ERS founder John Collins directs the new work, which began previews April 15 and officially opened April 29 at the downtown stage. The show, originally scheduled through May 18, now adds two weeks of performances "due to critical acclaim and sold-out houses," as a release states.
Based on part one of the novel by William Faulkner, The Sound and The Fury (April Seventh, 1928) "tells the story of the decline of the Compson family of fictional Yoknapatawpha county, Mississippi," according to a press announcement. "A once noble clan descended from a Civil War hero, the family falls victim to many of the shortcomings Faulkner believed were the problems of the reconstructed South—racism, greed, selfishnesss—thereby showing how the ideals and life of the old South could not easily be maintained or preserved in the post-Civil War era. April Seventh, 1928, part one of the novel, is told from the point of view of Benjy Compson, who is mute with the mind of a child."
The cast features Mike Iveson, Vin Knight, Aaron Landsman, April Matthis, Annie McNamara, Randolph Curtis Rand, Greig Sargeant, Kate Scelsa, Kaneza Schaal, Susie Sokol, Tory Vazquez and Ben Williams.
"ERS has been working on this exciting new production for the past two years as a Company-in-Residence at NYTW, including a three-week residency with us at Dartmouth last summer," said NYTW artistic director James Nicola in a statement. "We had a wonderful time together, discovering many common bonds amongst us all. I believe that their distinctive approach to the task of theatrical adaptation will result in a renewed appreciation for both Faulkner's ravishing words and as well as the power of and the necessity for live performance."
Director Collins added, "William Faulkner is notorious for structural complexity in his writing. The first section of 'The Sound and The Fury' is one of the more daunting passages in American literature and this was a draw for us. To get inside the head of Benjy — whom he describes as 'truly innocent' — Faulkner chose to leap from one event in time to another (jumping as far as thirty years into the past) seamlessly and, sometimes, without any hints as to what he's up to. Bringing this to the stage struck us a great challenge." Collins and a group of actors founded the downtown New York theatre ensemble in 1991. The troupe is known for work that "combines elements of slapstick comedy, hi-tech and lo-tech design, both literary and found text, found objects and discarded furniture, and the group's own highly developed style of choreography."
The design team for The Sound and the Fury (April Seventh, 1928) includes David Zinn (scenic), Colleen Werthmann (costume), Mark Barton (lighting) and Matt Tierney (sound). Choreography is by Katherine Profeta. Sarah Hughes serves as the production stage manager.
For ticket to The Sound and the Fury at NYTW, 79 East Fourth Street, call (212) 460-5475. For more information visit the website at www.nytw.org.