A Message From Our Fearless Leader
Welcome to a Brand New Year!
I can’t think of a better way to kick off 2020 here at Epic than with another classic piece of theater by an American master performed with all the mildly claustrophobic intensity that makes this Southern drama so special.
The first time I was introduced to “Suddenly Last Summer” by Tennessee Williams, it was in a space not much bigger than our black-box at Epic, and I was struck by the impact its proximity left on me. When I decided to schedule many of the shows in our 8th season in the smaller of our two theaters, this particular play was a major argument for that. I’ve always wanted to tell big stories, but I’m especially interested in how big stories translate to smaller venues. What does it do to how you listen to it? How does it affect the performances and the direction? What becomes more clear?
The play itself was chosen for both practical and artistic reasons.
I won’t lie--a classic that also qualifies as a one-act is not easy to find, and while we don’t look for plays based on their potential runtimes, it certainly doesn’t hurt if they end up on the shorter side. This is still the era of abbreviated interest after all.
But what Williams packs into this play is absolutely remarkable.
As I continue to repeat on a loop (because--marketing), the theme of this season is “The Power of the Truth,” and if you’ve seen “Suddenly Last Summer” then you already know how well this play connects to that idea.
For those who haven’t, I won’t spoil the ending for you, but I will tell you that I chose it because it has to do with many of the issues we feel passionately about here at Epic: Classicism and its consequences, how we as Americans treat the world around us, the high cost of denial, and what it takes to bring about real change against a seemingly immovable person or institution.
This production brings our glorious King Henry from “Wolf Hall” to the director’s chair. We’re so happy to have Geoff Leatham at the helm and the amazing Rebecca Mooney as our stage manager. Our friend Theodore Clement has done a fantastic job with the sound design, and our cast is a top-notch group of actors including Paula Glen (who you just saw in “Paint”), Michelle Smith Mania (Epic debut!), Nick D’Amico (“Dada Woof Papa Hot”), Carolyn Coughlin (“The Italian Wife”), Alvaro Beltran (“The Secret Garden”), Becky Minard (“American Drag”), and Betsy Rinaldi (“The Revolutionists”). They’re one hell of a team.
We’re so glad to be producing theater right now in this moment, and we can’t wait to make this year truly Epic.