A.C.T. Presents "Glory, Poetry, Immortality: A Special Preview of War Music"
Conversation Event Features Adaptor and Director Lillian Groag, Internationally Acclaimed War Correspondent and Journalist Mark Danner, and Leading Homer Scholar Seth Schein.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, March 2, 2009—American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) continues its 200809 season Koret Visiting Artist Series with "Glory, Poetry, Immortality: A Special Preview of War Music," a conversation event with Mark Danner, internationally acclaimed war correspondent and journalist, Lillian Groag, the creative force behind A.C.T.'s War Music, and University of California, Davis classicist and leading Homer scholar Seth Schein. In anticipation of the world premiere of War Music, Groag will discuss her staging of Christopher Logue's modern adaptation of the Iliad, while Schein and Danner add their own perspectives on the relevance of the Trojan War story to the modern reality of war, including U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moderated by Artistic Director Carey Perloff, the conversation will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience. The hour-long event is free and open to the public and takes place on the A.C.T. stage Sunday, March 8, 2009, at 4:30 p.m., following the matinee performance of Souvenir. Doors will open at 4 p.m. For more information, please visit www.act-sf.org/koret.
"War Music encompasses three thousand years of questions and ideas about how human beings behave when faced with aggression, war, and political rhetoric," says Perloff. "The participants in this incredible event will bring a myriad points of view to this groundbreaking piece—from Lillian Groag, whose passion for the Christopher Logue poem inspired A.C.T.'s production, to Seth Schlein, whose rigorous analysis of Homer cracks open the language and issues of the poem, and to internationally acclaimed war correspondent Mark Danner, who has spent his career wrestling with finding ways to write about the complexities of international battlefields and the politicians who rule them. This should be an hour of lively and inspired conversation."
The world premiere of War Music, adapted and directed by Lillian Groag from Christopher Logue's acclaimed translation of the Iliad, plays at A.C.T. March 26–April 26, 2009. Tickets are available by calling A.C.T. Ticket Services at 415.749.2228, or at www.act-sf.org.
As part of a generous partnership with A.C.T., the Koret Foundation has made a three-year commitment to support A.C.T.'s audience programs, including artist panel discussions and A.C.T.'s regularly scheduled Audience Exchange and Prologue discussions. A.C.T.'s Koret Visiting Artist Series, now in its third season, features exciting talks with acclaimed artists from the American artistic community, moderated by A.C.T. artistic staff. Held at the American Conservatory Theater before and after select performances throughout the season, the discussions are designed to illuminate the ways in which a theater affects and strengthens a community, the responsibilities of the artist in modern society, and the challenges of the creative process.
Mark Danner has written about foreign affairs and American politics for more than two decades, covering Latin America, Haiti, the Balkans, and the Middle East, among other stories. He was for many years a staff writer at the New Yorkerand contributes frequently to the New York Review of Books, the New York Times Magazine, and other publications. He teaches at UC Berkeley and Bard College and speaks and debates widely about America's role in the world. His latest book, Stripping Bare the Body: Politics, Violence, War will be published this year.
Lillian Groag works in the theater as an actress, writer, and director. Her acting credits include work on and off Broadway, at the Mark Taper Forum, and at regional theaters across the United States. An associate artist of The Old Globe, she has directed numerous productions at this country's leading theater and opera venues, including The Rivals at A.C.T. Her plays The Ladies of the Camellias, The White Rose (AT&T: OnStage® Award for new American plays), The Magic Fire (The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays), Menocchio, and Midons have been produced widely throughout North America and Germany and in Tokyo and Mexico City. She has written translations and adaptations of Lorca, Feydeau, Musset, Marivaux, and Molnar. The Ladies of the Camellias, Blood Wedding, The White Rose, and The Magic Fire have been published by Dramatists Play Service.
Seth Schein is a scholar and teacher of classics and comparative literature whose research extends across a wide range of ancient and modern literatures, literary theory, and the history, theory, and practice of translation. He writes mainly on Homeric epic, Greek tragedy, and receptions of classical literature since the Renaissance. Schein's numerous publications include The Mortal Hero: An Introduction to Homer's Iliad, Sophokles: Philoktetes (Translation with Notes, Introduction, and Interpretive Essay), and Reading the Odyssey: Selected Interpretive Essays (editor and author of introduction). Currently he is completing a scholarly edition, with commentary, of Sophocles' Philoktetes, a translation of Aeschylus's Oresteia, and a collection of essays on the Iliad and Odyssey. Over the past four decades, Schein has taught at Columbia University, Purchase College, UC Santa Cruz, Queens College and The Graduate Center (CUNY), and UC Davis. Schein did his undergraduate work in English literature at Columbia College, earned an M.A. in Greek at UC Berkeley, and returned to Columbia for his Ph.D. in Greek and Latin. He also studied at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, did a year of ethnographic fieldwork in northwestern Greece, and has been a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa.
Carey Perloff is celebrating her 17th season as artistic director of A.C.T., where she most recently directed Tom Stoppard's Rock 'n' Roll, John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, and Nikolai Gogol's The Government Inspector. Known for directing innovative productions of classics and championing new writing for the theater, Perloff has also directed for A.C.T. the world premieres of Philip Kan Gotanda's After the War (A.C.T. commission) and her own adaptation (with Paul Walsh) of A Christmas Carol; the American premieres of Stoppard's The Invention of Love and Indian Ink and Pinter's Celebration and The Room; A.C.T.–commissioned translations of Hecuba, The Misanthrope, Enrico IV, Mary Stuart, Uncle Vanya, and A Mother; Harley Granville-Barker's The Voysey Inheritance (adapted by David Mamet); and major revivals of Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill's Happy End (including cast album), A Doll's House, Waiting for Godot, The Three Sisters, The Threepenny Opera, Old Times, The Rose Tattoo, Antigone, Creditors, Home, The Tempest, and Stoppard's Travesties, The Real Thing, Night and Day, and Arcadia. Perloff's work for A.C.T. also includes Marie Ndiaye's Hilda, the world premieres of Marc Blitzstein's No for an Answer and David Lang/Mac Wellman's The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, and the West Coast premiere of her own play The Colossus of Rhodes (Susan Smith Blackburn Award finalist). She is also the author of the new plays Luminescence Dating, Waiting for the Flood, Higher, and the one-act play The Morning After (Heideman Award finalist). She is currently developing a new dance-theater piece, The Tosca Project, with choreographer Val Caniparoli; Phédre (translated by Timberlake Wertenbaker) for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and A.C.T.; and a new Bacchae for the Getty Center in Los Angeles.
Before joining A.C.T., Perloff was artistic director of New York's Classic Stage Company, which won the 1988 OBIE for artistic excellence under her leadership. In 1993, she directed the world premiere of Steve Reich and Beryl Korot's opera The Cave at the Vienna Festival and Brooklyn Academy of Music.
A recipient of France's Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the National Corporate Theatre Fund's 2007 Artistic Achievement Award, Perloff received a B.A. Phi Beta Kappa in classics and comparative literature from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Fellow at Oxford. She was on the faculty of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University for seven years and teaches and directs in the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program.
About the Koret Foundation: An entrepreneurial spirit guides Koret in addressing societal challenges and strengthening Bay Area life. Investing in strategic, local solutions, Koret helps to inspire a multiplier effect—encouraging collaborative funding and developing model initiatives. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Koret adds to the region's vitality by promoting educational opportunity, contributing to a diverse cultural landscape, and bolstering organizations that are innovative in their approaches to meeting community needs. With roots in the Jewish community, Koret embraces the community of Israel, especially through Koret Israel Economic Development Funds (KIEDF). Koret believes that economic stability and free market expansion offer the best hope for a prosperous future. At Koret, we understand our responsibility to make an impact—to honor the legacy of our founders, and to find long-lasting solutions that improve people's lives. Koret Visiting Artist Series will continue with one more panel discussion in association with A.C.T.'s 2008–09 season. Visit www.act-sf.org/koret for more information.