A Homer's Coat Project : "An Iliad"
Sat, September 20th, 2014
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By Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare
Based on Homer’s Iliad, Translated by Robert Fagles
A Homer’s Coat Project
Produced in Association with ArKtype
Directed by Lisa Peterson
Actor Denis O’Hare and director Lisa Peterson telescope Homer’s great poem about the Trojan War into an intimate solo show illuminating both the heroism and the horror of warfare. Set in a contemporary milieu, the one-man performance stars an ageless Greek singer and poet. The script is rendered in contemporary vernacular language with occasional snatches of verse and even a few bellowed lines in Homer’s original Greek, and is accompanied by Mark Bennett’s beautiful score for solo upright bass. The play’s sole narrator combines the reverence and mystery of ancient Greek mythology with the dynamic urban rhythms of contemporary life. O’Hare describes his character as “a living book sitting on the shelf, and either he’s being pulled down off the shelf by willing participants or he’s willing himself off the shelf to fall open in a time when the culture needs him.” In light of the opening of the Sawyer Library, we are thrilled to have such an apt kickoff for our 2014-15 CenterSeries.
Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson are founding members of Homer’s Coat, a creative collective that explores foundational literature. An actor and a director respectively, they develop, write, and edit the pieces they make together. The creative process differs according to subject matter but the lens through which they view the theatrical medium makes for unique, energetic, imaginative performative experiences. Together they created the stage piece An Iliad over a period of 5 years, utilizing video, video transcriptions, improvisation, original music, and diligent research.
This performance is made possible by the W. Ford Schumann ’50 Endowment for the Arts and the Lipp Family Fund for Performing Artists.