Brandeis Theater Company's 2007-08 season a cross-cultural exploration
Season includes the return of Double Edge Theatre with "Three Musketeers," an intimate production of "The Threepenny Opera," Shakespeare's "As You Like It" and the premiere of a new adaptation of "The Orphan of Zhao."Brandeis Theater Company (BTC) explores the cultures of the world through the unique power of live theater in its 2007-2008 season, which features the return of Double Edge Theatre with their adventurous “Three Musketeers,” and an intimate production of “The Threepenny Opera.” Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” and the premiere of a new adaptation of the traditional Chinese folktale “The Orphan of Zhao” add the fictional Forest of Arden and the Far East to this season’s global journey.
The season opens Oct. 11 with “The Threepenny Opera,” after premiering at Brandeis 55 years ago. Eric Hill, the Barbara Sherman ('54) & Malcolm L. Sherman Professor of Theater Arts, directs Marc Bliztstein’s translation of Bertolt Brecht’s daring and dark novel about the urban underground. The BTC delivers an intimate new production of this sardonic, seductive satire surrounding the business of being bad.
Notorious bandit and womanizer Macheath secretly marries Polly Peachum, the daughter of the boss of London’s beggars, and pays the price as he is chased by the elder Peachum, the police and the women he has loved and left. During the Coronation of Queen Victoria, London’s beggars, prostitutes and thieves use their collective power to scheme and blackmail for their own devious purposes. The show features an unforgettable score including "Mack the Knife" and "Pirate Jenny." Nationally acclaimed scenic designer and Brandeis faculty member Karl Eigsti leads a design team with a compelling new look to this theatrical legend.
In "The Three Musketeers," beginning Nov. 8, the acclaimed Double Edge Theatre returns to Brandeis with their internationally inspired and daring brand of performance. Directed by Stacy Klein and Matthew Glassman, the theater group’s exciting new piece is based on Alexandre Dumas’ swashbuckling tale of swordsmen, seduction, royalty, revenge and one cranky cardinal. This production promises as much adventure for actors and audiences alike as they travel together on missions of honor, mischief and romance in France and England. Now in its 25th year, Double Edge Theatre has toured internationally with their unique brand of ensemble physical theater, combining daring feats and stunning imagery to elevate the possibilities of theater.
Faculty member Adrianne Krstansky directs William Shakespeare's "As You Like It" starting Feb. 17, 2008. Shakespeare’s whimsical, pastoral comedy features Krstansky's own imaginative style and innovative approach. In Shakespeare's fictional Forest of Arden, Frederick exiles his brother Orlando from the kingdom. Orlando’s daughter and Shakespeare's greatest heroine, Rosalind, her cousin Celia and jester Touchstone soon follow to the forest where, disguised as Ganymede, Rosalind coaches the smitten Orlando on how to win Rosalind’s affection. Meanwhile Ganymede must fight off the attention of Phoebe, making arrangements for her to wed the shepherd Silvius.
The final production of the season is the March 27, 2008 premiere of a new adaptation of the traditional Chinese folktale “The Orphan of Zhao,” directed by Eric Hill and Naya Chang, a graduate student in theater arts. Faculty member Yu-Hui Chang will compose an original score that will be performed by Jiebing Chen (erhu) and Yangqin Zhao (hammered dulcimer), and members of Brandeis' Lydian String Quartet.
This new adaptation of a legendary folktale from the Far East tells the history of the Orphan of Zhao. The streets of Jin are awash in the blood of the noble Zhao Clan after a vicious slaughter by the emperor. This cruel massacre ignites a succession of individual acts of virtue and sacrifice. The hope for retribution and a return to a humane social order is pinned to the survival of one orphaned baby boy adopted by Cheng Ying, who prepares her son to take his place in history. The timeless swing of the pendulum of justice, powered by the momentum of personal humanity, resounds in this stirring and resonant Chinese classic.
The 2007-08 Brandeis Theater Company season is made possible through generous support from the Laurie Foundation, the Robin, Barbara and Malcolm L. Sherman Endowment for the Performing Arts, the Jaffe Foundation, the Herbert and Kim Marie Beigel New Play Fund, the Ann ’56 and Clive Cummis Family Foundation and the Poses Fund.
Location and Tickets
Brandeis Theater Company productions are performed in the intimate theaters of the Spingold Theater Center, located on the Brandeis University campus at 415 South St. in Waltham, Mass. Tickets are available at the box office or by calling 781-736-3400. For directions and more information, visit www.brandeis.edu/btc.
“The Threepenny Opera”
Music by Kurt Weill
Book by Bertolt Brecht
English adaptation by Marc Bliztstein
Oct. 11-21, 2007
Directed by Eric Hill
Musical director Steven Bergman
Choreography by Avital Asuleen, B.A. ‘06
Scenic design by Karl Eigsti, faculty member
Costume design by Amala Baksic, M.F.A. ‘95
Lighting design by Michael Chybowski, faculty member
“The Three Musketeers”
By Alexandre Dumas
Nov. 8-18, 2007
Directed by Stacy Klein and Matthew Glassman
Created by Double Edge Theatre Ensemble with the Brandeis Theater Company
“As You Like It”
By William Shakespeare
Feb. 7-17, 2008
Directed by Adrianne Krstansky, faculty member
“The Orphan of Zhao”
Traditional Chinese folktale adapted by Mia Chung
March 27 – April 6, 2008
Directed by Eric Hill and Naya Chang, M.F.A. ‘08
Original music composed by Yu-Hui Chang, faculty memberPerformed by Jiebing Chen (erhu) and Yangqin Zhao (hammered dulcimer) and members of Brandeis University’s Lydian String Quartet
Presented in partnership with the MusicUnitesUS program directed by Judith Eissenberg
About the Brandeis Theater Company
Created in 2005, the Brandeis Theater Company is a model for training theater artists that is unique in the Boston area. The company is an ensemble of students, guest artists, faculty and staff of the Theater Arts Department committed to producing progressive, dynamic programming.