What do you get when you combine an ancient Greek myth, a pioneering theater ensemble, two experimental musicians, and a Hollywood movie star? Nothing less than an intoxicating, multimedia play fit for the gods.
Actress Julia Stiles, best known for her recurring role in the “Bourne” trilogy, trades the movies for the stage to join her longtime associates at Ridge Theater for “Persephone,” opening Oct. 26 at the BAM Harvey.
For those who’ve forgotten their Greek mythology, the piece tells the story of Persephone (Stiles), a daughter of Zeus who is stolen by Hades. Though rescued by her mother Demeter, she is forced to remain in the Underworld for six months every year because she had consumed six pomegranate seeds while in Hades’s control.
The Ridge Theater’s adaptation of the myth is based around music, with vocalist Mimi Goese and composer Ben Neill bringing 19th-century compositions, contemporary rock, and electronica together for a mystical, emotional and psychedelic interpretation.
“The word collaborative is really the key,” said Goese, who also plays Demeter. “It’s like we’re so aligned that we finish each other’s sentences.”
For the production, Goese and Neill bring our technologically prone pop and rock back to a more authentic place — which to them means the Romantic period. One way Neill does this through the “mutantrumpet,” his own invention that is inspired by 19th-century innovations. The gadget-infused horn can be played acoustically, but also acts as a remote control, triggering electronic sounds, such as the French horn and trombone.
“It’s a sort of Jules Verne approach to the myth,” said Neill. “We’re using stuff this company might have used back in 1895, but with contemporary materials. It was a very revolutionary time, and we want to capture that.”
The piece also seeks to grasp the Romantic period’s intense interest in the wilderness, using paintings and colors from the period to emphasize this naturalist intrigue.
“The numerous elements have merged to produce an environment that feels very lush,” said Goese. “It’s like a six-foot long, claw-foot bath tub with flower petals and salt bubbles.”
“Persephone” at BAM Harvey [651 Fulton St. at Rockwell Place in Fort Greene, (718) 636-4100], Oct. 26-30 at 7:30 pm. Tickets $25-$70. For info, visit www.bam.org.
©2010 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.