The repertoire of the Art Theater is intended to further our mission of bringing artistic theater to Davis, live dramatic performances that treat theater as an art form, one worth fostering in our community for the benefit of all. We choose to produce seminal plays from the history of European drama, works so well-made and crucial to the development and understanding of Western artistic and cultural traditions that it is a continuing duty of our society to keep them in performance.
Our first production was one of Anton Chekhov‘s full-length comedies, Three Sisters. We named our group to honor the theater company which first produced his now world-famous plays, The Moscow Art Theater. The MAT was also where Konstantin Stanislavski worked for most of his acting and directing career, which has become so influential in contemporary theater, film and television.
Our second production was of Henrik Ibsen‘s drama, Hedda Gabler. Ibsen’s dramatic writing continues to resonate with audiences of today, but it has also had a significant influence on the development of other streams of Western culture, notably psychology and philosophy. Hedda Gabler was also the first script for which the Art Theater created its own original translation/adaptation, which has become our general practice for non-English-language plays.
Our fourth production staged translations of three one-act comedies, each by a different author, each written in a different language: Luigi Pirandello’s The License, August Strindberg’s Playing with fire, and Anton Chekhov’s Swan Song. The scripts were translated from the original Italian, Swedish and Russian by Adam Siegel. This production was our first at the Veterans Memorial Theatre.
In the fall of 2015 we are planning on presenting Chekhov’s classic comedy, Uncle Vanya. Performances will be September 24-27. In the winter and spring of 2016 we are planning on staging two productions, Ibsen’s The Master Builder and Goethe‘s historical tragedy, Egmont. Goethe, the author of Faust and Germany’s greatest poet, wrote a number of other dramatic works, including this prose play in five acts, depicting events from revolts against Spanish rule of the Netherlands during the Reformation. This tragedy dramatizes the conflict between political liberty and oppression.