Hanna Bondarewska, Misha Ryjik, Paula Rich, Rob Weinzimer, Mary Suib, Gavin Whitt, and Meera Narasimhan in Ambassador Theater’s Death of Tintagiles by Maurice Maeterlinck, directed by David Willinger. Opens at FLASHPOINT January 27, 2011 as part of a two-play offering Under the Shadow of Wings along-side Rabindranath Tagore’s Karna and Kunti. Previews Jan 25th and 26th. See the main Ambassador Theater website for tickets and more info: www.aticc.org. photos by magdalena pinkowska.
Gavin Whit and Meera Narasimhan in Ambassador Theater’s Karna and Kunti by R.Tagore, directed by David Willinger. Opens at FLASHPOINT in Jan 2011 as part of a two play offering Under the Shadow of Wings along-side Maurice Maeterlinck’s Death of Tintagiles.
REHEARSAL REPORT: NOTES FROM OUR POST-READING EXERCISE
Complete this sentence “This play is…”
Rob – Hopeless.
Paula – Scary.
Meera – Very deep.
Gavin – Very confusing. Having a hard time understanding the play. It’s very vague and the relationships seem almost incestuous. Doesn’t under stand why Tintagiles is being swept away. …
Hanna – Spiritual and symbolic. Lets you connect with life and death and it’s inevitability. About how to fight before the power takes over. Tintagiles is the final dream of the family. Ygraine is for life and fears death. Ultimately, the mystery of the family isn’t important. When the play is slowed down, it’s like a meditation and a maze of energies. Tintagiles is the last bit of life.
Misha – Extremely right. The play is a fact we don’t want to accept. Death is inevitable. The playwright was very philosophical. Plays with the concept of the “unwritten rule”.
Mary – Putting her in the position of being out of control and following orders.
David – About attachment. Realized once he was attached to his car, he realized that if he lost it, he would be in pain. It’s about losing what’s important.
Rob – Wondering how much self awareness is in his character. “Act as though there’s hope left.” Pretending VS the actual ability to hope.
Paula – Painful. The characters revel in pain and enjoy it. It’s how they live and there’s a certain sensuality involved.
Meera – Symbolizes life. Winning VS losing and the different personalities. Ygraine is a control freak and refuses to accept defeat. Death is finite. The play is a global picture of life.
Gavin – Fascinating. There is a reason for the story being told. Death is at the end of life. The play is not about life and death so much as it is about losing what’s important. When Tintagiles was first sent away, that was a death of sorts. It’s about the death of innocence. The Queen is all powerful and could have killed him on his way there. Why are they fighting? Nobody else is there. Loss is natural. If you were tortured for 50 years, you would look forward to death.
Hanna – A dream and a nightmare. The family sent the boy away to save them. They are happy to have him when he returns but are afraid. Ygraine is powerless, like a child. She isn’t a control freak, she’s trying to save her family.
David – Symbolistic. One of the first symbolic plays. Nothing is set and everything is open to interpretation.
- Symbolist theater is about the merger of emotions and energy, nothing is mathematic. It’s not show-off theater, it’s more grounded. A culmination of all aspects of Art.
The cast for Under the Shadow of Wings had their first read-through today. It was an intentionally low-key affair, with the actors given deliberate instruction by director David Willinger not to act. That will come later.
“If it’s really really boring, you’re on the right track,” Willinger said. “It’s such a strong text, it stands on its own by just saying it.”
This led to some unintentionally funny moments, such the climax of The Death of Tintagiles, when 12 year-old actor Misha Ryjik screamed in terror with little more than an uninterested, “Aah.”
Discussion of the plays will come another day, though Willinger did mention his ideas for an elaborate chase to follow that scene, a “Magnum Opus hunt for Tintagiles.”
“It’ll be like Scooby Doo!” Ryjik suggested, “With all of them coming out of doors!”
Proper rehearsals for Under the Shadow of Wings begin January.
A group of ATICC supporters gathered in the home of Artistic Director Hanna Bondarewska on Monday, for an introduction to the works of Rabindranath Tagore. The Indian Nobel laureate’s Karna and Kunti will be performed as part of the upcoming ATICC production, Under the Shadow of Wings, and was read, along with his one-act play Chitra. The two works are based on the Sanskrit epic: the Mahabharata.
Karna and Kunti, a dialogue poem, depicts an encounter between Karna, commander of the Kaurav army and the illegitimate child of Kunti, the matriarch of the rival Pandava clan. Kunti attempts to bring him back into her care in order to keep his army from crushing that of her five legitimate sons.
James was impressed with its universal themes. “It’s amazing that within such a tight number of words, there are these epic thoughts, value systems, the type of thing that everyone has across cultures…. I’ve just never encountered it in Indian literature before.”
Chitra tells the story of Chitra, the first female and only heir in a line of males, disguising herself in order to win the affections of Arjuna, one of Kunti’s sons. Steve appreciated the ideas it shared with Karna and Kunti as well as its dramatic tension.
“Both works are about people hiding themselves, they’re both asking, ‘What will the other person do when he finds out?’” he said. “The whole time Chitra is saying, ‘what will he do, he won’t love me.’ Even up to the last sentence she doesn’t know what [Arjuna’s] response will be.”
Tagore’s language was praised by all, with a particular passage from Chitra standing out:
“Heaven and earth, time and space, pleasure and pain, death and life merged together in an unbearable ecstasy.”
Rula will be back performing her one woman show “Not My Label: A Journey of Self-Discovery” at Flashpoint on March 14th at 7:00 PM followed by a wine reception. Get your tickets online at InstantSeats