Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Timon of Athens: Brief Interview

Q: I've never heard of this play. What's it about?

A: "The Life of Timon of Athens" is a parable, a cautionary tale. A warning. A man of wealth and influence who learns too late that without his cash he has no friends. He abandons humanity to live in the woods. This story takes place against a backdrop of war in a foreign land.

Q: Why did you choose to direct this?

A: In choosing to direct this work, I was reminded of the Vietnam Era when men of privilege could avoid service, and saw Timon as a “big man on campus” whose personal tragedy stands in stark contrast to national events.

Q: What makes this production unique?

A: Timon is tragic but its also ridiculous, including a most vast array of insults packed into one Shakespearean drama. It’s a bitter piece of work, but it’s also hilarious.

Q: Tell me about the original songs used in the production.

A: For the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival production, we are very happy to feature area singer-songwriter Gary Lee as a significant player. There are a number of party scenes, and I wanted to include live music from the period - late 60s, early 70s. 

Meeting Gary was extremely fortunate, because he is a talented performer, and I discovered that not only does he have a deep catalog of original work with a Beatlesque sound, but many of them have themes of happiness and also betrayal and loneliness which reflect strongly on the play. 

Cleveland Shakespeare Festival's production of The Life of Timon of Athens opens June 5.

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