Wilma Theater Presents East Coast Premiere of Academia Fantasia Outrage May 18-June 19

News   Wilma Theater Presents East Coast Premiere of Academia Fantasia Outrage May 18-June 19
The Wilma Theater's season-closer, the East Coast premiere of Itamar Moses' Outrage, begins May 18 at the resident Philadelphia theatre known for contemporary voices.
Itamar Moses
Itamar Moses

Directed by co-artistic director Jiri Zizka, Outrage "is a humorous and biting exposé into the politics of modern academia and the price we pay for staying true to our principles."

Opening is May 25. Performances continue to June 19.

The 27-year-old playwright first came director Jiri Zizka's attention via playwright Doug Wright, according to production notes.

"When Doug was in residence at the Wilma a few years ago," said Zizka, "he mentioned a young and up and coming writer who wasn't afraid to grapple with momentous ideas, who employed intricately woven time structures in his plays, and who did so with great wit and outrageous humor. I was immediately intrigued. When I finished reading Outrage I completely agreed with Doug. It is the sort of intellectual comedy that we don't see often — clever, surprising, deeply emotional, and seemingly impossible to stage — a fantastic challenge."

In Outrage , Moses "uses his Yale University degree to deftly move between the present and three other time periods with energy and wit, taking the audience on a time-bending roller-coaster ride through history. A slacker graduate student's attempt to find an 'easy' thesis topic instead places him at the center of an escalating power struggle to control the future of a prestigious university. As he explores the price that Socrates, legendary playwright Bertolt Brecht, and a sixteenth century Italian miller paid for sticking to their beliefs, he discovers that even in the ivory tower, principles still have a cost." Actors in the production play multiple roles. The cast includes Cody Nickell (in the role of slacker Steven, a role he originated at Portland Center Stage), Marc Wolf (as Steven's professor, Rivnine, and the Greek dramatist, Agathon), Matthew Humphreys (as Brett, Alcibiades and Vorai); Joel Leffert (as Lomax and Aristophanes); Erika Rolfsrud (as Dr. Kale and the Oracle); Robert Dorfman (as Bertolt Brecht and Galileo); Gregg Almquist (as Socrates); Pete Pryor, William Zielinski and Caroline Tamas.

Moses plays include The Four of Us, Celebrity Row and Bach at Leipzig. He received an NEA Residency Grant in 2003 to develop Outrage at The Portland Center Stage, which hosted the world premiere of the play. He has also received the Reva Shiner New Play Award, a 2003 NEA Residency Grant, SWTA National New Play Award, Plays for the 21st Century Award, and the Dramarama Long Play Award. Moses is currently working on commissions for the Wilma, Playwrights Horizon, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Manhattan Theater Club. He received his M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from New York University and lives in Brooklyn.

The creative team of Wilma's Outrage includes Jerrold R. Forsyth (lighting), Janus Stefanowicz (costume), Adam Wernick (composer) and Bill Moriarty (sound). Tickets are $9-$48 and are available at The Wilma Theater box office, online at www.wilmatheater.org or by phone at (215) 546-7824.

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