The Wood Demon

The Cast of the Original Production of "The Wood Demon" at Rest

“Actors climb up Chekhov like a mountain, roped together, sharing the glory if they ever make it to the summit.” While that quote is directly attributed to Ian McKellen, any Antaeus company member would be likely to agree. Much like Antaeus, there are no stars in Chekhov plays. Everybody sinks or swims together. Therefore, it’s no surprise that, twenty years ago, Antaeus’ first full-length production was a Chekhov play, the rarely-performed The Wood Demon. One of Chekhov’s earlier plays, many people consider it to be the precursor to Uncle Vanya. In honor of our twentieth anniversary, we’re bringing the show back this weekend for our Flight of Fancy. Frank Dwyer is returning to CF11, after his production of Othello, to direct.

As I wrap up my time at Antaeus, I’m constantly impressed by the amount of history this organization has and how it’s managed to stay an important part of the Los Angeles theater scene. The amount of passion these company members have for the work they do here helps me understand the crazy little dude on the logo: keeping one foot in the world of theater truly does help these actors stay relevant.

There are three chances this weekend to see The Wood Demon: Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2:30pm and 7:30pm. Saturday’s performance is preceded by the Flight of Fancy prix fixe dinner at The Federal and a symposium on translating Chekhov for a modern audience with Frank Dwyer and Founding Members Dakin Matthews and Lillian Groag. Come celebrate twenty years of this fantastic company! We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Summer Intern and Columbia University MFA Candidate Jen Hoguet is keeping you up-to-date on all things ClassicsFest this summer at Antaeus. She can be reached via twitter @JHoToGo …..

Tennessee Williams’ Birthday Party!

Impro's Williams Unscripted at the Odyssey Theatre (photo by William Adashek)

This ClassicsFest, Antaeus has been trying something new for its Saturday nights. Called Flights of Fancy, these events are more than just a performance. For the past two Saturdays, the evening performances have been paired with a related afternoon symposium and attendees enjoyed dinner at our neighborhood dining partner, The Federal, in between the two. This Saturday is a particularly special night out because we’re throwing our first birthday party at Antaeus. 2011 marks Tennessee Williams’ hundredth birthday and we’re throwing him a birthday party! Kick the evening off with a prix fixe dinner at The Federal, where you’ll get three courses for twenty dollars*. The Birthday Party is kicking off at 8pm with excerpts from Williams’ greatest hits, an appearance by The Scarlet Furies, a Southern Gothic band, and a performance of Williams Unscripted by The Impro, featuring Antaean, Michael McShane. After the performances end, the fun continues on with a party in our library. Birthday cake and booze, what more do you need?

Next week, our Flight of Fancy will be a performance of the rarely-seen Chekhov play, The Wood Demon. This is a particularly exciting event because The Wood Demon was Antaeus’ inaugural production twenty years ago and we’re thrilled to celebrate our anniversary with a repeat performance! The day will start with a symposium on Anton Chekhov, followed by dinner and the performance. We hope we’ll see you this Saturday and next!

* If you’d like to join us for dinner at The Federal, please make your reservation via the Antaeus box office (818-506-1983) by 6pm Friday.

Summer Intern and Columbia University MFA Candidate Jen Hoguet is keeping you up-to-date on all things ClassicsFest this summer at Antaeus. She can be reached via email at jen@antaeus.org or followed on twitter @JHoToGo …..