games begin. This story of seduction and intrigue set in the decadence of pre-revolutionary France isn’t just a battle between the sexes — it’s war. In a world where the one percent holds all the cards, true love cannot be expressed without fear of destruction. (Previews Oct. 19 through Oct. 25, runs Oct. 26 through Dec. 10, 2017)
In January, Nike Doukas will direct The Hothouse by Harold Pinter. A wild, impudent and blisteringly funny look at a government-run mental institution in which the wardens may be madder than the inmates, Pinter wrote The Hothouse in 1958, then shelved it until 1979 when he returned to it and deemed it worthy of production. Under a veil of devilish wit and subversive humor, Pinter’s biting political commentary on the perils of unchecked power is as vital and pertinent today as when he first wrote it. (Previews Jan. 18 through Jan. 24, runs Jan. 25 through March 11, 2018)
Spring brings the Southern California premiere of Native Son, adapted by Nambi E. Kelley from the novel by Richard Wright and directed by Andi Chapman. Richard Wright’s iconic novel about oppression, freedom, and justice comes to life on stage in this ground-breaking adaptation. Suffocating in rat-infested poverty on the South Side of Chicago in the 1930s, 20-year-old Bigger Thomas struggles to find a place for himself in a world whose prejudice has shut him out. After taking a job in a wealthy white man’s house, Bigger unwittingly unleashes a series of events that violently and irrevocably seal his fate. Adapted with theatrical ingenuity by Nambi E. Kelley, this Native Son captures the power of Wright’s novel for a whole new generation. (Previews April 12 through April 18, runs April 19 through June 3, 2018)
The West Coast premiere of Three Days in the Country by Patrick Marber, a version of Turgenev‘s A Month in the Country directed by Andrew Paul, makes for perfect summer fare. In this passionate and comedic update of Turgenev’s classic, a handsome new tutor brings reckless, romantic desire to an eccentric household. Over three days one summer the young and the old will learn lessons in love: first love and forbidden love, maternal love and platonic love, ridiculous love and last love, the love left unsaid and the love which must win out. (Previews July 5 through July 11, runs July 12 through Aug. 26, 2018)
According to co-artistic directors Bill Brochtup, Rob Nagle and John Sloan, “At Antaeus we’re always grappling with what is it that makes something a ‘classic’ and how we can challenge and broaden those definitions. Perhaps the most important question we ask is what does this play have to say to us, a contemporary audience, today? Does the play resonate and surprise us with its timeless insights into human nature? If so, that’s a play we’re interested in bringing to life and which we consider a classic.”
Antaeus is a cooperative theater ensemble founded to empower the actor and to bring classical theater to Southern California. 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 — regain their creative strength by returning to the wellspring of their craft: live theater. Members of the company span a wide range of age, ethnicity and experience; they have performed on Broadway, at major regional theaters across the country, in film, television and on local stages, and are the recipients of numerous accolades and awards. Audiences, who never see an understudy due to Antaeus’ trademark “partner casting,” frequently return to see the same play in the hands of an equally excellent but very different set of actors.
The new Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center complements Glendale’s ongoing commitment to integrate vibrant arts space into the fabric of city life, ensuring the arts remain accessible to all. Located across the street from The Americana at Brand, and just a few blocks from the newly remodeled Glendale Central Library as well as the Alex Theatre, the center promises to build upon Glendale’s growing reputation as an arts and entertainment destination. The center includes an 80-seat theater, a reconfigurable 45-seat performance/classroom space, a theater classics library and a lobby art gallery.