Dakin Matthews Will Be Lear, Hatcher Will Adapt Balzac in L.A. Antaeus Season

News   Dakin Matthews Will Be Lear, Hatcher Will Adapt Balzac in L.A. Antaeus Season The Antaeus Company, Los Angeles' classical theatre ensemble, will present its first full season of classic plays — including a world premiere by Jeffrey Hatcher and founding artistic director Dakin Matthews in the role of a lifetime — in 2009-10.

This marks the troupe's first full slate of work since it was founded in 1994. Audiences can expect three full productions as well as Antaeus' popular "ClassicsFest."

The season will launch with the world premiere of Jeffery Hatcher's adaptation of the classic Honoré de Balzac novel, "Cousin Bette."

The year 2010 begins with Lillian Hellman's The Autumn Garden followed by Shakespeare's King Lear starring Matthews. The tragedy is to be the centerpiece of ClassicsFest 2010, which includes workshops of works billed as "classic," which can incorporate many eras.

Here are details about Antaeus' new season:

Cousin Bette
Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the novel by Honoré de Balzac
Directed by artistic director Jeanie Hackett
Oct. 24-Dec. 20

"Seductive, cunning, and deliciously wicked, Jeffrey Hatcher's adaptation of Honore de Balzac's 1846 masterpiece, "La Cousin Bette," tells the story of the powerful Hulot family, who inspire hate and loathing in the heart of their poor relative, a spinster named Bette. Set in Paris in mid-19th-century, Bette, under the guise of concern and compassion, plots her family's destruction with the aid of a beautiful, unhappy courtesan. A tale of revenge, sexual passion and the devastating effects of violent jealousy." Hatcher is the author of Three Viewings, A Picasso, Scotland Road, The Turn of the Screw, Tuesdays with Morrie, Murder by Poe, Neddy, Fellow Travelers, Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Mrs. Mannerly, Murderers, Mercy of a Storm, Smash, Armadale, Korczak's Children, To Fool the Eye, The Falls, A Piece of the Rope, All the Way with LBJ, The Government Inspector, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and more.

The Autumn Garden
by Lillian Hellman
Directed by Larry Biederman
Jan. 30-March 28, 2010

"A group of middle-aged Southerners come together in 1949 at a summer home on the Gulf of Mexico for their annual gathering. Compassionate and savagely funny, this is Pulitzer Prize winner Lillian Hellman's masterpiece on how, in spite of everything, human beings still succeed in living together. Introspective and emotionally honest, this is America's answer to Chekhov's sprawl of longing, loss, and the simple and comic tragedy of being human."

King Lear
by William Shakespeare
Starring Dakin Matthews
Directed by Jonathan Lynn
June 12-Aug. 8, 2010

"At the center of ClassicsFest 2010 will be Antaeus' much-anticipated first full production of a Shakespearean play, and will feature the renowned scholar, actor, and founding artistic director Dakin Matthews in the title role. Considered one of Shakespeare's great tragedies, King Lear is the tale of an aging king, a divided kingdom and a family in turmoil."

ClassicsFest 2010
July 6-Aug. 15, 2010

"Our biennial festival of classics! Workshops, readings, late night events: a different project almost every night of the week for six weeks for a $10 ticket price! Over 100 theatre artists gather for a refreshing and invigorating summer splash of the classics, any way you like 'em. Experience how a play comes to life as Antaeus presents its 5th biennial ClassicsFest."

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The Antaeus Company's goal is "to keep classical theatre alive in ourselves and in our community." With a broad range of age and ethnicity, Antaeus members and board includes over 100 professional actors, composers, designers, translators, playwrights, and directors, including Oscar and Tony award nominated and winning actors, as well as countless L.A. Weekly, L.A. and NYC Drama Critics Circle, Ovation, and Backstage Garland award recipients.

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