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Odyssey Theatre, New American Theatre celebrate
El Niño with boldly reconstructed ‘Tempest Redux’
LOS ANGELES (REVISED Feb. 1, 2016) — Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and The New American Theatre celebrate El Niño with a perfect storm of comedy, romance, mystery and magic. Adapted, directed and choreographed by John Farmanesh-Bocca and starring New American Theatre artistic director Jack Stehlin (Weeds) as Prospero, Tempest Redux opens at West L.A.’s Odyssey Theatre on February 20.
Derived from Shakespeare’s fantasy, this freshly conceived reconstruction of The Tempest is a potent confection of physical theater and verbal gymnastics — a father-daughter story for the ages that explores the power of love and forgiveness.
According to Farmanesh-Bocca, “‘redux’ signifies that we’re re-examining the text from the ground up and visceralizing it with a ton of athletic movement. It’s a meditation on Shakespeare’s work, contemporized for a modern audience, but without losing any of the language or traditions of the original. As radical as the adaptation is, I’m actually a purist.”
To that end, the cast has been stripped to seven actors and three dancers who not only play multiple roles, but also share some of the same parts. In addition to Stehlin, Tempest Redux features Mimi Davila (Ophelia in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s adaptation of Hamlet at Miami’s GableStage) as Miranda and Charles Hunter Paul (Macbeth, The Importance of Bing Earnest and The Tempest for Oklahoma’s Shakespeare in the Park) as Ferdinand. A two-headed Caliban is played by both Willem Long (Rogue Artists Ensemble’s Wood Boy Dog Fish), who also takes on the role of Sebastian, and Dash Pepin (Pericles Redux, Titus Redux and Ajax in Iraq for Not Man Apart–Physical Theatre Ensemble), who also plays Francisco. Dennis Gersten (co-artistic director of NoHo’s Theatre Unlimited) doubles as Antonio and Trinculo, while Gildart Jackson (Class at the Falcon Theatre) does triple duty as Alonso, Gonzolo and Stephano. The role of Ariel is shared by three dancers: Shea Donovan (The Threepenny Opera at A Noise Within), Briana Price (Glee) and Emily Yetter (Regan in The Exorcist at the Geffen Playhouse).
“The actors have been doubled in such a way as to illuminate the duality of each character, the yin and yang of the full person,” explains Stehlin. “The concept is that this is Prospero’s dream, and we turn The Tempest upside down in a way that makes it really come alive.”
Stehlin and the New American Theatre previously collaborated with Farmanesh-Bocca and his Not Man Apart–Physical Theatre Company on Titus Redux, which played to critical acclaim at the Kirk Douglas Theater and LA Radar Fest. Other Redux plays created, directed and choreographed by Farmanesh-Bocca include Romeo & Juliet Redux at the Miles Memorial Playhouse (Shakespeare Santa Monica); Hamlet Redux at the MET Theatre in Hollywood (Shakespeare Santa Monica Annex); Richard III Redux at Veteran’s Center for the Performing Arts (Not Man Apart–Physical Theatre Ensemble and the VCPA) and Pericles Redux at the Kirk Douglas Theater and Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Not Man Apart—Physical Theatre Ensemble).
Jack Stehlin, an award-winning actor/director and founding artistic director of the New American Theatre, is best known for his television role as DEA captain Roy Till on the Showtime series Weeds (SAG Award nomination). New York/regional stage credits include Salome (with Al Pacino), numerous productions at New York’s Public Theater including Richard II (with Steven Berkoff), Henry V (with Kevin Kline), Casanova (with Ethan Hawke), Henry IV (with Mandy Patinkin) and Julius Caesar (with Al Pacino and Martin Sheen). Los Angeles stage roles include New American Theatre productions of 63 Trillion, More Lies About Jerzy, Julius Caesar, Harm’s Way (also off Broadway) and Titus Redux (Not Man Apart co-production at Kirk Douglas Theatre and RadarLA,); and Odyssey/New American Theatre co-productions of Creditors (LA Weekly Award nomination-Best Actor), The Taming of the Shrew, The Misanthrope, Macbeth, Richard III, Tartuffe and True West. His many guest-starring roles on countless TV fan favorites include NCIS Los Angeles, Without a Trace, Monk, The Practice, Crossing Jordan, ER, NYPD Blue and the Fox pilot Hieroglyph. Jack can be seen on the big screen in Wilde Salome with Al Pacino.
John Farmanesh-Bocca is the founding artistic director of both Not Man Apart—Physical Theatre Ensemble (2005-2015) and Shakespeare Santa Monica (2003–2014). His Los Angeles directing credits include Ajax in Iraq (Miles Playhouse, Santa Monica) Pericles Redux and Titus Redux (Kirk Douglas Theatre) Lysistrata Unbound and Hercules Furens (Getty Villa Theatre Lab), As/Is (The New American Theatre), My Wonderful Life (Malibu Stage Company) and Richard III Redux (Veteran’s Center for the Performing Arts). Awarded an American Theatre Wing Scholarship, John trained at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (‘94) before serving as a directing fellow at the Julliard School’s Drama Division (2003-2005). His company, Not Man Apart, is known for athletic, intense modern versions of Shakespeare, the creation of visceral original works and re-examinations of eternal classics. In 2014, Not Man Apart was named “one of the 13 innovative physical theater companies in the world” by Backstage. The Hollywood Reporter called it “a futuristic theater company,” the Los Angeles Times praised it as “exhilarating and propulsive” and “exciting and innovative,” and the British Theatre Guide found it “startlingly refreshing.”
The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble was founded in 1969 when Ron Sossi decided to demonstrate that experiment-oriented theater could have populist appeal and be fiscally solvent while maintaining the highest artistic standards. Wildly successful and innovative productions such as The Serpent and Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera immediately gained the Odyssey its reputation for producing dangerous, magical and experimental work. Now celebrating its 47th season, OTE continues to explore, produce and present works on the forefront of contemporary theater art in its three-theater complex in West Los Angeles.
Celebrating its 20th season in Los Angeles, the New American Theatre is a company of professional actors and theater artists working in stage, film, television and new media with the mission to inspire, educate and nurture a thoughtful and humane world view through the art of storytelling. Founded by Jack Stehlin in 1983, NAT (originally called Circus Theatricals) has earned critical acclaim, awards and nominations on both coasts and was named one of five “Top 99-Seat Theaters in L.A.” by CBS Los Angeles.
Set design for Tempest Redux is by Christopher Scott Murillo; lighting design is by Bosco Flanagan; and costume design is by Denise Blasor. Ron Sossi and Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin produce for the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and the New American Theatre respectively.
Performances of Tempest Redux take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., Feb. 20 through April 10. (On Sunday, Feb. 21 only, the performance will be at 5 p.m. with no 2 p.m. matinee.) Additional weeknight performances are scheduled on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on March 9 and March 30, and on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on March 3, March 17, March 24 and April 7. Tickets are $34 on Saturdays and Sundays; $30 on Fridays; and $25 on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with $20 tickets available for seniors and $15 tickets for students and members of SAG/AFTRA/AEA. There will be three “Tix for $10” performances on Friday, Feb. 26, Wednesday, March 9 and Thursday, March 24. Post-show discussions are scheduled on Wednesday, March 9; Sunday, March 20; and Friday, April 1. The third Friday of every month is wine night at the Odyssey: 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, call (310) 477-2055 or go to www.OdysseyTheatre.com.
Details for Calendar Listings
Tempest Redux — Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and The New American Theatre celebrate El Niño with a perfect storm of comedy, romance, mystery and magic. Derived from Shakespeare’s fantasy, The Tempest, this freshly conceived reconstruction is a potent confection of physical theater and verbal gymnastics — a father-daughter story for the ages that explores the power of love and forgiveness. Adapted, directed and choreographed by John Farmanesh-Bocca and starring New American Theatre artistic director Jack Stehlin (Weeds) as Prospero.
• Written by William Shakespeare
• Conceived, choreographed and directed by John Farmanesh-Bocca
• Starring Mimi Davila, Shea Donovan, Dennis Gersten, Gildart Jackson, Willem Long, Charles Hunter Paul, Dash Pepin, Briana Price, Jack Stehlin and Emily Yetter
• Produced by Ron Sossi and Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin
• A co-production of Odyssey Theatre Ensemble – Ron Sossi , artistic director and The New American Theatre – Jack Stehlin, artistic director
Feb. 20 – April 10:
• Wednesdays at 8 p.m.: March 9* and March 30 ONLY
• Thursdays at 8 p.m.: March 3, March 17, March 24 and April 7 ONLY
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 26; March 4, 11, 18**, 25; April 1*, 8
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 20 (opening), 27; March 5, 12, 19, 26; April 2, 9
• Sundays at 2 p.m.: Feb. 28; March 6, 13, 20*, 27; April 3, 10 (no 2 p.m. matinee on Feb. 21)
• Sunday at 5 p.m.: Feb. 21 ONLY
*Post-show discussions take place on Wednesday, March 9; Sunday, March 20; and Friday, April 1,
**The third Friday of every month is wine night at the Odyssey: enjoy complimentary wine and snacks and mingle with the cast after the show.
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90025
• (310) 477-2055 ext. 2 or www.OdysseyTheatre.com
• Visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/OdysseyTheatre
• Follow us on Twitter: @OdysseyTheatre_
• $25–$34 (reserved seating)
• Discounted tickets available for students and members of Equity/Sag for select performances
• Three “Tix for $10” performances: Friday, Feb. 26, Wednesday, March 9 and Thursday, March 24