The Commonweal Theatre Company—the premier, professional, regional repertory theatre company of southeastern Minnesota—will tour its acclaimed one-actor production of An Iliad by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare to select sites nationally. The tour includes one performance in Prescott, AZ, on President’s Day, February 17th, at the Elks Performing Arts Center.
Commonweal’s production was first mounted by in August of 2019, as part of their new second stage series, Wealhouse, and met with great success. Directed by Megan K. Pence, An Iliad sold out houses and enjoyed excellent word of mouth among local patrons. An Iliad, first produced in 2010, is an intimate retelling of the ancient Homeric epic the Iliad from the perspective of one participant. Suffused with an engaging immediacy, the play stands in a class of exceptional theatrical experiences. Employing only minimal stagecraft, the play is raw storytelling at its best, vigorous and deeply affecting.
The actor, Commonweal resident ensemble member and veteran actor Ben Gorman, portrays “the Poet” (an unnamed Bard) who, by fits and starts, unfolds the ancient narrative poem, coloring it with his personal anecdotes and descriptions, giving it immediacy and depth. Far from the delivery of a dry history lesson, the Poet’s dynamic retelling brings the tale to vivid life and gives it relevance to the modern audience he addresses. He distills The Iliad’s vast scope down to human scale by portraying a handful of iconic characters and their fateful interactions in the Trojan War. Humankind’s incessant urge to warfare is rarely so clearly illuminated, and its cost so feelingly expressed.
Commonweal Theatre: Drama Unfolds Where the Root River Bends.
For tickets and venue information, visit the Elks PAC site: www.prescottelkstheater.com