George Orwell's classic novels "Animal Farm" and "1984" come to life on stage in the musical and play adaptation. Synapse Productions presents the stagings, which began performances Feb. 2. Ginevra Bull directs 1984 and David Travis directs Animal Farm.
This production marks the American premiere of 1984 — an adaptation by Alan Lyddiard of Orwell's once-foreboding tale of how technology and an authoritarian "Big Brother" government will take over everyday life.
The musical adaptation of Animal Farm is by director Peter Hall, with music by Richard Peaslee and lyrics by Adrian Mitchell based on Orwell's novel. This staging is the New York premiere of this stage version. Puppet designers Emily DeCola and Eric Wright employ a variety of styles (hand, stick-and-rod, bunraku and masks) to animate Orwell's world of farm animals.
The cast of 1984 features Chris Campbell, Joseph Culliton, Kurt Elftmann, Clayton Dean Smith and Evan Thompson. Animal Farm features Ceili Clemens, Connie Hall, Scott Hitz, Francis Kelly, Nelson Lugo, Meg MacCary, Ben Masur, Kelly McAllister, Timothy McCracken, Jenny Mercein, Darius Stone and Aaron Mostkoff Unger.
The design team for The Orwell Project include Adrian Jones (sets), Marcus Doshi (lights), Jenny Mannis (costumes), Fitz Patton (sound), Christie Phillips (properties) and Thomas Dunn (video). Jenn Worth provides dramaturgy. Randy Redd handles musical direction. For tickets to The Orwell Project at The Connelly Theater, 220 East Fourth Street, (between Avenues A and B), call (212) 868-4444 or visit www.theorwellproject.org.