By Geoffrey Maingart
Malibu, CA (The Hollywood Times) 7/26/14 – The magnificent Getty Villa was the setting for a press conference announcing the new production of the Persians by Aeschylus. The work is a great undertaking for this renowned New York based theater group and is directed by Anne Bogart and translated by Aaron Poochigian. The company has been performing for 22 years.
The play represents the birth of drama and Greek tragedy and was first produced in the year 472 B.C. telling the story of the defeat of the Persians by the Greeks in the naval battle at Salamis. The story is particularly appropriate today with its emphasis about the universal impact of war on family and community and is complex and mysterious. Anne explained that the true protagonist of the play is the chorus who represent the defeated and the victorious.
It is still a story of war and loss.
The performances will begin on September 4th through October 27th, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the magnificent courtyard/amphitheater of the J. Paul Getty Museum – Villa located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades. The setting could not be more appealing. The director and cast discussed their vision of the play and how language and musical sound are influencing the style of performance. The intent is to open in the old Greek language and switch to English bridging the ancient with the modern. Sitting in the theater one can imagine being in an ancient amphitheater in Greece. Even the acoustics at the Getty make the experience totally unique.
The reception began with a wonderful Greek buffet and then Anne Bogart and the cast spoke of the project and their effort to tell this amazing story. All in the cast are very aware of the unrest that so many are experiencing in the same part of the world. It was mentioned that all in the Middle East should see this production if only to understand that war and suffering has not changed in thousands of years. What has changed is the ability of modern weapons to increase the level of damage and suffering.
In ancient Greece, theater was a fundamental component of religious and social life and classical drama still resonates strongly with contemporary playwrights, actors and audiences. Come see the Persians and the play that began the birth of theater. Tickets will range in price from $36 (students and seniors) to $45 on Saturdays. This is a production not to be missed and the Getty Villa and Museum is worth a visit at any time and is free to the public. For information, go to www.getty.edu or call (310) 440-7300.