Tuesday, December 1, 2015
HERAKLES - Orange Theatre - December 11 - 20, 2015
The play tells the story of an ancient Greek hero, Herakles (aka Hercules), who kills monsters all over the world but faces his own demons when he returns home to his family. Remarkably topical for a script written almost 2500 years ago, “Herakles” engages with themes of masculine violence, trauma, and war that we are still grappling with today. Katrina Donaldson, who plays the title role in the show, explains her experience of the character: “Herakles is the epitome of a man’s man, so it’s really interesting, as a woman, to take on that role. There’s a lot of attention right now on how women get by in a patriarchal society, and to understand and live that dynamic while also playing this character–a patriarch and someone who conquers the world through force–is a really exciting challenge.”
Orange Theatre's gender- and genre-bending interpretation will be staged in the round, and much like at an art installation, audience members will be free to walk around the performance space and view the the show from different angles. The show integrates video with live actors, musicians, and a dancer to create a dynamic new piece–part concert, part movie, and part play–inspired by the ancient tale.
“Herakles” will take place at Orange Theatre’s performance space at 1711 W Culver St. (between 19th and Grand Avenues) in Phoenix. Show times are Dec. 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, and 20 at 8pm, plus late-night performances on Dec. 12 and 19 at 10pm.
All tickets are pay-what-you-can with cash or credit card, and they are available at the door or via the company’s website, orangetheatre.org. Due to limited space, only 25 tickets are available for each showing, so audience members are encouraged to reserve spots online in advance. Free street parking is available near the venue.
The production features original compositions by Phoenix-based musicians Joshua Hill (of The Hill in Mind) and Jordan Tompkins (of Twin Ponies), who play live during the show, and choreography by Molly Schenck. Performing the legendary roles are William Crook as Amphitryon, Katrina Donaldson as Herakles and Lykos, Jenny Gerena as the Daughter, Kerin Martinez as Megara, and Jenny Strickland as the Chorus. Orange Theatre Artistic Director Matthew Watkins directs and designs the set. Sound designer Stephen Christensen uses a custom-built system to wrap the performance space in 360 degrees of audio. Media and live video are designed by Tucker Bingham, and Joya Scott is the dramaturg.