16 - 25 AUGUST 2013
The Rollins Studio Theater
The Long Center for the Performing Arts
[701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704]
TICKETS ON SALE NOW! (see below)
Produced by Special Arrangement
with The Estate of Douglass Stott Parker
Featuring the award-winning artistic contributions of actors: Karen Alvarado, John Austin, Suzanne Balling, Joe Hartman, Court Hoang, Chris Humphrey, Annamarie Kasper, Julie Linnard, Nathan Osburn, Mario Ramirez, and Justin Scalise; with Scenic Design and Properties by Justin Cox; Lighting Design by Natalie George; Costume Design and Hair & Make-Up Design by Austin M. Rausch; Choreography by Lynn Raridon; and Video Design by Kakii Keenan; Sound Design by Blake Addyson; and Music by Chris Humphrey and Court Hoang.
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 professor 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 Parker did not ‘finish’ it, though he stopped writing in about 1993, and left it unpublished during his lifetime. 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’ 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.
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