Two-time Tony Award nominee Gavin Creel (Hair, Thoroughly Modern Millie) stars in the title role of the political musical about tyranny and human rights. Previews began Feb. 25. Tony Award-nominated Hair director/A.R.T. artistic director Diane Paulus helms the 80-minute work that places the audience in and around the action.
In addition to Creel (Hair, Thoroughly Modern Millie) in the title role, the cast includes Lea DeLaria (On the Town) as Force; Michael Cunio (Jersey Boys) as Oceanos; Gabe Ebert as Hephaistos/Hermes; Uzo Aduba (Venice) as Io; Celina Carvajal (Rooms) and Ashley Flanagan as Daughters of the Ocean; and Jo Lampert (The Last Goodbye) as Daughter of the Ocean and Violence.
Sater, the Tony Award-winning librettist and lyricist of Spring Awakening, adapted the Aeschylus play, which has music by System of a Down band member Tankian.
"The ancient Greeks would go to the theatre the way that we would go to church or a temple. I wanted ecstatic dance and music that would kind of burst the thing open," Sater said of Prometheus in an earlier interview with Playbill.com. "While my translation is very faithful and kind of classical, it also has a kind of rock and roll edge to it. I thought of System of a Down and Serj, and how incredible that texture and that type of music [would be]." Sater describes the score as "electronic, atmospheric rock."
The on-stage band includes Charlie Chronopolous, Tom Duprey, David Finch, Jeff Muzerolle, Rob Simring and Vincent Padulla. Prometheus Bound has scenic design by Riccardo Hernandez, costume design by Emily Rebholz, lighting design by Kevin Adams and sound design by Clive Goodwin. Choreography is by Stephen Petronio, with vocal arrangements by AnnMarie Milazzo and music supervision by Debra Barsha and Lance Horne.
According to A.R.T., "An outcry against tyranny, the new rock musical Prometheus Bound illustrates one man's struggle against the brute force of a ruthless dictator… This new musical is inspired by Aeschylus's ancient Greek tragedy about the suffering of Western civilization's first prisoner of conscience."
A.R.T. has partnered with Amnesty International to raise awareness to the plight of political prisoners of conscience. The titan Prometheus was among the first prisoners of consience in mythology.
Each week Prometheus Bound will dedicate its performances to a different individual facing persecution. Following each performance, actors speak directly to the audience about the individuals to whom the performances are dedicated. Cards are also available for the audience to fill out calling for charges against the prisoners to be dropped.
The dedication schedule follows:
Through March 4 Jafar Panahi (Iran)
March 7-9: Democratic Republic of Congo (Mass rape as a weapon of war)
March 10-16: Dhondup Wangchen (China)
March 17-18: David Cato (Uganda)
March 21-23: Tran Quoc Hien & Doan Van Dien (Vietnam)
March 24-25: Norma Cruz (Guatemala)
March 28-29: Reggie Clemons (USA)
March 30-31: Nasrin Sotoudeh (Iran)
Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson has also recorded a song from the score, "The Hunger," which is available for download here. All proceeds from the sales of the song benefit Amnesty International.
Prometheus Bound will run through April 2. For tickets visit AmericanRepertoryTheater. A.R.T. is located at 64 Brattle Street in Cambridge, MA.