What do a man's notebooks reveal about him? Plenty, if the man in question is the great artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci and the notebooks include everything from "to do" lists to preliminary sketches to stream-of-consciousness musings on anatomy, love, and engineering.
And now the man and his copious 500-year-old notebooks are being celebrated in an unusual theatrical presentation, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, which has its premiere at Seattle Repertory Theatre Oct. 15.
The 90-minute work, created and directed by Mary Zimmerman, uses music, dance, the spoken word (text taken verbatim from the notebooks), and a multitude of props to bring Leonardo's notebooks to life -- or, as Zimmerman herself describes the work, "It's as if you'd fallen asleep reading the notebooks late at night, and all these images tumbled through your mind."
Appearing in The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci are M.L. Berry, Peter Crook, Chris Donahue, Louis Lamson, Chiara Mangiameli, Wade Madsen, Sherry Ray, and Tracy Walsh. Set design is by Scott Bradley, costumes by Allison Reeds, lighting by T.J. Gerchins, and sound by Michael Bodeen.
Zimmerman received a Joseph Jefferson award for best direction and best new work (adaptation) for The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci
when it was staged at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, where she is an artistic associate
.Winner of the 1990 Tony for Outstanding Regional Theatre, Seattle Rep is now under the guidance of new artistic director Sharon Ott.Other plays in this season's line-up include Boucicault's The Shaughraun (through Nov. 4); Victoria Chaplin and Jean Baptiste Thierree's Le Cirque Invisible (Nov. 6-Dec. 6); August Wilson's Seven Guitars (Dec. 27-Jan. 24); Steven Dietz's Private Eyes (Jan. 31-Feb. 28); Wilde's An Ideal Husband (Mar. 7-Apr. 12); Ibsen's A Doll's House (Dec. 6-Jan. 17); Athol Fugard's Valley Song (Jan. 24-Mar. 14); and Anne Galjour's Alligator Tales (Mar. 21-May 2), which is currently being performed (through Dec. 7) in New York at the Manhattan Theatre Club.
The Notebooks of Leonard da Vinci will continue performances through Nov. 20.
For tickets and information on Seattle Repertory, call (206) 443-2222.
--By Rebecca Paller