This marks the world premiere of a new translation (by Peter Constantine) of the play. Jim Calder directs. Performance continue to Feb. 10 at the Pearl's East Village home.
The staging features members of The Pearl Theatre Company's 2007-08 resident acting company — Rachel Botchan, Bradford Cover, Dominic Cuskern, TJ Edwards, Edward Seamon, Carol Schultz — and guest actors Erik Steele and Rocelyn Halili.
According to Pearl, "Crawling with social parasites and crooked conspirators, The Mandrake (1513) remains one of the bawdiest plays of the Italian Renaissance. Here is the wicked and uproarious lighter side of political mastermind Niccolo Machiavelli, as he reflects on a world where cunning, vice, and mischief win the day."
Translator Peter Constantine is a British and American award-winning literary translator who has translated literary works from German, Russian, French, Modern Greek, Italian, Albanian, Dutch and Slovene. He grew up in Athens, Greece, before moving to the United States in 1983. The Mandrake is the 20th world premiere translation The Pearl has staged.
The creative team includes scenic design by Harry Feiner, costume design by Barbara A. Bell, lighting design by Stephen Petrilli and sound design by Jane Shaw. Richard Morrison is stage manager; Kate Farrington is dramaturg.
The Pearl Theatre Company is located at 80 St. Marks Place (at First Avenue) in the East Village. For more information visit www.pearltheatre.org.
The Pearl Theatre Company's artistic director Shepard Sobel explained the mission of the troupe: "The Pearl produces a classical repertory because the great plays of the last 2,500 years provide a context, a perspective, by which we here in America in 2007 may see ourselves more clearly. We can — and have an obligation to — design the strength and character of the future only by knowing the character of the past."