New Stage Versions of "Oliver Twist" and "1984" Fill Empty Space New Season in Seattle

News   New Stage Versions of "Oliver Twist" and "1984" Fill Empty Space New Season in Seattle The Empty Space Theatre will present four premiere adaptations of classic stories in its upcoming 2003-2004 season.

Among the works include new takes on Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist," George Orwell's "1984 as well as a world premiere new musical, Ming the Rude, at the company's Seattle home.

Composer John Engerman (Prince Brat and the Whipping Boy) scores Empty Space season opener Ming the Rude and provides book and lyrics with the help of Rex McDowell, Phil Shallat and Bob Wright. The world premiere staging, set in the Kingdom of Courtesy where the heir to the throne Prince Larry Ming has taken power, runs Oct. 3-Nov. 8.

Dicken's "Oliver Twist" gets a new twist as Twisted Olivia: A Meditation on 'Oliver Twist'. Ridiculous Theatrical Company member Everett Quinton adapts the classic tale of a runaway London orphan into a one-man comedy and stars under the direction of fellow Ridiculous vet Eureka. The west coast premiere of the work will play Nov. 28-Jan. 10, 2004.

Big Brother comes to life as Nineteen Eighty-Four may see the Seattle stage under the direction of Allison Narver. The Orwell epic, which foresaw a future in which government watched our every move, is scheduled for a Jan. 23-Feb. 28, 2004 run. (Rights are still pending.)

Fannie Hurst's novel "Imitation of Life" turns into a backstage farce in Marcus Gardley's adaptation (L)Imitations of Life, March 12-April 10, 2004. Conceived and directed by Susan Finque, the work takes place on the movie set of a remake of the 1959 film starring Lana Turner as the new cast try to upstage each other and Turner. Ki Gottberg adapts the French classic Ubu Roi by absurdist playwright Alfred Jarry. The original Ubu caused quite the commotion when it first produced in 1896 because of its extreme farce and scatological humor. The staging of the new version for Empty Space will play April 23-May 29, 2004.

For more information on The Empty Space, 3509 Fremont Avenue in Seattle, WA, call (206) 547-7500 or visit www.emptyspace.org.