by Lisa Peterson & Denis O’Hare
Adapted from Homer, Translation by Robert Fagles
Oct 5-6, 12-13, 26-27 at 7 pm
“Fraza’s performance in this production is spectacular and that alone is sufficient reason to see the show. To experience the full measure of just how powerful theater can be, this is the show to see.” – Dave Christner, The Newport Mercury
“Fraza imbues his performance with emotional intensity and physicality. But perhaps most impressive are Fraza’s moments of humility and vulnerability, and his subtle attempts to draw the audience into the story along with him, with intimacy and desperation.” – Brad Hevenor, The Independent
“…it is also a vibrant, mind-opening production, a work that will have you, perhaps, re-thinking your views of war and peace.” – Bill Gale, Rhode Island Public Radio
A blank stage. A storyteller. A muse. And one epic story. Experience Homer’s classic tale of war from a modern perspective. This beautiful one-man show accompanied by a musician has at its heart an anti-war message wrapped in a mesmerizing story.
The experience of coming to this show is unlike any you’ve probably had before at a theater. When you arrive, you’ll be offered homemade soup, bread, and a blanket so that you can get nice and cozy to hear this tale. Over a thousand years ago, communities would gather around to hear a poet sing the story of the Trojan War while sharing food. We want the theater to be an experience, not just a performance. We have all decided to be in the same place together, sharing the basics of humanity – food, warmth, and stories. In this age of nonstop electronic stimuli, let’s take a break together.
The Iliad and The Odyssey are among the oldest stories we have. Their tales are timeless how war tears us apart and the difficulty of putting life back together after.
In An Iliad, a modern storyteller relays Homer’s story of The Iliad. This classic with a strong anti-war message is brought to life by a single actor and a musician – the muse. Matt Fraza takes on the storytelling role in this production to great effect. The story is old, but the telling, is quite new. The New York Times described it thus:
“Homeric specialists should be warned that this is not simply a condensed recitation of the poem, but a retelling that emphasizes contemporary vernacular over poetry. Although the narrator throws out snatches of verse at moments of heightened drama, and occasionally even bellows a few lines in the original Greek, most of the story is rendered in casual contemporary language that puts both mortals and gods on our own level.”
We’re thrilled to extend our patio season with preview performances of An Iliad. The performance patio is home to our Shakespeare on the Saugatucket series and the gardens will be beautiful throughout this September of An Iliad. All of these patio preview performances will be Pay-What-You-Can.
In October, An Iliad moves indoors to join our fall mainstage season. The set is described as “an empty space.” We love the versatility of our black box style theater, and sometimes simplicity is best to let the words soar.
We hope that you’ll join us for this beautiful, thought-provoking show.