Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Maxwell Caulfield To Co-Star in Euripides' HELEN

The Getty Museum and Playwrights’ Arena in Los Angeles is pleased to offer Euripides’ HELEN, in the Getty Villa’s outdoor Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater. Presenting a surprising twist on the legend of Helen of Troy, the rarely performed play will feature a cast of thirteen led by distinguished actor Maxwell Caulfield as Menelaos, King of Sparta, and Rachel Sorsa as Helen. Directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera, artistic director of Los Angeles-based Playwrights’ Arena, this production debuts a new adaptation by playwright Nick Salamone and a score by composer and musical director David O.

In Euripides' alternative history of Helen of Troy, his heroine is no wanton seductress, but rather a pious, faithful wife and a hapless victim of Olympian plots who struggles to make the best of a very bad situation. By a trick of the gods, this Helen never travels to Troy at all, but is replaced by a phantom replica on the eve of her kidnapping by Paris. The real Queen Helen is magically transported by Hermes to the far off island of Pharos in a cloud for safekeeping, where she waits out the Trojan War in an ironic celibacy.

HELEN picks up the story 17 years later, as the abandoned, middle-aged queen remains stranded on the island, oblivious to her infamy and ignorant of the war's outcome. As the play opens, the once-famous beauty wonders whether the gods, her husband, and the world have forgotten her forever. Needless to say, they have not, and Euripides' inventive fantasy of mistaken identities and impossible coincidences ensues.

The Getty Villa's annual outdoor theater production is part of a year-round innovative theater program that enhances the museum visitor's experience of the ancient world. Live performances of classical drama offer insight into the social, cultural, and political realities of life in ancient Greece and Rome. In the galleries, the works of art serve to deepen the connection between modern audiences and the mythical stories underlying the tragedies and comedies on stage.

Performances of Euripides’ HELEN will be held Thursday through Saturday, September 6 - 29, at 8:00 p.m., with previews August 30 - September 1. Click Here for tickets and more information. 

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About the Getty Villa
The Getty Villa is open Wednesday through Monday, 10 am to 5 pm. It is closed Tuesday and major holidays. Admission to the Getty Villa is always free. A ticket is required for admission. Tickets can be ordered in advance, or on the day of your visit, at www.getty.edu/visit or at (310) 440-7300. Parking is $15 per car. Groups of 15 or more must make reservations by phone. For more information, call (310) 440-7300 (English or Spanish); (310) 440-7305 (TTY line for the deaf or hearing impaired). The Getty Villa is at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, California.

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