By Michael Gioia
11 Sep 2012
"These two theatrical firestorms represent the second half of our 'Burned and Banned' season devoted to plays that have been censored, burned, banned and, in the case of God of Vengeance, landed its cast in jail," Marvell Rep artistic director Lenny Leibowitz said in a statement. "Both of these plays have had inflammatory histories, but remain radical and potent to this day. They are also gripping, gutsy, heart-quickening works that bristle with humanity, passion, and revolt."
God of Vengeance, which plays Oct. 2-28, will feature Sam Tsoutsouvas, who played the title role in Marvell Rep's Professor Bernhardi earlier this season. Vengeance, translated by Joseph C. Landis, "has always provoked controversy," according to Marvell Rep. "The play centers on a brothel owner whose dreams of striking a bargain with God to keep his daughter pure are decimated when she falls in love with one of his 'girls.'" Opening night is set for Oct. 7.
In God of Vengeance, Tsoutsouvas will be joined by Joy Franz (Into the Woods) as Sore. Leanne Agmon, Joel Bernstein (Born Yesterday), Elizabeth Stahlmann, Stacey Linnartz ("Gossip Girl"), Jason Emanuel, Rachel Claire, Molly Stoller, Thomas Benton ("Law & Order") and William Krakauer ("Ring the Bell").
Wedekind's Spring's Awakening, the play that inspired the Tony-winning Broadway musical Spring Awakening, will run Oct. 8-Nov. 4 with an official opening set for Oct. 14. Spring's Awakening, about the madness of youth, bad parenting, sex, suicide and sadomasochism, is "one of the most iconic German plays since Faust," according to Marvell. "Banned on its premiere and censored to this day, it is also moving, hilarious and endlessly provocative."
The cast includes Giuseppe Bausilio (Billy Elliot) as Melchior Gabor, Dalton Harrod (The Radio City Christmas Spectacular), Bart Shatto (Dracula), Geddeth Smith (The Imaginary Invalid), William Metzo (Café Crown), Anne Newhall (Gemini), Rosalinda Perron, Leanne Agmon, Steven Braunstein, Ethan Navarro, Charlotte Astrid, Lauren Lopes, Logan Riley Bruner, Larry Saperstein ("Boardwalk Empire"), Solon Carter, Terren Klein, Thomas Benton ("Law & Order"), Jill Usdan, George Kennedy, William Krakauer and Molly Stoller.
The Marvell Rep design team includes scenic designer Tijana Bjelajac, costume designers Susan Nester (Spring's Awakening) and Nicole Moody (God of Vengance) and lighting designer Nicholas Houfek.
Founded in 2010 by artistic director Leibowitz and managing director Amy Estes, Marvell Repertory Theatre is "devoted exclusively to producing new and enduring works in rotating repertory."