Life of Savages Begins James Bundy's Life as New A.D. of Yale Rep, Feb. 14

News   Life of Savages Begins James Bundy's Life as New A.D. of Yale Rep, Feb. 14
The Psychic Life of Savages , the Amy Freed play suggested by the fraught lives and loves of the poets Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Robert Lowell and Anne Sexton, will have its New England premiere at Yale Rep, Feb. 14-March 8.

The show will mark the first directing job of new Yale Rep artistic director James Bundy, who assumed his position last July. During his five-year appointment, Bundy hopes to have an impact in areas ranging from play repertoire to subscription base.

"What you'll see at the Rep over the next four years," Bundy told Playbill On-Line, "is really invigorating interpretations of the classics. You'll see new work. You'll see international work, international artists and leading American artists. I like to think that there will be a consistently poetic ambition to the work we're doing."

Bundy wouldn't say which international artists Yale Rep audiences are likely to encounter, noting that negotiations are ongoing. However, he said, said artists will be part of the 2003-04 season.

As far as American artists are concerned, a major one is already signed up for the spring show: actor Sam Waterston. The "Law & Order" actor, long absent form the stage, will act in David Rabe's adaptation of Chekhov's story The Black Monk. Jenny Bacon also stars. The running dates are May 9-May 31.

The second slot in the season will be filled by one of those invigorating interpretations of classics Bundy mentioned. Mark Lamos will direct an all-male production of The Taming of the Shrew, running March 21-April 12. "[Lamos] had mentioned it to me as a project he was interested in doing a while ago," said Bundy of the battle of the sexes comedy which ends, as the title indicates, with the taming by a man of a shrewish woman. "It's a really interesting way to investigate a play that is difficult to produce because of [today's] perceptions of the characters as women. Making it a male universe makes it a play about how men perceive women." Joseph Urla will play Petruchio to Roman de Ocampo's Kate.

As for new work, The Psychic Life of Savages fits the bill. Opening night is Feb. 20. The cast includes Fiona Gallagher as Sylvia Fluellen (the names have been altered in Freed's dramatization), Robyn Ganeles as Kit Kat, Meg Gibson as Anne Bittenhand, John Hines as Ted Magus, Bill Kux as the Announcer, Will Marchetti as Dr. Robert Stoner and Phyllis Somerville as Emily Dickinson.

In the play, the poets deal with everything from "dim-witted undergraduates to writer's block," and, of course, their own turbulent romantic adventures. The play received both the Joseph Kesselring Award and the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play.

Freed's Freedomland was produced by Playwrights Horizons a few years back, but her work has primarily been seen on the West Coast and in the Midwest at such theatres as South Coast Rep, the Goodman Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre and Seattle Rep. The Beard of Avon may be her most produced work.

Tickets are $25-$40. Yale Rep is located at 1120 Chapel Street, at York Street. Call (203) 432-1234.

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