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Odyssey presents L.A. premiere of Richard Eyre’s breathtaking
adaptation of Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts’ directed by Bart DeLorenzo
LOS ANGELES (July 26, 2022) — “I’m not frightened of God, only of the ghosts in my life… the things that come out of the past.” Odyssey Theatre Ensemble presents the Los Angeles premiere of an electrifying adaptation, by acclaimed British director Richard Eyre, of what may be Henrik Ibsen’s most controversial play. Directed by Bart DeLorenzo, Ghosts will kick off with two public previews on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 4 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m., followed by two press previews (also open to the public) on Thursday, Sept. 8 and Friday, Sept. 9. Performances begin September 10 and will continue through October 23 at the Odyssey Theatre’s three-theater complex in West L.A.
Recently widowed Helene Alving (Pamela J. Gray), desperate to conceal her late husband’s philandering, is preparing to open an orphanage in his memory with the help of Pastor Manders (Barry Del Sherman). But when her son (Alex Barlas), returns from Paris and turns his eye to the Alving family maid (Viva Hassis Gentes)—daughter of local schemer Jacob Engstrand (J.Stephen Brantley)—Helene is forced to confront the ghosts of the past and the weight of her own secrets.
“One of the shocks of working on this play is how up-to-the-minute it is,” says DeLorenzo. “No playwright merges the political and the personal like Ibsen does. By examining the issues of the day through the conflicts of one single family, he shows us how culture imposes its values on individuals and speaks through us, and how difficult change can be. I wonder if there is a more relevant subject for this year than how we move forward against the tides that are always pulling us back. Eyre’s striking adaptation is funny and sexy, a breathless adaptation that is as true to the original as it is to our time.”
Touching on then-taboo subjects including incest, venereal disease, religious hypocrisy and divorce, Ghosts scandalized Chicago audiences in 1882, where the play premiered when theaters in Europe refused to produce it. The first play Ibsen wrote after A Doll’s House, Ghosts is considered by many to be the story of what might have happened if Nora had stayed with her husband and sought her liberation from within the marriage.
The creative team for Ghosts includes scenic designer Frederica Nascimento; scenic artist Chris Bell; lighting designer Christine Ferriter; sound designer John Zalewski; costume designer Lena Sands; and graphic designer Peter Simpson Cook. The assistant director is Quest Sky Zeidler, and the production stage manager is Beth Mack. Beth Hogan and Josh La Cour produce for Odyssey Theatre Ensemble.
With a 50-year history as one of Los Angeles’ most adventurous companies and a pioneer in the intimate theater movement, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble continues to offer world-class live theater experiences. Whether it be an original new play, a bold re-envisioned classic, or something hot off the international theater circuit, the Odyssey strives to be provocative, mind-bending and emotionally potent. As an artist-run venture, this unique company is always multicultural in both intent and practice, serving the wonderfully diverse ethnic mix of the Los Angeles community.
Public previews for Ghosts take place on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 4 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m., followed by two press previews (also open to the public) on Thursday, Sept. 8 and Friday, Sept. 9, both at 8 p.m. Beginning Saturday, Sept. 10, performances will take place on Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 4 p.m., and Mondays at 8 p.m. through October 23 (dark Sunday, Sept 11 and Monday, Sept. 12). Three additional performances are set for Fridays in October: Friday, Oct. 7; Friday, Oct. 14; and Friday, Oct. 21, each at 8 p.m.
Tickets to previews are $20. Tickets to performances on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays range from $25–$40. Tickets to performances on Monday nights are Pay-What-You-Will (reservations open online and at the door starting at 5:30 p.m.). Tickets for artists and educators are $20 with union (AEA-SAG-AFTRA) or school ID on Friday, Sept. 9 and Sunday, Oct. 9.
Post-performance discussions with the artists are scheduled on Monday, Sept. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 9, and are included in the ticket price. The second Friday of each month (Friday, Sept. 9 and Friday, Oct. 14) is “Wine Night”: enjoy complimentary wine and snacks and mingle with the cast after the show.
The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025. For reservations and information, including up-to-date Covid-19 safety protocols, call (310) 477-2055 or go to OdysseyTheatre.com.
Details for Calendar Listings
Odyssey Theatre Ensemble presents acclaimed British director Richard Eyre’s stunning new adaptation of Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen. Eyre illuminates Ibsen’s masterpiece, seen as a scandalous work when it was first performed in 1882, with fresh poetry and dark humor. As widow Helene Alving tries to start her life anew after the death of her philandering husband, she must confront the ghosts of the past and the weight of her own secrets. She is determined that her son will not follow in his father’s footsteps, but when Oswald returns from France, she discovers that she may be too late.
• Written by Henrik Ibsen
• Adapted by Richard Eyre
• Directed by Bart DeLorenzo
• Starring: Alex Barlas, J.Stephen Brantley [sic], Barry Del Sherman, Viva Hassis Gentes, Pamela J. Gray
• Presented by Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Ron Sossi Artistic Director
Previews: Sept. 4 and Sept. 7
Press Previews: Sept. 8 and Sept. 9 (also open to the public)
Performances: September 10 – October 23
• Wednesday at 8 p.m.: Sept. 7 ONLY (Preview)
• Thursday at 8 p.m.: Sept. 8 ONLY (Press Preview)
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: Sept. 9 (Press Preview)*, Oct. 7, Oct. 14* and Oct. 21 (dark Sept. 16, Sept. 23, Sept. 30)
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Sept. 10 (Opening Night), Sept. 17, Sept. 24, Oct. 1, Oct. 8, Oct. 15, Oct. 22
• Sundays at 4 p.m.: Sept. 18, Sept. 25, Oct. 2, Oct. 9**, Oct. 16, Oct. 23 (dark Sept. 11)
• Mondays at 8 p.m.: Sept. 19**, Sept. 26, Oct. 3, Oct. 10, Oct. 17 (dark Sept. 12)
*Wine Nights on Friday, Sept. 9 and Friday, Oct. 14: enjoy complimentary wine and snacks and after the show.
**Post-performance discussions with the artists on Monday, Sept. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 9
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90025
• Previews: $20
• Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays: $25–$40
• Mondays: Pay-What-You-Will (reservations open online and at the door starting at 5:30 p.m.)
• Artists and educators: $20 on Friday, Sept. 9 and Sunday, Oct. 9 with union (AEA-SAG-AFTRA) or school ID.
Go to odysseytheatre.com/plan-your-visit/covid-protocols to find up-to-date Covid-19 safety protocols.
(310) 477-2055 ext. 2 or www.OdysseyTheatre.com
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