Anna’s Summer Adventure

Our summer intern, Anna, is with us for 10 weeks, and this week marks her halfway point! Needless to say, we’re a little sad that it’s going by so quickly.  To cheer ourselves up, we asked Anna a few questions about herself.  Answers below!

AC: Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, but moved around a bit (Malaysia, New Mexico) and ended up in Southern California to go to school.

(Ladies and Gentlemen, she acts too!)

(Ladies and Gentlemen, she acts too!)

AC: How did you get involved with theater?

When I was younger, I remember attending rehearsals with my dad. He was very involved in community theatre where we lived in Greenville, SC and was in quite a few shows. The first show I remember was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He played Reuben and of course had quite the Southern drawl.  I was a pretty shy kid so I never really interacted with anyone. I just liked to sit back and watch. Even as a kid, I can recall that my favorite part about live theater was watching all of the pieces come together. For weeks the actors would learn their lines and blocking while the sets were being constructed and the costumes sewn together. Then one day everything magically came together and everyone is singing “Any Dream Will Do”.

AC: Tell us a little bit about things you do and adventures you like to take.

My kind of adventures include road trips, traveling, cliff jumping, kayaking, thrift shopping, and going to see lots of live theatre like the Hollywood Fringe. My independent nature tends to seek adventure everywhere and there is so much to learn. One of my biggest adventures occurred in Sydney, when I left my university for a year to study theatre there. This experience changed my life and I am so grateful for the opportunity. My current adventure involves writing reviews for the Fringe Festival while working at Antaeus while I figure out what’s next. 

AC: What’s your background in theatre?

I grew up attending community theater rehearsals with my dad and I think the spark just grew from there. I love learning everything there is to know about theatre. I have experience in stage management, directing, producing design, and acting. I love being challenged to try new things and I see myself as a “filler.” This is a term that I came up with to describe my willingness to do anything that is needed for a successful production, even if that means I have to do outside research and learn a new task.  I honestly never thought I could make a career out of theatre, but there are so many opportunities.

AC: How did you discover Antaeus?

I walked by Antaeus last year while attending a Hollywood Fringe show actually. I was headed towards J.E.T. Studios and saw a crowd of people lined up so I thought this was for the show I was seeing. To my dismay, I was a few doors down from where I was meant to be, but this led to a new discovery. After a bit of research and the recommendation from the Theatre @ Boston Court and my friend Dennis Baker, I decided to apply for their LA Arts County Internship position.

BCAC: Tell us a little bit about what you’re doing at Antaeus this summer.

As the production intern at Antaeus, I will be stage managing part two of the season’s Classic Fest as well as some other office and production work. I am looking forward to sitting in on classes and play readings to see how the company’s process works. I have already had the privilege of spying in on a Cross-Gartered Bard class and it’s amazing what happens with Shakespeare does a little gender twist. Their artistic collaboration with classic texts and modern storytelling techniques are very inspirational and enlightening.  I am also in love with the company’s library and can’t wait to spend a lot of time in it.

AC: How has the internship been going so far?

Having to stage manage four productions at once is not the easiest task, but I have enjoyed getting to know so many talented people. There are always things happening at Antaeus, from classes, to readings and rehearsals and it has been fun observing. I have learned a lot about initiating project with fellow enthusiasts in order to get a show up.

AC: What is your favorite thing about Antaeus?

I have loved watching the process that Antaeus takes to produce projects. It is very much a collaborative and lengthy once, but each show is rooted in the passion of the company. First a play proposal goes through a First Read where the play’s initiator rounds up a group to sit and read the play and discuss it. If a project has good reviews it then moves onto ClassicsFest for a staged reading of the show. Each stage allows for a better understanding of the play among the whole company for better or for worse.

AC: What is your favorite play, and why?

This is a multi-faceted question because there are so many different types of “favorite”.

(We wish this were her production of The Tempest. Goth Shakes)

(We wish this were her production of The Tempest. Goth Shakes)

My favorite play that I have performed in was Shakespeare’s The Tempest. This particular production was a devising project that used Shakespeare’s text as a foundation for the show. We incorporated acrobatics, puppetry, original music, but kept the original language and toured to local high schools. I was not the biggest fan of the script at the beginning of the process, but the more we dove into the text, the more I came to love it. I also appreciated the ensemble atmosphere of the rehearsal space and left inspired to create new works.

The Children at the Theatre @ Boston Court was the most beautiful production I have ever been a part of. It was so intricately designed. Every technical element pointed to something different in the story, whether it was the car door masking fridge or the storm sound effects reflecting that of a drowning steel object, everything had purpose. I’m not going to lie, even I didn’t understand half of it until about 4 weeks into the show, but I am so glad I was able to be a part of this wonderful team.

I was fortunate to attend a Sport for Jove production, Macbeth, while I was in Sydney and that is by far the best production I have ever seen. This company performs site specific theatre all around the city, producing phenomenal works performed by talented actors. This particular production was set during World War II on a farm. The war scenes took place in the farm’s barn and the audience was seated on hay barrels in the middle of the fight! We then followed Macbeth back to his home and sat on his porch listening to the family and neighbors unravel all that happened. I had never been engulfed in story until this show.

 The Cagebirds by David Campton was my favorite piece to direct. It is a avant-garde piece reflecting what happens when someone questions the majority. I placed the six main women in a locked room with a barred window set in the 50s. Each was obsessed with some womanly chore and planted on a stool. As the women became agitated by new ideas they caused havoc in the room ultimately leading to a murder. I don’t want to be a director that continues to recycle the same show over and over again, but I would love the opportunity to direct it again, especially now that I have more experience.

Buried Child by Sam Shepard, Miss Julie by Strindberg and Gross Und Klein by Botho Strauss are also on my favorites list.

Anna headshotAnna Hodgson is The Antaeus Company’s LA Arts Commission 2013 Summer Intern. She recently graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a B.A. in Theater Arts.


Announcing the Thanes & the Kinsmen!

We’re as tickled as the carbuncle on a witch’s nose to share with you the 2 casts of our 2012 Summer Production of Macbeth.  As you may know, Antaeus “partner casts” all of its mainstage productions.  Originally conceived as a practical solution to allow working actors to commit to an Equity Waiver production while still taking paying jobs, over the years partner casting has turned into a viable creative process for us.  Actors collaborate during the rehearsal process to breathe first life into a character, and performances stay fresh with a new cast permutation practically every night.

The Thanes and Kinsmen casts will play Saturdays and Sundays, alternating days and times each week.  On Thursday and Fridays we’ll have our mash-up casts, known as the HurlyBurlys, when actors from both casts will have the chance to perform together.

So, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the Thanes and Kinsmen!



Thurs 7/5, 8pm: Preview #1 Fri 7/6, 8pm:  Preview #2
Sat 7/7, 8p: Preview #3 Sun 7/9, 2pm: Preview #4
Wed 7/11, 8pm: Preview #6 Tues 7/10, 8pm: Preview #5
Fri 7/13, 8pm: Opening Night #2 Thurs 7/12, 8pm: Opening Night #1
Sun 7/15, 2pm: Opening Weekend Perf Sat 7/14, 8pm: Opening Weekend Perf


See you in Scotland!


An Academy Salute to Noël Coward – Huzzah!

Last year A2, The Antaeus Academy,  presented a wonderful weekend celebrating Noël Coward thanks to the generous grant awarded by  The Noël Coward Society .  The Young Idea played to audiences of all ages and immersed A2 into the world of “The Master.”  This year, we had the great honor to find out about An Academy Salute to Noël Coward before tickets were sold out.

Yes, Noël Coward still sells out the houses.  Stephen Fry hosting the whole evening didn’t hurt, either.

 Star Quality: The World of Noël Coward was an extensive collection of well-known photographs and unique souvenirs: night slippers embroidered with Noël Coward across them, and a green carnation from an opening night, for instance.  Probably the most extraordinary items were found directly on the walls- they showed home movies from the late 20’s and 30’s of Coward’s stage plays.  This was obviously well before union regulations of such things!  I stood for about five minutes with a friendly gent as we tried to guess which play we were watching.

I met a few members of The Noël Coward Society, lead a few of the Antaeus group to our seats (wonderfully reserved by the West Coast Liason of The NCS and all-around wonderful friend, Kathy Williams).  Then–Stephen Fry!  What an amazing host.  He set a beautiful tone of happiness at the night ahead.  He also took us down a reverent and funny path, with quips like: “I discovered him [Coward] when I was about ten in the attic.”  There were too many of those funny lines for me to remember, but they were incredibly entertaining.

Then L.A. Theatre Works presented two short Coward pieces directed by Antaeus regular Brendon Fox: Design For Rehearsing (a sketch based on the Lunts’ inability to leave their on-stage life on the stage, and Age Cannot Wither.  As is LATW’s niche, they recorded the performances for the radio and posterity, complete with foley sound effects.  Stephen Fry offered the inside track, though; he told the audience to laugh hysterically at an in appropriate place and we can secure posterity in this recording for the rest of our lives.  (“Hey, Mom!  That’s my obnoxious laugh!”)

A special treat for the Coward crowd — Juliet Mills, goddaughter of Coward and daughter of Coward collaborator John Mills.  Her father was the first to call Coward “The Master”.  It turns out that Juliet’s screen debut was as a baby in In Which We Serve, which received waves of approval and laughter from the audience.  You may also know her sister, Hayley Mills.

Of course the shows were great fun, as they always are, in no short way because of Antaeus Company member Susan SullivanJoBeth Williams and Juliet Mills’ performances.

Then a rare treat: a filmed interview between Stephen Fry and Ronald Neame, who will turn 100 next week.  It was incredibly fun, and revealed some new stories that had the audience rolling.  Neame explained how David Lean, known for his directing, was also in the wardrobe department.

FRY: “Oh, really?  He was in wardro-”

NEAME: “Fired.”

FRY: (stifling a laugh without knowing the punch line) “Oh?”

NEAME: “Wrong trousers.”

I have no idea why that was so funny to us at the time, but all of us in the audience just about died.

And I hope the Academy shows that video again, because Stephen Fry did the most amazing impersonation of Celia Johnson in Brief Encounter, a tragically optimistic story in the history of tragic stories.

Then we settled in for the main attraction: a restored film of  Calvacade.  When produced on-stage, Noël Coward directed 400 actors! Plus the main characters alone total at least twenty.  No wonder no one can recall seeing the play in an age where five characters cost a theater too much to produce; not Antaeus though-see our website for more details on our ensemble-driven productions.

The movie was just fascinating. As a history nerd, I completely indulged in how major historical events and technological advances changed people’s ways of life, and changed people.  I marveled once again at how  relevant Coward’s material is.  For all the foils, victories and defeats of the British Empire, America could stand to learn from the past.  One line stands out from the entire movie, when the father consoles his wife about his going to the Boer Wars: “We have to have wars now and then to prove we’re the top dog.”

Altogether, a wonderful evening, both entertaining and emotionally devastating during the movie.  I never spoke to so many strangers in one evening before that night; it was sure nice to be around friendly people just looking to have a fun time!

This exhibit will be closed by the time you read this blog post, but The Young Idea returns this summer as part of ClassicsFest 2010!  Stay tuned.

More about The Young Idea can be found by following the blog tags attached to this article.

Cindy Marie Jenkins was a producer on the 2009 weekend The Young Idea and recently directed A2 in their March late-night.

The Antaeus Academy Announces Spring Moderators!

CLASSICAL STYLES & SHAKESPEARE WORKOUT are holding auditions. Come study with these world-class Moderators!  More info at

At Antaeus, we believe mastering the acting challenges of great classics takes a lifetime and that the desire to take on these challenges is central to achieving great acting. Here, we’re constantly putting young artists-in-training together with seasoned professionals – in the classroom, in readings, workshops and in full productions – so that skills, work ethics and inspiration are not just taught but ‘passed down.’


JEANIE HACKETT (Chekhov, Ibsen, Strindberg & American Classics) has been part of the Artistic Leadership team of Antaeus for the past 8 years.  She has been a professional actress for over 20 years and has appeared in classical and new plays on Broadway (including Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire with Blythe Danner), as well as many off-Broadway productions.  She trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, at the Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York and is a graduate of NYU’s acting program. She appeared at the Williamstown Theatre Festival with legendary actors Rosemary Harris, Frank Langella, Colleen Dewhurst and Christopher Reeve among many others.  Her television work includes guest stars on “The West Wing”, “The L Word” and “Criminal Minds”; film work includes “King of California” and  “Kids in America” with Topher Grace. In Los Angeles theatre she has played leading roles at the South Coast Repertory Theatre, The Pasadena Playhouse, The Cannon Theatre (The Vagina Monologuesand at The Matrix Theatre (The Seagull, Ovation Award, Best Ensemble). At the Odyssey Theatre she played Clytemnestra in the 8 hour marathon play The Greeks, which she also co-directed with Ron Sossi.  She is the former Artistic Director of LA’s Classical Theatre Lab where she directed Tennessee Williams, A Celebration, a theatre piece which she originally conceived with renowned director Nikos Psacharopoulos for The Williamstown Theatre Festival.  She is the founder and director of the Antaeus Company’s Academy, a classical theatre training program for emerging young actors.  With John Apicella, she creatively oversaw Antaeus’ acclaimed mainstage productions, as well as creating a series of Antaeus events called CLASSICSFEST — a gathering of over 100 actors in the summer for the presentation of readings and workshop productions of classical plays and new plays with classical themes.  Jeanie is the author of two books on acting:  The Actor’s Chekhov, and Toward Mastery, both based on the work of director Nikos Psacharopoulos.

KATE BURTON (Ibsen) appeared on Broadway in The Elephant Man, for which she received a Tony nomination and in the same season as Hedda Gabler, for which she received the Callaway Award, an Outer Critics Circle nomination and another Tony nomination. She made her NYSF debut in Boston Marriage and her London debut in Three Sisters at The Playhouse. Roundabout: The Constant Wife, Give Me Your Answer, Do!, Company, The Playboy of the Western World and Winners. Other Broadway: Present Laughter (Theatre World Award), Alice in Wonderland, Doonesbury, Wild Honey, Some Americans Abroad (Drama Desk nom.), An American Daughter (Lincoln Center Theater), Jake’s Women and The Beauty Queen of Leenane (also UK and Ireland). Television: recurred on “The Practice” and “Law & Order”, Ellis Grey on “Grey’s Anatomy”; Emmy Award for “Notes for My Daughter”, Cindy Whiting in HBO’s “Empire Falls” and Rose on “Rescue Me”. Film: “Big Trouble in Little China”, “Life With Mikey”, “First Wives Club”, “The Ice Storm”, “Celebrity”, “August”, “Unfaithful”, “Swimfan”, Stay”, “Some Kind of Heaven” and “The Night Listener”. Many times at Bay Street and Williamstown. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and on the Board of Trustees for BC/EFA. Graduate of Brown and Yale.

STEPHEN COLLINS (Chekhov, Ibsen, Strindberg) His Broadway credits include his 2008 role as King Arthur in Spamalot and prior appearances in Moonchildren, The Ritz, The Loves of Anatol, and No Sex Please, We’re British; off-Broadway he appeared opposite Sigourney Weaver Christopher Durang‘s Beyond Therapy, as Macduff to Christopher Walken‘s Macbeth at Lincoln Center, and as husband to Julie Andrews (with whom he shares a birthday) in the Stephen Sondheim revue, Putting It Together at Manhattan Theatre Club in 1993.

Collins, probably, is best known for his role as the Reverend Eric Camden in more than 200 episodes of the television series7th Heaven, though he also notably portrayed Captain/Commander Willard Decker in “Star Trek: The Motion Picture“. Additional television credits include starring roles in “Tales of the Gold Monkey” and “Tattingers, as well as guest appearances in “The Waltons, “Barnaby Jones, “Charlie’s Angels“, and numerous mini-series and made-for-television movies. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work opposite Ann-Margret in the minseries” The Two Mrs. Grenvilles and he played John F. Kennedy in the miniseries “A Woman Named Jackie“, which won the Emmy for Best Miniseries.

ROBERT W. GOLDSBY (Moliere) began his professional work in the theater in a touring version of Three Men On a Horse for the troops in the Philippines in 1945 who were sitting in the mud waiting to go home after the war.  Directed 153 Equity and University theater productions (including eleven plays by Moliere, forty-six classical plays from Aristophanes to Shakespeare to Giradoux, and ninety-eight plays from the modern repertory to Ibsen to Innaurato) in New York, Paris, Marseille and San Francisco.  Served on the faculties of UC Berkeley, Columbia, UCLA, Washington, USC and did several master classes on Moliere for Antaeus.  Professor and Chairman Emeritus, UC Berkeley.  He is currently finishing a book called “Moliere on Stage: A Director’s Story.”  He has translated Sardou’s Divorcons for the West End in London (Comedy Theater), three plays by Moliere and one by Feydeau.

ART MANKE (Restoration Movement Master Class & Moliere) is an award-winning director whose work has been seen locally at South Coast Repertory, Pasadena Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum and Laguna Playhouse.  Mr. Manke is a co-founder of A Noise Within, Los Angeles’s acclaimed classical theatre company, where he served as Artistic Director for the first ten seasons (1991-2001).  He is the recipient of numerous L.A. Drama Critics Circle awards, is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and conservatories throughout the country, and frequently directs for television. Originally from Chicago, Mr. Manke holds a B.F.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an M.F.A. from the American Conservatory Theatre.

LARRY BIEDERMAN (Chekhov, Ibsen & Strindberg) At Antaeus: CLASSICSFEST 2008 and the upcoming THE AUTUMN GARDEN.  Acclaimed productions include Eric Overmyer’s Dark Rapture at the Evidence Room, and the World Premiere of Sheila Callaghan’s Crumble at LATC.  Both enjoyed extended runs and wide critical praise, including Critics’ Choice from the L.A. Times.  Other world premieres include Keith Josef Adkin’s Farwell Miss Cotton, The Black Dahlia and David Rock’s Grand Delusion at the Lost Studio.  He’s directed throughout Los Angeles including Theatre of NOTE, Theatre @ Boston Court, The Blank, The Road Theatre and ASK Theater Projects.  His staging of Bryan Davidson’s Death’s Messengers at the MET Theatre earned them two LA Weekly Theater Award nominations for writing and direction.  Biederman spent seven seasons with San Francisco’s ACT, directing and serving in many senior capacities on the artistic staff and as Associate Director of their M.F.A. Program.  Bay Area productions include Peter Barnes’ Red Noses; also a Critic’s Choice and named one of the year’s 10 best productions, as well as the acclaimed West Coast premiere of Constance Congdon’s No Mercy, which he recently directed again for the 24th Street Theatre in Los Angeles.  Biederman teaches both privately and for many reputable training programs throughout the country from the Williamstown Theatre Festival to the Old Globe and locally at Cal State Fullerton where he served three years as their Head of Directing.  Most recently, Biederman brought his innovative staging of Schnitzler’s La Ronde to the New York International Fringe Festival.  He is set to direct THE AUTUMN GARDEN for Antaeus Company and then the Los Angeles premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s A Clean House at The Odyssey Theatre.

TONY AMENDOLA (Monsieur Crevel) Antaeus: PHAEDRA, CHEKHOV X4, and others.  He has worked at theaters across the country, including ten years at Berkeley Rep (actor and director), ACT, Mark Taper Forum, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, South Coast Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Center Stage, Seattle Rep and Disney Hall. Credits include Cyrano, Uncle Vanya, Iago, Jack Abbot, Leontes, Malvolio, Teach, Lopakhin and Domenico.  FILM: “Blow,” “Mask Of Zorro,” “Legend of Zorro,” “Lone Star.” TV: “Dexter,” “CSI,” “Raising the Bar,” “Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “West Wing,” “Alias,” “Seinfeld,” “26 Miles,” and “Stargate SG1.”   He is a founding member of Antaeus.

WADE_GEOFFREYGEOFFREY WADE (Chekhov, Ibsen, Strindberg, American Classics, Moliere & Restoration Comedy)  Just back from three months playing the title role in the world premier of Lincoln: Upon the Altar of Freedom.  He has performed on and off-Broadway and continues to work extensively in regional theater (a sampling includes several seasons at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and The Rep Theatre of St. Louis, also Pennsylvania Stage, Center Stage, GeVa, The Guthrie, Denver Center, Carbonell nominated performances at the Caldwell and a long association with Vermont’s Weston Playhouse).  His LA theatre credits include Heathen Valley and The Savannah Option as well as award winning productions of The Man Who Had All The Luck, Mercadet and Mother Courage along with numerous other Antaeus shows.  He works in episodic television, in radio and on tour with LA Theatre Works. He trained at The Central School of Speech and Drama in London.  He has taught at the Antaeus Academy since 2001.


Huge Strides for ShakesAlive!

Arts Education and Outreach programs bring our ensemble members into the classroom to make Shakespearean text accessible, fun and relevant to students’ lives. Through ShakesAlive!, we work with educators to develop culturally specific programs that move from Euro-centric to multi-centric and we give Los Angeles area students the opportunity to revel in both familiar and undiscovered classic gems of all cultures.

Returning to William Tell Aggeler Opportunity School this Winter for Project 29: partnering at-risk youth with Shakespeare’s at-risk characters.  Also returning to Cleveland HS in the spring!

Antaeus was recently granted a new way for schools to find us — a listing on the LA County Arts For All Website – these listings were VERY competitive and we are now part of Los Angeles County’s first interactive website that supports the arts education needs of educators, community stakeholders and policy makers by providing centralized access to the tools and information necessary to achieve sequential K-12 arts education.
Our Arts Ed Department also now partners with Center Theatre Group on their Annenberg Middle School Program. This is a new pilot, a 3-year action research program that will lead students through a playwriting residency with professional readings by actors from local theatre companies, mirroring the actual playwriting process. The goal is to improve and inspire students’ language and creative thinking skills, leading to student achievement in Language Arts.
As part of our planned expansion in 2010, we held the first of a series of Teaching Artist Training Workshops last October. See a snippet here!
Stay tuned ~ our Shakespeare Monologue Competition also returns in 2010!

The Antaeus Academy. You don’t have to take our word for it……

Jeff Gardner, Kellie Matteson & Mark Moore in the U.S. premiere reading of Coward's "Peace in our Time"

“Antaeus has taught me one of the most important traits I have as an actor. To learn how to mine the script for clues and make important decisions that guide my work as an actor. In a way you become your own director inspired with assurance to create from any text.”

~Jeff Gardner, A2 actor

“I am most impressed by not only the depth of knowledge of the moderators and guest moderators, but also with their passion for teaching this material. It’s wonderful – especially in Los Angeles – to have access to this wealth of skill and experience with classical texts.”

~Christopher Guilmet,
Classical Styles & Shakespeare Workout

“Going to class at Antaeus is like coming home after a long day… It’s exactly where you want to be.  Sure, an on-camera class is all well and good.  But Classical Styles is a class that brought me some real joy and reminded me why I love acting in the first place…”

~Fay Wolf, Classical Styles

“I feel so lucky to have found this Classical Styles Class at Antaeus! It had been about ten years since I’d worked on a

Fay Wolf & Mike Hyland in a scene from "Taming of the Shrew"

classical play and I had forgotten how inspiring it could be. When I work on this kind of language I can feel my brain come alive in an entirely new way. It is sort of like lifting weights in the sense that at first it is kind of tough, but after a short while you notice yourself getting stronger. Through this class and through working on this language I could almost feel myself getting smarter and more eloquent in my day to day life.

At Antaeus, along with these great pieces of art (that are a blessing to work on), come teachers or “moderators” that are so smart, enthusiastic and supportive. Their enthusiasm and knowledge made me want to work even harder on these scenes. Each one of them treated the members of the class as artists. A feeling that is quite difficult to find sometimes in Los Angeles.

In short, working with Antaeus made my heart and brain come alive in a way that it hadn’t been in quite some time. I am thankful that I found such a wonderful place.”

~Mike Hyland, Classical Styles

A Disease Called Sobriety

PUNTILA AND MATTI poster small“There are bad people who would be less dangerous if they had no good in them.”

— La Rouchefoucauld

Brecht’s epic comedy of two men from very different strata of life — the good-natured, somewhat suspicious but always honest chauffeur, Matti, and his employer, gentleman farmer Puntila, whose only problem is this little disease he suffers from:  A disease called sobriety.

For when drunk, Puntila is warm, generous, insightful and wise.  It’s when he sobers up the trouble starts..

Written in Finland in the mid 1940s, “Puntila and Matti” premiered in Zurich in 1948 and was the premiere production of the newly-formed Berliner Ensemble in 1950.  Brecht believed this show should be done in style evoking the Commedia, and adaptor Lee Hall responded to that in 1998 by remaking it as a vaudeville extravaganza.

Sober Puntila has affianced his daughter Eva to a boring but respectable government Attache, but Drunken Puntila can’t stand the man and moves heaven and earth to strike a spark between Eva and Matti.  Sober Puntila is resigned to the single life, but Drunken Puntila, an inveterate ladies’ man, proposes to half the eligible women in the district.  Sober Puntila hires his laborers grudgingly at slave wages, but Drunken Puntila is a one-man stimulus package.

Can Mr. Brecht’s theories of alienation and collectivism survive in a breakneck world of snappy patter and showbiz pizazz?  Join Puntila, Matti, Eva, and the whole gang as they find the answer to that question!

Monday, Sept. 28th

7:30pm Reading

Email for more information on how to attend!

-John Apicella

John is a stage, film and tv actor whose thirty year career includes dozens of feature film and network television roles. His work with L.A.’s Mark Taper Forum includes West Coast premieres of Vaclav Havel’s plays Largo Desolato and Temptation, as well as the Antaeus/Taper production of Chekhov’s The Wood Demon.  Regional work includes A.C.T. (San Francisco) in The First Picture Show, Glengarry Glen Ross and The Imaginary Invalid, and the Dallas Theatre Center.  He is a founding member of Antaeus and served on the board for fifteen years and as co-artistic director for five years.
Besides a lifelong fascination with the plays of Brecht, his specialties include commedia dell’arte (he is a skilled classical maskmaker), the American drama of the 18th and 19th centuries, and the classical Greek and Roman theater