Cutting Ball Theater opens its 13th season with Strindberg Cycle: The Chamber Plays in Rep, a festival of August Strindberg's five Chamber Plays in new translations by Paul Walsh, directed by Cutting Ball Artistic Director Rob Melrose.
Strindberg Cycle is the final offering in Cutting Ball's year-long programming celebrating the centennial of Strindberg's death, which honored the playwright's vast career throughout 2012 with symposiums, lectures, and staged readings of his works. The Chamber Plays are THE GHOST SONATA, THE PELICAN, THE BLACK GLOVE, STORM, and BURNED HOUSE; this will be the first time all five of Strindberg's Chamber Plays will be performed together in repertory in any language.
Strindberg Cycle features James Carpenter, Carl Holvick-Thomas, Paul Gerrior, Caitlyn Louchard, Danielle O'Hare, Robert Parsons, Gwyneth Richards, David Sinaiko, and Nick Trengove, along with Ponder Goddard, Anne Hallinan, Michael Moerman, and Alex Shafer.
THE GHOST SONATA tells the story ofa strange encounter between a student and an old man and begins the morning after a terrible fire. A "ghost supper" is shared in a round room, secrets are divulged, plots are foiled, illusions are shattered, and the true haunting nature of things is revealed. The most well known of Strindberg's Chamber Plays, THE GHOST SONATA serves as the centerpiece of Strindberg Cycle: The Chamber Plays in Rep.
Based on the belief that a Pelican sheds its own blood to feed its young, THE PELICAN presents a family where the exact opposite is true. The widow Elise plots with her lover to steal her children's inheritance while they starve in their own home. When the children discover the truth, the revelation sparks a small revolution.
In THE BLACK GLOVE, it is the day before Christmas Eve in a five-story apartment building. An old man and a caretaker find a black glove in the entryway, precipitating a strange chain of events involving a young wife, two maids, two spirits, a missing ring, and a child.
In STORM, an elderly gentleman near the end of his life lives peacefully in a building neighbors call "the quiet house." His peace is shattered, however, when the new neighbors upstairs, the young wife and child he left many years ago, and her new husband, plan to turn their home into a private casino. Years of jealousy and resentment rise to the surface as he tries to help his former wife out of a bind and finds that the ghosts of his past still haunt him.
In BURNED HOUSE, prodigal son Arvid arrives in his hometown of Stockholm after decades of living in the United States only to find that his childhood home burned down the night before. While detectives search through the rubble for clues about the cause of the fire, Arvid sifts through the ashes to uncover the dark secrets hidden by his family and the town. As more secrets are revealed, Arvid finds the tools he needs to exact revenge on his brother for crimes committed long, long ago.
In addition to regular performances, Strindberg Cycle also provides audiences with an opportunity to see the plays performed separately, as well as in a "Chamber Play Marathon" of all five shows in one day.
Co-founded in 1999 by theater artists Rob Melrose and Paige Rogers, Cutting Ball Theater presents avant-garde works of the past, present, and future by re-envisioning classics, exploring seminal avant-garde texts, and developing new experimental plays. Cutting Ball Theater has partnered with Playwrights Foundation, and the Magic Theatre/Z Space New Plays Initiative to commission new experimental works. The company has produced a number of World Premieres, West Coast Premieres, and re-imagined various classics. Cutting Ball received the 2008 San Francisco Bay Guardian Goldie award for outstanding talent in the performing arts, and was voted "Best Theater Company" in the 2010 San Francisco Bay Guardian Best of the Bay issue. The company also earned the Best of SF award in 2006 and "Best Experimental Theater Company" in 2012 from SF Weekly, and was selected by San Francisco Magazine as Best Classic Theater in 2007. Cutting Ball Theater was featured in the February 2010 and 2012 issues of American Theatre Magazine.
Part 1: THE GHOST SONATA
Previews: October 12-13, 8pm; October 14, 5pm
Opens: October 18 (Press opening: October 18, 7:30pm)