(Beverly Hills, CA June 7) Under the auspices of GRoW @ The Wallis, The Wallis Youth Theater Company presents its second theater production of the 2016-17 season, playwright Gareth Jandrell’s Thebes, which makes its North American premiere on Saturday, June 10 at 8pm and Sunday, June 11 at 6pm at The Wallis in Beverly Hills. Ravaged by climate change and shaken by political turmoil, the citizens of Thebes must unite in order to revolutionize their democracy. From Oedipus to Antigone, the story of Thebes remains a fascinating exploration of fate, morality and power, two and a half thousand years after the saga was originally written. Thebes is directed by Madeleine Dahm, with lighting design by Bosco Flanagan, recently named Lighting Designer of the Year by Los Angeles’ Stage Raw. The cast includes young actors: Trecey Dory, Malakai Jones, Jayde Kief, Samantha Marino, Kelvin Morales, Jordan Rodriguez, Alexander Sheldon and Clementine Turner.
“Thebes is a play for our time—incredibly relevant and in relation to our global political climate, and alarmingly accurate,” said Dahm. “Yes, it is a play about power and entitlement, but Jandrell also explores the complexities of being a citizen and reminds us to pay attention to the dangers a democracy faces if ego rules unchecked and if power is placed in the hands of a few. This action packed saga ultimately leads us to ask the question what does ‘we the people’ really mean.”
Single tickets for Thebes are now available for $15. Student tickets are available for $10 (with a valid ID). For more information or to purchase tickets, visit TheWallis.org, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Ticket prices subject to change.
Gareth Jandrell’s contemporary version weaves together the plays of Sophocles and Aeschylus to present the full, visceral and bloody account of the Oedipus dynasty, with a focus on the political corruption of Thebes. Ravaged, bereft and superstitious, its citizens place their fate in the hands of an elite family dynasty—from the doomed Oedipus and Jocasta, to their sons Eteocles and Polynices, and finally the power-hungry Creon.
About Playwright Gareth Jandrell:
Gareth Jandrell is a British playwright and an Associate Writer for the theatre company The Faction. After graduating the M.A. Writing for Performance at Goldsmiths, Gareth’s first full length play Pure O was performed at the Kings Head Theatre. Since then Gareth has gone on to adapt Lorca’s Blood Wedding, Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Goethe’s Faust and Thebes after Sophocles and Aeschylus for The Faction – Thebes going on to be published by Bloomsbury/Methuen. He has been shortlisted for High Tide’s Escalator Plays and Old Vic New Voices’ Edinburgh Season and completed the Royal Court Studio Group. Gareth wrote The Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster for Dawn State which was performed at the Pleasance Courtyard, and Ratchet which enjoyed a sold out run at the Soho Theatre. Gareth’s play Alkaline was shortlisted for the Paptango Prize and his play The Rub was one of the winners of Bolton Octagon’s Top 5 competition.
About The Wallis Youth Theater Company:
The Wallis supports and engages artists and arts learners of all ages through GRoW @ The Wallis. This season The Wallis was pleased to join with Madeleine Dahm to launch The Wallis Youth Theater Company with the following guiding artistic statement: The Company crosses boundaries, and with an ethos of collaboration, creates thoughtful and provocative work that is rooted in humanity. The youth company is comprised of young actors aged 18 – 22. Drawn from across Los Angeles, these artists come from diverse backgrounds and experiences but are connected by their passion for theater and the arts. The Company aims to provide a place for young actors to work as an ensemble, learn cutting edge creative practices, develop innovative and socially conscious work and be engaged with the local community. Like The Wallis Youth Theater Company on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheWallisYouthTheatreCompany.com.
About Madeleine Dahm (Director):
Madeleine Dahm is an award winning experimental physical theater director, choreographer and arts advocate. Originally from London, she has presented her work across the UK, in Europe and the U.S. She has been the Artist-in-Residence at Grow @ The Wallis since 2015 and staged mo.men.tum on the Bram Goldsmith Theater stage in 2016. In 2017, in conjunction with GRoW @ The Wallis, she founded The Wallis Youth Theater Company. Recent directing credits include: director and choreographer of Oktoberfest The Musical: An Almost True Story, a new musical comedy by Emmy Award-winning film composer Harold Faltermeyer and famed Disney writer Philip LaZebnik (now heading to Vegas). Dahm is the Movement Devisor for Sussan Deyhim’s The House is Black, a seminal multi-media work on Iranian activist and poet Forough Farrokhzad. For 2017, Dahm is working on the dramaturge and direction of the staged play Isn’t it Rich, taken from the feminist novella by famed arts critic and international journalist Victoria Looseleaf. Dahm trained at the Old Vic and Royal Court Theater’s in London, and with the legendary Martha Graham. She holds a post-graduate from Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London.
About the Thebes cast:
Trecey Dory is happy to be a part of The Wallis Youth Theater Company. He is a recent graduate of Cortines High School for the Performing Arts. He was a regional finalist of the August Wilson Monologue Competition and most recently performed with Whittier Community Theater. He hopes that by being a part of this project, he can help spread a message of love and equality among people, no matter their creed, religion, skin color etc.
Malakai Jones is thrilled to be a part of The Wallis Youth Theater Company’s first year. This company is filled with talented, warm and like-minded individuals dedicated to bringing change through their art. Malakai is a recent graduate of CHAMPS Charter High School’s drama academy and is currently taking a gap year to focus on developing his craft and writing.
Jayde Kief has performed Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams, in DTASC and ESU competitions, placing as a finalist. She is also the 2016-17 NAM California Teen Spokesmodel and Actress title holder. As a classically trained actor, dancer and singer-poet, Jayde calls the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts her “artistic safe home.” She was selected to perform her mo.men.tum solo for The Wallis Board of Directors, as part of an event that introduced Artistic Director Paul Crewes to the community. She was featured as The Girl in the Green Dress at the 2016 Wallis WelcomeFest. Jayde is a freshman at Glendale Community College, majoring in Theater and Dance Teaching.
Samantha Marino began her dance training at the age of three and is now a student at El Camino College, studying English Literature. She was born in the Los Angeles area and has performed in local productions through community and school. Some credits include Hairspray, Rumors, You Can’t Take it With You and Lysistrata. She plans to transfer to Cal State Long Beach in the fall, where she will continue to study writing and perform theater.
Kelvin Morales Ever since Kelvin was young, he has been enthralled by story-telling of all mediums. He decided to start acting in his freshman year of high school, and since then he has appeared on numerous stages from Pasadena City College to Theatricum Botanicum. His road has led him to The Wallis Youth Theater Company where he hopes he can spread a message of peace and equality.
Jordan Rodriguez is a student at AMDA College & Conservatory of the Dramatic Arts for a BFA in Acting. While attending, she has had the fortune of being in a staged reading of American Clock, as well as had several of her original plays performed and workshopped.
Alex Sheldon is proud to be a part of The Wallis Youth Theater Company in its inaugural year. As well as being an actor in the company, Alex also serves as their social media “wizard.” In addition, Alex is a company member at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum where he received his acting education. Though Shakespeare is his first love, he is also a film actor, mask maker, director and pianist. Some of his favorite roles include The Trickster in Word of Mouth, Peretz in Theatricum’s Romeo and Juliet, Ingolf in The Tragic Overture and Speed in Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Clementine Turner is a British actress who has spent the last two years here in Los Angeles, finishing high school and studying at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. She has been working with The Wallis for a year now, performing in The Intimidation Game and Work in Progress with The Miracle Project. She has loved being a part of The Wallis Youth Theater Company, and getting to work as an ensemble with such an incredible group of individuals. Clementine will be studying theater at NYU in the fall.
About the Production Team:
The production team includes Bosco Flanagan (lighting designer), Gillian Moon (sound designer), Jeannie Scheidewind (set realization) and Geoffrey Stirling (stage manager).
About the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts:
Since opening its doors in October 2013, The Wallis has produced or presented more than 100 dance, theatre, opera, classical music and family programs to an ever-expanding audience. Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, The Wallis brings audiences world-class theater, dance and music, performed by many of the world’s most talented and sought-after artists. Featuring eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles and its notability as the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis offers original and revered works from across the U.S. and around the globe. The mission of The Wallis is to create, present and celebrate unique performing arts events and educational programs that reflect the rich cultural diversity of our community. Nominated for 28 Ovation Awards, four L.A. Drama Critic’s Circle Awards and the recipient of six architectural awards since opening in 2013, The Wallis is a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot venue that celebrates the classic and the modern and was designed by Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA of Studio Pali Fekete architects. The building features the restored, original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places) that serves as the theater’s dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and houses the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, GRoW at The Wallis: A Space for Arts Education (a gift of Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Family and the Annenberg Foundation) and the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater. Together, these structures embrace the city’s history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for L.A.-area visitors and residents alike.
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Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
Bram Goldsmith Theater
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210
Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 8:00pm
Sunday, June 11, 2017 at 6:00pm
Single tickets: $15; Student tickets (with a valid ID): $10 (prices subject to change)
Online – TheWallis.org
By Phone – 310.746.4000
Box Office – Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Service
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210