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Getty Villa Theater Series Offer Classic Works through a Modern Lens
LOS ANGELES, CA.- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa announces its annual Villa Theater Lab Series, beginning February 19, featuring works-in-progress versions of new translations of Greek and Roman plays as well as contemporary works inspired by ancient theater. This year, the Museum is also presenting a new Villa Playreading Series, offering an opportunity to watch “script-in-hand” readings by professional theater artists of lesser-known Greek and Roman plays in translation.

The Villa Theater Lab features outstanding artists or ensembles presenting “in process” public presentations of new work rooted in classic literature or culture. Each team of artists-in-residence is provided with time, space, and production support by the Museum – both during and in advance of the period of residency – allowing for far broader and deeper experimentation than would a traditional play-reading format.

This year’s Villa Theater Lab season begins with Big Dance Theater’s presentation of Euripides' Alkestis, Friday–Sunday, February 19–21. Two acclaimed creative forces—renowned translator Anne Carson and the daring, experimental Big Dance Theater, based in New York City—meet in the creation of a new movement-theater version of Alkestis. Euripides’ genre-defying play, in which Herakles wrestles Death for the soul of an ideal woman, is one of the playwright’s strangest and most beautiful works, having fascinated both scholars and theater artists for centuries.

In May, the season continues with Proyecto Azteca, Friday–Sunday, May 14–16, featuring artists from California Institute of the Arts' Center for New Performance presenting a multimedia tapestry of texts in Spanish, English, and Nahuatl, recalling and reflecting upon the moment of encounter between Aztec culture and European invaders and drawing upon Octavio Paz’s groundbreaking poem The Sun Stone (Piedra del Sol). This performance complements the exhibition The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire, on view March 24–July 5, 2010, at the Getty Villa, which coincides with Los Angeles celebrations of the bicentennial of Mexico’s independence and the centennial of the Mexican revolution. Public programming for this exhibition is supported by Chase.

The new Villa Playreading Series presents two script-in-hand offerings in March. The first is Euripides’ rarely performed comic play Helen, based on the dazzling conceit that Helen has passed the entire Trojan War living chastely in Egypt, oblivious to the Trojan War, her infamy, and the fate of her husband Menelaus. Helen is directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera, and presented by Playwrights’ Arena on March 5 and 6.

Later in the month, the Villa Playreading Series presents Aristophanes’ The Frogs, directed by Matt Walker and presented by the Troubador Theater Company on March 19 and 20. In this typically irreverent satire, Dionysus, the antic God of Theater, depressed by the state of the Athenian stage, resolves to restore literary excellence to the seasonal dramatic festivals, an effort that somehow involves a large chorus of singing frogs, among other devices.

The Villa’s theater programs are part of the J. Paul Getty Museum’s broad spectrum of public programming and events. Live performances of classical and classically based drama offer insight into the social, cultural, and political realities of life in ancient Greece and Rome, while the Museum’s permanent collection of ancient art and changing exhibitions deepen the connection between modern audiences and the tragedies and comedies onstage.

“These Villa theater presentations demonstrate to audiences the important position theater held in antiquity, and how works from over two thousand years ago continue to inspire modern drama today,” said Karol Wight, senior curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum.


The J. Paul Getty Museum | Villa Theater Lab Series | Karol Wight |


Last Week News

February 19, 2010

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First UK Solo Exhibition Since the 1970s by Donald Locke

Portrait of Composer Gustav Holst Acquired with Charity Help

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Crop of Core 2010 Artists and Scholars Unveil Year's Worth of Original New Work in Highly Anticipated, Annual Exhibition

Dallas Museum of Art Expands smARTphone Initiative

Sharaku Interpreted by Japan's Contemporary Artists Opens at the State Museum

Guggenheim Announces Animal Collective and Danny Perez Site-Specific Performance

School of the Art Institute of Chicago Announces New Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists

February 18, 2010

ARCO Madrid 2010, the International Contemporary Art Fair, Opens Its Doors

Beverly Pepper Exhibits Sixteen New Works at Marlborough

Musée du quai Branly Proposes the Discovery of an "Image Factory"

Second Solo Sculpture Show in the United States by Jaehyo Lee at Cynthia Reeves

National Gallery of Canada to Host "Pop Life: Art in a Material World"

Greatest Single Series of Drawings Ever Made on View at the Courtauld Gallery

Thomas Schütte Retrospective Opens at Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid

Exhibition on Preserving Modern Architecture on View in New York

Artist Yun-Fei Ji Exhibits New Works on Paper at James Cohan Gallery

New York Public Library Salutes Three Visionary Photographers with Exhibition

A Rare 1,200 Year Old Arabic Inscription was Discovered in Excavations

James Leventhal is New Deputy Director for Development at Jewish Museum

"Midnight Matinee" by Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures

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Haitian Artists Put Quake Scenes on Canvas

Winners of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize to Unveil their Artworks at Art Dubai 2010

British Artistic Team John Wood and Paul Harrison Debut First U.S. Museum Survey at the University Art Museum

Monumental Bronze Sculptures by John Soderberg on View at the Lighthouse Center for the Arts

Tate App Now Available on the App Store

Most Comprehensive Presentation of the Work of Thornton Dial to Premiere at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

February 17, 2010

Tests Show King Tutankhamen Died from Malaria Infection, Study Says

Oscar Winning Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins Exhibits New Collection of His Artwork

Museum Marks Presidents Day with Release of Amateur Footage

More than 14,000 Objects Belonging to Juan and Evita Peron to be Auctioned

Photographs of Nocturnal Landscapes by Robert Adams at Matthew Marks Gallery

Famous Trumpeter, Herb Alpert, Exhibits Totems at Ace Gallery

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Deutsche Borse Photography Prize 2010 on View at the Photographers Gallery

Frantisek Kupka: Art Works from the Pompidou Collection at Picasso Museum

Twenty-One Hand-Built Bicycles to Be Showcased at Museum of Arts and Design

Gauguin's Nevermore Wins Accolade of Most Romantic Artwork in Art Fund Poll

Sotheby's to Auction The Collection of Patricia Kluge at her Virginia Home

Leading Baroque Masters Together at Nationalmuseum in Stockholm

Artist Anthony Schrag Challenges the Public to Wrestle Him

Wayne Thiebaud: Seventy Years of Painting at the San Jose Museum of Art

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February 16, 2010

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Shows a Selection of Works of Art from Its Own Collection

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February 15, 2010

LACMA Presents Exhibition Devoted to Last Three Decades of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Work

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February 14, 2010

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