Wednesday, May 22, 2013

ZEUS IN THERAPY by Douglass Stott Parker, Tutto Theatre at Rollins Theatre, Long Center, August 18 - 25, 2013

Tutto Theatre Austin TXpresents
Zeus in Therapy
by Douglass Stott Parker
directed by Gary Jaffe
August 16 - 25, 2013
Rollins Theatre, Long Center, 701 Riverside at South First, Austin, TX - click for map

Tutto Theatre Company proudly announces the world premiere of Zeus in Therapy, an original theatrical experience adapted from the unpublished poetry of Douglass Stott Parker by the company, and directed by Gary Jaffe. 

When a god has questions, you know those really big questions…life or death…slave or free…savagery or civilization…fair or cloudy…her or her sister…, where does he go? And will there be cashews?

A long-time Austin resident, Parker was an improvisational jazz trombonist, a renowned translator of ancient comedy, an explorer of fictitious landscapes, and a profess of ancient languages and creativity at UT-Austin. He is best known for his work in Greek and Roman comedy, particularly his translations of Aristophanes’ plays Lysistrata (1964), The Wasps (1962), and The Congresswomen (1967). His Lysistrata has had over two hundred productions and is currently the translation published in the Signet Classics series. His The Congresswomen (Ecclesiazusae) was among the Finalists for The National Book Award in the category of Translation in 1968.

In 1979, he began writing Zeus in Therapy, a cycle of 52 poems which imagines Zeus on the therapist’s couch. Parker did not ‘finish’ it, though he stopped writing in about 1993, and left it unpublished during his lifetime. Every new poem in the cycle was shared both on his office door and with his classes on a weekly basis for some 25 years. Parker’s poetry is whimsical and profound, cosmic and quotidian, thoughtful and irreverent, but always heartfelt and true. Our translation of Zeus in Therapy into a theatrical experience will bring the power of his words to an even larger audience.

In our adaptation, a diverse ensemble of eleven performers play Zeus, giving Parker’s words a dynamic range of expression. Beginning with the classic binary image of therapy: therapist in chair, patient on couch, we expand as Zeus’s fracturing mind becomes a multitude of bodies and voices. As Parker’s words reverberate, and as actors scramble about the stage to perform the various travails of his life, we come to understand that Zeus, just like the rest of us, finds himself overwhelmed by expectations. 

The production features the award-winning acting talents of Aaron D. Alexander, Karen Alvarado, John Austin, Suzanne Balling, Joe Hartman, Court Hoang, Chris Humphrey, Annamarie Kasper, Julie Linnard, Nathan Osburn, and Justin Scalise; with Scenic Design by Justin Cox; Lighting Design by Natalie George; Costume and Hair & Make-Up Design by Austin M. Rausch; Choreography by Lynn Raridon; Video Design by Kakii Keenan; and Music by Chris Humphrey & Court Hoang.

Zeus in Therapy runs August 16th through 25th at the Rollins Studio Theater in The Long Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets available via The Long Center for the Performing Arts.

In the last six years, Tutto’s seven most recent productions: The Twelfth Labor (Summer 2012), The Alien Baby Play (Winter 2012), The Dudleys!: A Family Game (Spring 2011), I Witness (Summer 2010), Murder Ballad Murder Mystery (Fall 2009), Black Snow (Summer 2009), and Ophelia (Fall 2008) together have collected 64 nominations, garnered 27 awards, and appeared on 11 annual top listings from local media.

Founded in 2002, Tutto Theatre Company set out to elevate cross-disciplinary communication in the Austin artistic community. In 2008, we fused to our original purpose the artistic ambition to enhance, imaginatively, the expanding arts community in Austin. Imagination is the engine of the impossible, and ours is an Impossible Theatre. Embracing the theatre—a realm where impossibilities interpenetrate—we access the deeper meaning that lies beneath human experience. We create a space to carve into the unexpected, to dissect its viscera, and to lay bare its provocative sinews in ever more impossible ways. Ours is a theatre of dreams and of fantasies, of memory and of nostalgia, of desire and of disorientation, of imagination and of contradiction, an arena where the mundane grapples with the sublime. Thus, we commit tutto (everything) to the exploration of new forms and of new works that inscribe their fearful symmetries and incalculable geometries within our hearts, minds, and bodies.

We feel a profound responsibility both to new and timeless theatre. Our work, therefore, consists in: (1) producing experiences of high-quality both small and large; (2) developing new work and production opportunities for up-and-coming playwrights; and (3) helping our community to nurture its place as a world-class arts destination, providing local educational opportunities, and bringing artists from around the world to develop their work in our city. Thus we defy the grim reality of theatre making in the 21st century, declaring: Everything is possible in this our Impossible Theatre!

This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.

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