Massachusetts' American Repertory Theatre will present The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade by Peter Weiss Feb. 15- March 17 in repertory with the currently-running (and shorter-titled by comparison) Stone Cold Dead Serious by Adam Rapp.
The 1966 Tony Award-winning play, known better by its abbreviated title Marat/Sade, supposes that the Marquis de Sade is helming a production of the death of French revolutionary Jean Paul Marat in an insane asylum with a cast of sociopaths, schizophrenics, and narcoleptics. Hungarian director János Szász, who helmed last season's Mother Courage, stages this production using the English version by Geoffrey Skelton and Adrian Mitchell with music by Richard Peaslee.
The inmates of the asylum (or cast) include Thomas Derrah, Jeremy Geidt, Will LeBow, Karen MacDonald, Stephanie Roth-Haberle, John Douglas Thompson, Benjamin Evett, Alvin Epstein, Sandro Isaack, Remo Airaldi, Craig Doescher, Sarah Douglas, Amber Alison, Jon Bernthal, Hannah Bos, Samrat Chakrabarti, Ian Collett Barr, Harry Crane, Dana Gotleib, Philip Graeme, David Gravens, Sydney Kohn, Paula Plum, Jason Pugatch, Chelsey Rives, Jen Shirley, Ayca Varlier and Michael Wheeler.
The creative team includes Csaba Horváth (movement), Riccardo Hernandez (scenic design), Edit Szücs (costume), John Ambrosone (lighting), David Remedios (sound) and music director Michael Friedman. *
Running in rep with Marat/Sade is the world premiere of Adam Rapp's Stone Cold Dead Serious — which runs through March 12. The dysfunctional family story of the Ledbetters — a bunch of dropouts, junkies, and QVC addicts — is suddenly thrown askew when their son becomes a finalist in a video game contest. Marcus Stern, who helmed last season's Nocturne reteams with Rapp for this production. Robert William Sherwood's Absolution will play at A.R.T.'s 350 seat Hasty Pudding Theatre March 29-April 14. The story of three high school friends who 15 years earlier committed a heinous act and now are faced with their secret resurfacing.
The final project announced for the Loeb mainstage is an adaption of Aristophanes' Lysistrata playing May 10-June 9. Forget about a writers' or actors' strike, in this classic comedy the women of Athens, weary of the years of war with Sparta, unite to withhold sex. Larry Gelbart (book writer for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) has retooled the work that features songs by William Bolcom and Arnold Weinstein. Andrei Serban is set to direct the production with A.R.T. founding member Cherry Jones starring.
For tickets to Marat/Sade or any of the productions at A.R.T., 64 Brattle Street, just outside Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA, call (617) 547-8300. For more information, visit their website at www.amrep.org.
— by Ernio Hernandez