Yale Repertory Theatre's first season under new artistic director James Bundy will open in fall 2002 with a unique original work-with-music that combines texts of Medea, Macbeth and Rodgers & Hammerstein's, Cinderella. The title, appropriately, is Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella.
The 2002-2003 season at the resident professional theatre in New Haven was announced March 21 by Bundy, the artistic director of Great Lakes Theatre Festival in Cleveland who takes over the Yale job come July 1.
The new Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella is adapted and directed by Bill Rauch and Tracy Young from the texts by Euripides, William Shakespeare and Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Sabrina Peck choreographs the world premiere new version of the the show that had an earlier version staged in 1998 in Los Angeles.
The Yale Rep announcement explains: "Wildly theatrical, wickedly comedic and wonderfully powerful, Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella takes three classic plays and weaves them together in a theatrical tour-de-force. Sometimes unfolding simultaneously, at other times spilling into one another, each work intensifies and illuminates the other two, and the whole affirms the transformational power of the medium itself. Cinderella's cruel stepsisters pale in comparison with the bloodthirsty Lady Macbeth, but when Medea hears about her husband Jason's new trophy wife, everybody had better duck. A three-ring circus that combines the traditions of Greek drama with those of Shakespearean tragedy and the American musical comedy, Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella builds to an inevitable, dizzying climax that Yale Rep audiences will never forget."
The 2002-2003 Yale Rep season of six productions includes: • Breath, Boom, by Kia Corthron, directed by Michael John Garcés, which follows the fortunes of a girl gang leader named Prix over 14 years. "When we first meet the 16-year-old original gangsta, she is already hardened by a life punctuated by sudden, terrible violence. But Prix is a survivor, working to free herself from a cycle that has taken her from the streets of New York City to a juvenile reformatory to jail and back again. She finds hope in the fireworks she designs — short bursts of beauty over which she has control."
• Fighting Words, the American premiere of a play by Sunil Thomas Kuruvilla, directed by Liz Diamond, about a Welsh boxer who leaves to compete for the bantamweight world championship in Los Angeles, taking the town of Merthyr's dreams, ambitions and men with him. "Without their fathers, husbands, and lovers, the women anxiously await news of the fight and the return of the local hero, but it is the aspiration of Peg, a would-be boxer, her sister Nia, who yearns to broadcast for the BBC, and their landlady, Mrs. Davies, that fires Fighting Words." Playwright Kuruvilla authored Rice Boy.
• The Taming of the Shrew, the Shakespeare comedy, directed by Mark Lamos, with a cast of all-male actors.
• The Psychic Life of Savages, by Amy Freed, directed by James Bundy, a New England premiere inspired by the lives and writings of Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Robert Lowell, and Anne Sexton. It's billed as a "wickedly funny satire" that captures four poets struggling to tame the demons that drive them to art — and each other's beds. "Love truly is a battlefield as they contend with everything from dim-witted undergraduates to writer's block, from Emily Dickinson's ghost to the realization that acts of creation are not unlike acts of madness — and that the ultimate price of being an artist is sometimes death." The work received both the Joseph Kesserling Award and the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play.
• A sixth production to be announced.
Dates and specific venues for each production, as well as subscription and single ticket information will be announced shortly.
For information, visit www.yalerep.org.
— By Kenneth Jones