Bill Pullman Is Blind, Broken Leader in Benefit of Oedipus at Colonus, Dec. 2 in NYC

News   Bill Pullman Is Blind, Broken Leader in Benefit of Oedipus at Colonus, Dec. 2 in NYC As a prelude to its 2005 season in Manhattan, the classically-minded Aquila Theatre Company will present Bill Pullman in a rehearsed reading of Oedipus at Colonus Dec. 2.
Bill Pullman (right), with Saundra Sullivan
Bill Pullman (right), with Saundra Sullivan Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Aquila artistic director Peter Meinick penned the translation of the Sophocles tragedy and directs.

The presentation is 8 PM Dec. 2 at Aquila's New York base, Baruch Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $30 and all proceeds will benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Pullman recently starred on Broadway in The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?

"Oedipus at Colonus relates to the last days of the famous Theban leader," according to Aquila notes. "He has been forced out of his home by his sons after the revelation that he has cursed Thebes by murdering his father and marrying his mother. He now wanders as an outcast, begging for scraps of food and seeking shelter, accompanied by his loyal daughter, Antigone. Arriving in Colonus on the outskirts of Athens, Oedipus invades a sacred shrine and refuses to move, declaring it his place of destiny. The arrival of this famous pariah has enormous consequences for Athens, Thebes and the family of Oedipus."

Pullman has a long history of working in the theatre in New York, receiving early critical acclaim performing as Wesley in Curse of the Starving Class, opposite Kathy Bates. He has appeared with the Folger Theatre Group and Geva Theater. With Los Angeles Theatre Center, he performed in Barabbas, All My Sons and Demon Wine. At Met Theater, he appeared in Beth Henley's Control Freaks with Holly Hunter. He made his big screen debut in the 1986 comedy, "Ruthless People," and has since appeared in more than 50 feature films, including "The Accidental Tourist," "A League of Their Own," "Sleepless in Seattle," "Independence Day," "Igby Goes Down" and "The Grudge." Peter Meineck is a professor of Classics at New York University. He founded Aquila Theater Company in 1991 to stage bold, innovative productions of classical drama. Since then he has produced 33 shows, directed six productions, wrote, translated or adapted nine, and designed the lighting for 22.

Next up for the troupe known for its bold physicality and hybrid American-international casts is Twelfth Night Dec. 10-12. Performances play Baruch Performing Arts Center (Dec. 10 at 8 PM, Dec. 11 at 7 PM and Dec. 12 at 3 PM).

For the new Twelfth Night, "doublet and hose and Elizabethan dance moves meet techno music and cool contemporary staging," according to Aquila. "In the tradition of Aquila's Shakespearean comedies, Much Ado About Nothing (2001) and Comedy of Errors (2002, 2004), Twelfth Night promises more than a little eyebrow raising. This story of identical twins and mistaken identity explores the universal themes of love and all its ambiguous effects on human behavior."

The 2005 season includes Utopia Parkway (a new musical inspired by the work of Aristophanes), Cyrano de Bergerac and H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man.

Tickets for all performances (and season subscriptions) are available by phoning (212) 998-8017. Baruch Performing Arts Center is located at 25th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues.

For more information, visit www.aquilatheatre.com.