Classical Theatre Company Announces 2011-2012 Season

Date 2011/4/15 6:26:52 | Topic: Local News

Three different playwrights, from three different countries, in three different eras

April 15, 2011

The Classical Theatre Company (CTC), the only professional theatre company in the state of Texas devoted solely to the production of year round classical drama, announces its 2011-2012 Season. The CTC prides itself on producing only plays that are one hundred or more years old, and in its fourth season, is proud to announce the plays that make up its three full Mainstage productions. Included in the Mainstage season is CTC's first production of the great Russian dramatist, Anton Chekhov as well as a return to French farce with master comedian Pierre de Marivaux, and the ever-present William Shakespeare...
"We saw great success with our previous early modern productions [Shaw's Candida and Ibsen's Ghosts], and were eager to put on something by their peer - the vastly under-produced Chekhov," says CTC Executive Artistic Director John Johnston, "In addition to Chekhov, we are thrilled to build upon the previous success we had with French farce [2010's Tartuffe] by producing the local professional premiere of Marivaux's laugh-driven The Triumph of Love. Finally, of course, we can't forget our devotion to Shakespeare, so The Tempest will round out our Mainstage next year."

"The season will have three different plays that are of three distinct eras and genres. It will really exemplify the broad spectrum of what makes up classical drama: from the Bard to French farce to the early modern. Some dramatic, some funny, some both. It will be a really excellent mix. We're also very excited to bring in guest director John Houchin to direct Vanya. Although he hasn't been in the Houston theatre scene for several decades, he is coming back to here from his position at Boston College, where he is a professor of Theater Arts. He was a mentor of mine while I was in school, and he helped shape me as an artist, and I am very proud to have him direct our Chekhov next year," says Johnston.


by Pierre de Marivaux
Adapted for the Classical Theatre Company by John Johnston
Directed by Julia Traber

September 2011
TBH Center

Although a relative unknown to American audiences, Pierre de Marivaux is ranked among the most important playwrights in the French language. His mastery of comic characters and situations made him one of the most notable French dramatists of the 18th century, and The Triumph of Love is regarded as one of his most popular plays.

The Triumph of Love follows the footsteps of the princess Leonide as she infiltrates the sanctuary estate of the reclusive philosopher, Herrmocrate, to win the heart of one of his students with whom she has fallen in love. In order to do so, she disguises herself as a young man to fool the stern philosopher, his servants, and his sister, Leontine. In this prison of logic, Leonide must make love flourish, and in order to do so, beguile all those around her. To what lengths will she go in order to see love triumph over reason?

by Anton Chekhov
Adapted for the Classical Theatre Company by John Houchin and Martine Kei Green
Directed by John Houchin

January 5 - January 22, 2012
TBH Center

Without question, Anton Chekhov is widely considered the greatest Russian playwright, and his plays are produced in nearly every corner of the globe. Chekhov was a skilled craftsman when it came to drama with his keen ability to layer in deep emotion and subtext into his scripts, and Uncle Vanya is no exception. Written in 1897, the play represents Chekhov's commentary of the wealthy Russian aristocracy and the lethargic "wasted" life they lived. Like most of his plays, Chekhov considered Uncle Vanya to be a comedy as it examines the melancholy lives of the upper class.

The play takes place on the estate of the retired professor Serebryakov, and circulates around Uncle Vanya himself and the love triangle he finds himself amidst. The old professor Serebryakov's beautiful young wife, Elena, has caught the fancy of the middle-aged Vanya and he pursues her in vain while she is flirted with by the dashing younger doctor, Astrov. Meanwhile, the professor's daughter, Sonya, has expressed a love for Astrov, but being older and less beautiful than Elena, she fears that she will never catch his eye. This collision of desires culminates in a flurry of conflict, gunplay, suicide attempts, and finally, in true Chekhovian fashion, more questions than resolutions.

by William Shakespeare
Adapted for the Classical Theatre Company by John Johnston
Directed by John Johnston

April 12 - April 29, 2012
Obsidian Art Space

Full of romance, magic, and intrigue, The Tempest is considered by most scholars to be the last play he wrote alone, and is one of William Shakespeare's most well constructed and well-known scripts. Many surmise that the exiled Duke of Milan and wizard, Prospero, was in fact an autobiographical character for Shakespeare as he prepared to leave the theatre. Playing this character in the CTC production will be local star actor Philip Lehl, who last appeared on the CTC stage as Pastor Manders in Ghosts in the fall of 2010.

Having been wrongfully exiled with his daughter, Miranda, by his brother from his seat as the Duke of Milan, the wizard Prospero has been living on a remote island for more than a decade. When chance brings his political enemies within his grasp, Prospero conjures a magical storm to wreck their ship and bring those who plotted against him to his new kingdom. Using his magical servant, Ariel, as a tool for mischief, Prospero manages to punish those who would conspire against him, brings Miranda and the noble prince Ferdinand together in love, and reconciles with his adversaries.

MISSION: The Classical Theatre Company (CTC) is dedicated to boldly re-envisioning classical drama on the stage, in the community, and in the classroom through engaging and enlightening plays that brings them new life and relevance while maintaining the integrity that the works deserve.

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