The Malibu, CA-based Getty Villa's mission is to explore art and culture of the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.
Opening the 2009 series is Orestes, "a disarmingly funny, but ultimately heartbreaking" new work-in-progress drawn from The Oresteia by Aeschylus and devised by Ghost Road, one of California's most ambitious experimental multimedia theatre ensembles.
In April, the acclaimed Los Angeles-based Troubadour Theater Company — "a freewheeling, no-holds-barred, commedia dell'arte-flavored ensemble of actors, musicians, and comedians" — approaches Sophocles' ancient Greek tragedy in their Oedipus: The King!
In mid-May, innovative director Anne Bogart and the members of her New York City-based SITI Company present a "first peek" at their latest project, an adaptation of Sophocles' Antigone by Irish dramaturg and translator Jocelyn Clarke.
Each season, four outstanding theatre artists or ensembles are invited by the Getty Museum to present "in process" public presentations of new work, rooted in Classical literature or culture, in the Getty Villa's indoor Auditorium. Each team of artists-in-residence is provided with "time, space, hospitality and production support" by the Museum — both during and in advance of the period of residency — allowing for "far broader and deeper experimentation than would a traditional play-reading format." "These Villa Theater Lab presentations are based on classical drama and mythology, reimagined through a modern lens. They can demonstrate to audiences the important position theatre held in antiquity, and how works from over 2,000 years ago continue to inspire modern drama today," said Karol Wight, senior curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
The Villa's Theater programs are part of the J. Paul Getty Museum's spectrum of public programming. According to the institution, "Live performances of classical and classically-based drama offer insight into the social, cultural, and political realities of life in ancient Greece and Rome, while the Museum's permanent collection of ancient art and changing exhibitions deepen the connection between modern audiences and the tragedies and comedies onstage."
Villa Theater Lab Series Schedule February-May 2009 at the Getty Villa in Malibu
The Ghost Road Company
Feb. 20 at 8 PM, Feb. 21 a 3 PM and 8 PM, Feb. 22 at 3 PM. "Orestes is the third part (still in development) of Home Siege Home, a disarmingly funny but ultimately heartbreaking trilogy of new plays based on Aeschylus' Oresteia and devised by Ghost Road, one of California's most ambitious experimental, multimedia theatre ensembles. In this final play of the trilogy, a royal family has been decimated by its own actions. Orestes is tormented by his memories of having killed his mother, Clytemnestra; the Furies seek revenge for this matricide; and the gods Apollo and Athena struggle to extract some peace and justice from the rubble. Revenge, personal responsibility and familial duty collide as the characters struggle to discover their places in a world which is changing around them."
Troubadour Theater Company
Oedipus: The King!
April 17 at 8 PM, April 18 at 3 PM and 8 PM, April 19 at 3 PM. "What happens when Sophocles meets Graceland? Find out when the Los Angeles-based Troubadour Theater Company — a free-wheeling, no-holds-barred commedia dell'arte-flavored ensemble of actors, musicians and comedians — scales the heights of ancient Greek tragedy. The troupe's track record of creating fast-paced, laugh-filled, loose-as-they-come adaptations of classic plays and films (As U2Like It, Fleetwood Macbeth, and It's a Stevie Wonderful Life, among many others) guarantee that this will not be your mama's Oedipus cycle."
May 15 at 8 PM, May 16 at 3 PM and 8 PM, May 17 at 3 PM.
"Director Anne Bogart and members of the New York City-based SITI Company ensemble bring to the Villa the first public presentations of their latest work-in process, an adaptation of Sophocles' Antigone by Irish translator and dramaturge Jocelyn Clarke. Considered by many to be one of our national theatrical treasures, SITI Company is an ensemble-based company whose three ongoing components are the creation of new work, the training of young theater artists, and a commitment to international collaboration. SITI was founded in 1992 by Anne Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki to redefine and revitalize contemporary theatre in the United States through an emphasis on international cultural exchange and collaboration. SITI believes that contemporary American theatre must necessarily incorporate artists from around the world and learn from the resulting cross-cultural exchange of dance, music, art, and performance experiences."
All Villa Theater Lab presentations are in the Villa's indoor Auditorium.
A ticket is required for each event, and must be obtained in advance. Tickets are available online at www.getty.edu or by phone at (310) 440-7300.