Heusinger, Sheik, Hunton and Molina Workshop Sater and Tankian's Prometheus Bound

By Adam Hetrick
02 Dec 2008

Steven Sater
Steven Sater
Photo by Gregory Kalafatas

Prometheus Bound, the latest rock-infused musical from Spring Awakening's Tony-winning lyricist and book writer Steven Sater, receives a workshop in New York this week.

The new musical is based on the Aeschylus work that finds Prometheus chained on a mountainside at the end of the earth, having given the gift of fire to the human race. Sater has teamed with System of a Down vocalist and songwriter Serj Tankian on the new musical that marries classical text with what Sater describes as "electronic wailing rock."

Sater told Playbill.com that Hair director Diane Paulus, also the artistic director of Cambridge's American Repertory Theatre, is helming the workshop. A full production of the musical may be staged during A.R.T.'s 2009-2010 season. A.R.T. is producing the musical's current New York workshop.

The cast for the four-day workshop includes Patrick Heusinger (Fiddler on the Roof, "Gossip Girl") as Prometheus, Teal Wicks (Wicked) as Io, Hoon Lee (Pacific Overtures) as Hephaestus/Hermes and Jesse Sinclair Lenat as Oceanus. Emma Hunton (Spring Awakening), Kacie Sheik (Hair) and Lauren Molina (Sweeney Todd) are the Barefoot Daughters of the Ocean.



"I stayed very faithful to the ancient Greek text," Sater told Playbill.com. "Of course, we're transforming it and it's going to have an underlying concept for the show. But we just opened it up with music. The chorus, what they sing is so ethereal and beautiful and melodic, and it's set against wailing rock anthems that come from Prometheus and Oceanus and the other characters."

The score comprises 12 songs; however, Sater says the entire production is underscored, and the music beneath the dialogue eventually erupts into full-fledged song.

"This play was so shocking in its day," Sater added. "At the birth of western democracy here was this searing indictment of tyranny — it's shocking it was ever staged. So we're trying to bring back some of that electric thrill of being in a theatre while this is happening."

Composer Lance Horne musical directs the workshop; Spring Awakening vocal arranger AnnMarie Milazzo penned the arrangements.

Sater, Tankian and Paulus intend to workshop Prometheus Bound again in the spring for a longer presentation that will incorporate choreography.