Welcome to UCA's new events blog!

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Eccentrics @ The University of Utah Department of Theatre (SLC: Feb 21-24)

The U Department of Theatre presents 
Maxim Gorky’s rarely produced play about love
“The Eccentrics,” directed by Alexandra Harbold,
February 21-24, in Studio 115
                  The University of Utah Department of Theatre is proud to present THE ECCENTRICS by Russian writer, playwright and social activist, Maxim Gorky. It is directed by local professional director and actor Alexandra Harbold, and will play in Studio 115 February 21-24, 2013.
THE ECCENTRICS is one of Gorky’s least known plays, and stagings of it are incredibly rare. It is set in 1910 Russia against a background of discontentment and revolutionary agitation, and explores the dynamic but unhappy and isolated intelligentsia of Russian society that so desired drastic and radical change. But Director Alexandra Harbold says, “At its core, THE ECCENTRICS is really a play about love. In it, Gorky explores so many of love’s variations—from the quiet estrangement of a husband and wife, to the lure of infidelity, the ferocity of a mother’s love for her child, to the agony of unrequited love, the erosion of love through hopelessness and loss, and the complex love of one’s country.”  
The story of THE ECCENTRICS revolves around Mastakov (Drew Baker), a writer and hopeless romantic. He waxes philosophical about his optimistic faith in a beautiful and bright future for Russia and its people, and recklessly carries on a heated affair with his mistress, Olga (Krystal Kennedy), right under the nose of his loving and devoted wife, Elena (Jorden Saxton). But it is a perilous time. Russia is crumbling and political and social unrest is spreading. Mastakov, blinded by his idealism, doesn’t understand his friends’ and neighbors’ growing disillusionment, and with his childish dalliance, brings his marriage to the brink of ruin.
Love is a theme that Ms. Harbold is very familiar with. Concurrent to directing THE ECCENTRICS, she also directed LOVE, a mixed-media theatrical performance she co-created with Robert Scott Smith that recently premiered at the Leondardo.  She says, “The two projects have inevitably cross-pollinated.  It has been fascinating to look at the question of love through two such distinct lenses.”
The word “eccentric” literally means to be out of orbit from an established or usual pattern. “When I found the etymology of the word ‘eccentric’,” says Ms. Harbold, “It became a guiding image.  All of the characters have been in their established orbits. But as their relationships change—forming, falling apart, shifting—they enter one another’s fields of orbit, and they completely lose their bearings.   Love alternately knocks them off their axes and helps them find their true alignment.”
            Alexandra Harbold is well known in the Salt Lake Valley for directing bold new plays at Salt Lake Acting Company and Pinnacle Acting Company. She will also direct Alligator Press Production’s upcoming The Righteous and Very Real Housewives of Utah County. While it may seem that directing a classical four-act play would be somewhat of a departure for her, Ms. Harbold says, “THE ECCENTRICS is so rarely produced that it feels like a new work. Without a history of definitive productions, we are still forging into relatively uncharted territory. It is exhilarating to not have any expectations of how the play is ‘supposed’ to be done, or how the characters are ‘supposed’ to be played.  I also find the juxtaposition of the classical structure and how modern Gorky’s thought feels incredibly compelling.” 
About the company of young actors in the play, Ms. Harbold says, “They are so brave, and they work very hard. What most impresses me is their investment, endurance, and generosity with each other. We’ve all been on an amazing journey, at it is so very exciting to see the work come together.” 
DATES & TIMES: February 21-24, 2013, at 7:30 PM. Matinees on February 23 and 24 at 2:00 PM.  
LOCATION: Studio 115, located at 240 South 1500 East in the Performing Arts Building. Parking is available in the visitor's lot to the south of the theatre, at Rice Eccles Stadium, or on President's Circle.
TICKETS: Ticket prices are $10 for General Admission, $8 for University of Utah faculty and staff. University of Utah Students are free with their UCard, $8 for all other students with valid ID. Tickets can be obtained now by calling 801-581-7100, online at www.kingtix.com, or at the Performing Arts Box Office located at Kingsbury Hall. Please note that Kingsbury Hall charges an additional $3 handling fee for all tickets purchased by phone or online, and a $1.50 handling fee for all tickets purchased at the box office window.
PHOTO EDITORS: High-resolution digital images for THE ECCENTRICS are currently available for download at http://www.flickr.com/photos/69269476@N04/sets/72157632743142396/.

No comments:

Post a Comment