Renegade’s “Triumphant” Return

Renegade is back with a another knee slappin’ folk concert to support our upcoming production, A PROMETHEUS BOUND: A Folk Musical.

Monday May 2nd at 6 PM at

Triumph Brewery, 117 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

We got ourselves some top notch players, Olive Juice, Cat Cosentino, and Digging Up Earth, that are sho to git yer toes a tappin’! 

Bring yer hides to Triumph Brewing Co. fer one darn’ tootin’ good time!


Happy Hour prices till 9pm with a $5 entrance fee.

Hope to see you all there.

Get your tickets now

A Prometheus Bound: A Folk Musical

Tickets Available Soon

More information: www.societyhillplayhouse.org

Dustbowl Hootenanny

February 20th, 2011 at the BCKSEET Creative Co-Op.

Join us for a celebration of Woody Guthrie’s music.  Inspired by traditional folk music hootenannies of the 1940’s, Renegade Classic Theatre’s first fundraiser invites you for a night of food, drink, song, and good times.  Stand in the food line and receive bread rations, chili (vegetarian and meat), and sample our very own Moonshine as you hear some of Renegade Classic Theatre’s musicians sing Woody Guthrie’s famous songs as well as some of the music from A Prometheus Bound.  So bring a bowl, a spoon, a cup, wear you best plaid, ripped jeans and enjoy the simplicity of Guthrie’s working class ballads.

Artist Call

Request for Artists Submission

Prospectus for Commissioning Artwork(s) for Renegade Classic Theatre’s production of A Prometheus Bound: A Folk Musical.

I. Project Intent

Renegade Classic Theatre (RCT) is producing a folk musical adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy by Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound.  The production is transposed to Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl Era in the 1930’s.   The show will be in June at the historic Society Hill Playhouse in the South Street District.  The artwork will be displayed in the lobby during the run of the show June 3-18, 2011.

 

The Artwork(s) should, but not limited to, or have to encompass all of these ideas:

-       Evoke a sense of folk, or process driven works

-       Reinterpret the myth of Prometheus

-       Question the difference between martyrs and tyrants

-       Celebrate the working class

-       Question the struggle between unions and big business bosses in the 1930’s

-       Call to mind the 1930’s, primarily of the Dust Bowl Era farms

 

The project should be able to be moved during off nights of the production.  Works cannot be attached directly to the infrastructure.  During the day, there is little foot traffic in the lobby; the bulk of the traffic will be during the nights of the show, Thursday through Sunday.  There will also be a reception for the Opening Night of A Prometheus Bound on June 4th, 2011. 

 

RCT will be accepting all works of media and forms, except video, or anything that needs a power source.  RCT will not be accepting any installation works; works must be free standing. 

 

II.  Budget

            The budget for each work is $50.  RCT is stressing the idea of found objects.  If more money             becomes available, the artists will be notified of such             adjustments.

 

III.  Eligibility

The project is open to all artists, age 18 and over, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, military status, sexual orientation, marital status, or physical or mental disability.

 

IV.  Timeline

            February 15, 2011                        Deadline for Email Submission

            February, 2011                        Selection Team meets to discuss applicants

            March, 2011                                    Artists Selected and works commissioned

            June 1, 2011                                    Artist Installations begin

            June 18, 2011                                    Take down of artwork

 

V.  How to Apply

            Artists interested must prepare and submit the following by February 15th:

1.              Letter of interest= The letter should be at most two pages describing your interest in             working on A Prometheus Bound, and your style and process as an artist.

2.              Current resume, with references listed.

3.              Examples of work= either in a website format, online photo album, or emailed images,             with detailed specifics of medium used, materials, and conceptualization.              Accepted             formats: .jpeg, .pdf, and .gif only.

 

            All work should be emailed to renegadeclassictheatre@gmail.com.

 

VI.  Selection Process

            A team of representatives from Renegade Classic Theatre, Society Hill Playhouse, as well as             two art professionals will meet to discuss potential artists.  We may contact artist for further             clarification, or to provide more information on works.  Once selected the artists, will provide             specifications of pieces and what the work would be about.  The project will be awarded in             Mid-March.

 

VII.  Info on Renegade Classic Theatre and A Prometheus Bound

            Renegade Classic Theatre (RCT) resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and produces works of international nature.  RCT is interested in countries, cultures, and time periods that we know very little about that are unfamiliar to us.  RCT seeks to rediscover, re-imagine, and relearn the classics.  RCT also wants to explore what makes a classic, and that essence felt to today’s works from contemporary authors.

            “Freedom is just a fleeting moment between oppressors.”  Prometheus Bound tells the story of the Titan, Prometheus who stole fire from the gods and gave it to man.  For his punishment Zeus commanded Prometheus to be fastened to a rock and suffer an eternity of torture.   Prometheus name means, “fore-thinker,” he is able to predict his other people’s fate.  Prometheus knows the fate of Zeus and how he will bear a child that will over throw him.  The secret is the only way Zeus will let Prometheus go, however, the fore-thinker would rather endure his torture than succumb to Zeus’s tyranny. Visited by Zeus’s messengers, wanderers, and kin of Prometheus urging him to give up and let Zeus win, Prometheus does not surrender and feels that his pride and his message is more important than his freedom. 

            An allegory for tyranny in society and those who steal from the rich and give to the poor, Prometheus Bound forces us to understand folk heroes and the power they have and the messages the speak.  Prometheus’ unwillingness to tell the secret of Zeus’ demise and his immense hatred toward the God parallel in the God’s own tyranny.  The question we can ask ourselves: is martyrdom and tyranny so far distant?  We hold idols and heroes up to a higher light, but are they so different than the people they are rebelling against. 

            Inspired by the novels and stories of John Steinbeck and the music Woody Guthrie, Prometheus Bound is transported to 1935 Oklahoma.  We can view a Prometheus wrecked from the loss of work, the absence of water, and unending desire to put forward his beliefs of equal rights for workers even if it means undergoing an eternity of torture.  Both characters felt that their message and actions were more important than themselves.  We can connect the martyrdom and tyranny with union leaders of the 1930’s and 40’s where they were rebelling against the big business bosses, but let their hatred and revenge get in the way of their true message.

            We can see other heroes throughout history that felt their punishment was an act of martyrdom, and one that most closely exhibits qualities of Prometheus was Woody Guthrie of the folk music explosion of the 1930’s and 40’s.  Set in a backdrop of the dustbowl Prometheus is seen through a being looking and sounding like Woody Guthrie.  Both were jailed for their work with the common man.  Mr. Guthrie and Prometheus are linked together and in this production the choral passages are sung in the vain of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Leadbelly.  With allusions to Guthrie’s music and lyrics, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, and the 1930’s Americana we can view a Prometheus wrecked from the loss of work, the absence of water, and unending desire to put forward his beliefs of equal rights for workers even if it means undergoing an eternity of torture.  Both characters felt that their message and actions were more important that themselves.

VIII.  For more information

            More information on the company can be found at renegadeclassictheatre.tumblr.com, or             email at renegadeclassictheatre@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now you can donate to Renegade Classic Theatre

Renegade Classic Theatre is proudly fiscally supported by Fractured Atlas Inc.  Click on the link above. 

The Myth of Prometheus

As auditions are occurring this week and designers are being interviewed, I wanted to take time a write about the Myth of Prometheus.  From this myth I was able to begin my search for a base text to start with adaptation process.  Notice the work Prometheus did for the common and the persecution from the Gods.  We can not only link this sentiment to the 1930’s Dustbowl Era with Labor Unions and the growing wave of Socialism across the country, we can also link it to today with the idea of the Big pushing down the Little.

  • Prometheus, meaning “forethought” was an immortal, and wisest of the Titans.  Pandora was a mortal, and the first woman.
  • In the beginning there was only darkness, chaos, and dark clouds swirled in an endless see of emptiness.
  • Mother Earth, or Gaea appeared.
  • Uranus was above her with his crown of stars.
  • Uranus and Gaea had many children.  The first were a series of horrible monsters with 50 heads, and 100 hands.  They used thunder, lightning and earthquakes as weapons.
  • Cyclops’ were also children of Uranus and Gaea.
  • Brother and sisters of the Cyclops’ were known as Titans.  They weren’t as wise as the gods that came later, but Prometheus, the Titan was known for his wisdom.

  • The Titans would wander freely around the world and would run into Cyclops’’, but wouldn’t worry about the 50-headed monsters.
  • The monsters were locked away in an underground prison by their father Uranus.
  • Gaea was angered by this and wanted her other children to help free them
  • At first no one would step forward, but then the Titan, Cronus decided to challenge his father.  Cronus; however, just wanted to take control of the universe from his father.
  • Cronus overthrew his father and became Lord of the Universe, but he didn’t release his brothers and sisters.
  • Cronus married a Titan named Rhea and they had 5 children.
  • He feared one day a child would overthrow him, so he swallowed the children.  Since the Titans are immortal and cannot die, the children grew up inside him.
  • Rhea’s and Cronus’ sixth child, Zeus was born.  Rhea secretly sent him off to be raised by Nymphs on the island of Crete.
  • As Zeus grew up he became stronger and more powerful.  His mother told him that his father had swallowed his brothers and sisters and devised a way to challenge Cronus.
  • With the help of Gaea he freed his brothers and sisters and they had grown up to be as strong as their father.
  • A war was then started and on one side was the Titans led by Cronus, and on the other side were the children led by Zeus.  It was a long and dreadful war that rocked the world.
  • Prometheus was wise enough to know how Zeus would win and joined forces with him.

  • He advised Zeus to free the monsters from the prison.  The monsters attacked Cronus and his men and the war was over and the Gods had won.  Zeus took lightning as his own personal weapon.
  • The Gods and Goddesses went to the top of Mount Olympus which became their home.  They divided the universe between them and Zeus was made the supreme ruler.
  • Zeus decided one day it was time for animals and people to appear.  He gave the job of creation of Prometheus and his brother, Epimetheus (afterthought).
  • Epimetheus wasn’t very smart and gave other the best gifts of courage, speed, cunning, and strength to the animals, leaving very little left for people.
  • Prometheus took over the job and gave people a shape different than animals and gave them 2 legs instead of 4.  He also gave humans a gift far superior than any other, the gift of fire.
  • Fire would light up the night, cook food, warm themselves, and frighten away animals.
  • At this point fire belonged to the gods and Prometheus would have to steal it away.
  • Athena, the goddess of wisdom showed Prometheus how to get into Olympus where the sacred hearth was located.

  • Using a hollow reed, Prometheus was able to conceal the fire and slipped away without being seen and returned to earth to give the mortals the fire.
  • Zeus was outraged by this now had to punish Prometheus for this.  But first, he needed to punish the mortals for accepting the gift.
  • His punishment came in the form of Pandora, and the god of fire, Hephaestus was to create her.  Each of the other gods adding some other elements to her as well.  Aphrodite gave her grace and charm so she would be desirable by everyone.  Apollo gave her the gift of music, Athena gave her wisdom.  Hermes the messenger of the gods gave her the gift of persuasion, and Zeus gave her curiosity.
  • The gods put something in a box and sealed it up and Zeus gave it to Pandora and told her to never open it.  He then sent her down to the world with Epimetheus.
  • Prometheus warned his brother not to accept any gifts from Zeus, but as soon as Epimetheus saw Pandora he quickly fell in love with her and made her his wife.
  • Pandora’s curiosity brought problems for the human race.  Intrigued by what was inside the box, she peeked inside.
  • This released a thousand miseries such as greed, injustice, prejudice, famine and disease.  They swirled throughout the world and the only thing remaining in the box was hope.  That’s why we always have hope within us.
  • Now Zeus turned his attention to the punishment of Prometheus.  Zeus knew Prometheus was a Titan and was immortal so he developed a torture that would be worse than death since it is for eternity.

  • He called upon his servants, Force and Violence to help him out.  He told them to seize Prometheus and bring him to Mount Caucasus, an area very far away.
  • Zeus then chained Prometheus to a rock and told him that he stole from the gods and now had to be punished from now until eternity, where he would have no rest, no sleep, or peace.  Zeus then returned to Mount Olympus.
  • According to the Fates, there was only one way Zeus could be overthrown was to marry a certain goddess, and if they had a son the child would one day over throw his father and the only who knows who that was is Prometheus.
  • Zeus offered to free Prometheus in exchange for the secret.  Prometheus refused to tell.
  • Zeus became more and more impatient and sent his messenger Hermes to deliver him a message saying that if he does not tell the secret his punishment would be 1000 times worse.  Prometheus would not budge. 
  • Prometheus suffered as no one would have ever suffered on.  Zeus sent a huge eagle who landed on the rock and would tear at Prometheus’ liver, the liver then would grow back and this pattern would continue on.
  • Generations passed and the Titan’s spirit would not be deterred and would not give in to Zeus.
  • Finally, Hercules set him free.  Hercules was the strongest of anyone and was also one of Zeus’ sons.  He killed the eagle and broke the chains that bounded Prometheus.
  • Prometheus had helped Zeus win the war against the Titans.  Out of pity, he had stolen fire from the gods and given it to people as a gift.  He had endured long and terrible suffering without giving into the will of Zeus.  For although his body had been chained, his spirit had been always free. 

Be on the lookout for more information of A Prometheus Bound: A Folk Musical

            Announcement

            Renegade Classic Theatre

            Presents

            Prometheus Bound: A Folk Rock Musical

            Adapted and Directed by Michael Durkin

            At the Society Hill Playhouse

            507 S. 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

            June 2-18 at 8 PM (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)

            More information to follow



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            Renegade Classic Theatre takes work by foreign authors or themes and views them through an American Lens. Juxtaposing multiple cultures, time periods, and Americana as well as embracing and illuminating the five senses creates a unique theatrical experience. What is foreign to you? What scares you?