Getty Villa Production of Prometheus Bound, Featuring 23-Foot Steel Wheel, Opens Sept. 5
By Carey Purcell
Prometheus Bound, staged at the Getty Villa and featuring a 23-foot steel wheel onstage, officially opens Sept. 5 following preview performances that began Aug. 29.
The ancient drama, which depicts the suffering of a man banished by the gods to a remote mountain as punishment for teaching humanity civilized skills, runs through Sept. 28.
Directed by Travis Preston, the cast features Ron Cephas Jones (Prometheus), Mirjana Jokovic (Io), Michael Blackman (Hermes), Adam Haas Hunter (Kratos), Joseph Kamal (Okeanos) and Tony Sancho (Hephaistos). The 12-member chorus includes Sarah Beaty, Kaitlin Cornuelle, Genevieve Gearhart, Jennifer Greer, Heather Hewko, Paula Rebelo, Jessica Reed, Megan Rippey, Chuja Seo, Kalean Ung, Amanda Washko and Tatiana Williams.
"In the mythic tradition, the Titan Prometheus, progenitor and champion of humankind, stole fire from Mount Olympus to give to mortals," press notes state. "In this play, he also taught them crafts and skills essential for human civilization. As punishment, Zeus dooms him to an eternity chained to a mountaintop, where Prometheus spends his days and nights railing against the gods and their injustices."
The mountain is represented onstage by the five-ton wheel, which Prometheus spends most of the show strapped to. Jones' fellow actors climb on the wheel throughout the performance. In order to do this safely, they were taught by Flying By Foy, a Las Vegas-based company that specializes in stage flight.
"Prometheus Bound addresses man’s relationship to the eternal order of the cosmos," Preston said in a previous statement. "The circle represents the cosmos and is also an image of time. The drama is placed at the edge of civilization, as well as at the border between ritual and artistic expression. Prometheus Bound also depicts the enfranchisement of human capability. It is a hosanna to human culture and achievement."
The set piece was conceived by director Preston and scenic designer Efren Delgadillo, Jr. and engineered by Mark Odom of DAS Design Works. The assembly was done by CalArts technical design students led by master's degree candidate Bill Honigstein. LA ProPoint, a fabricator of theme park rides and specialized performing arts machinery, also provided assistance.
The creative team of Prometheus Bound includes Ellen McCartney (costume design), Anne Militello (lighting design) and Mira Kingsley (choreography). The production also includes original music by composer Ellen Reid and jazz multi-instrumentalist Vinny Golia, who performs live onstage.
Prometheus Bound, which is presented by the California Institute of the Arts’ Center for New Performance in conjunction with Trans Arts and the Getty Museum, features a script by poet Joel Agee, who translated the ancient Greek text.
Tickets and more information can be found by calling (310) 440-7300 or visiting getty.edu.
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