Round House Theatre: Contemporary Take on Classic Tale Premieres
| Blake on Crown of Shadows |
I’ve read a bunch of updated Greek plays recently. Perhaps there is something in the tumult of today’s world that sends us back looking for answers. The most exciting updates are not straight adaptations but wholly new plays - inspired by an event, a character, an idea that catapults the playwright into a world of his own. Jason Gray Platt’s Crown of Shadows does just that.
| Photo of Michael Morrow Hammack and Deborah Hazlett by Danisha Crosby|
One day, about two years ago, Jason’s play landed on my desk with an intriguing note from my colleague Jessica Burgess, who runs an innovative play development lab in DC called The Inkwell. It said simply, “This is a Round House play.” I took it home and read it that night. What I discovered is a provocative riff on a classical story, a fresh voice, and a new play that will speak to you with passion, humor, and daring.
Taking the final chapter of The Odyssey as its cue, Crown of Shadows fuses classical themes with a contemporary sensibility. It squeezes Greek-sized passions through the filter of modern vernacular dialogue to create a world all its own. We are somewhere in the Mediterranean awaiting the return of the warrior King Odysseus. A fatherless first family clings to power in the face of political uncertainty. Telemachus is a modern teenager, growing up in the midst of a media circus. Penelope is a radiant queen who must re-marry or lose her position and power. What happens next is the stuff that great plays are made of.
This is the seventh world premiere during my time at Round House, and I’m extremely proud of that record. We’re committed to bringing new work to the stage – producing it, putting it up there for discussion. Crown of Shadows has been read and worked and revised and read and re-drafted and worked some more. It’s time to let it live on stage. We believe in Jason and his work. Every young playwright needs a platform to show the world what he can do. Jason’s got fire in the belly. He has a unique voice and a provocative story to tell. We couldn’t be more excited to sign on for the ride.
- Blake Robison
Crown of Shadows: the wake of odysseus
By Jason Gray Platt
Directed by Blake Robison
World Premiere • April 11 – May 6
Round House Theatre Bethesda,4545 East-West Highway
Metro: Bethesda (1 block)
With Michael Morrow Hammack, Deborah Hazlett, Julia Proctor, and Jefferson A. Russell
Recommended for age 17 & above, contains brief nudity & adult situations
Scenic designer Misha Kachman, costume designer Bill Clarke, lighting designer Kenton Yeager, composer/sound designer Matthew M. Nielson, props designer Andrea Moore, fight choreographer Casey Kaleba, dramaturg Jessica Burgess, production stage manager Maribeth Chaprnka
Made possible by generous support from Jan & Don Boardman
Supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts
| Learn more about Crown |
"When you are waiting for a god, you can damn well wait as long as you have to." - Penelope, wife of Odysseus, in Crown of Shadows
| Photo of Deborah Hazlett by Danisha Crosby|
Visit the RHT Blog to learn about the vision behind Crown from playwright Jason Gray Platt and dramaturg Jessica Burgess.
The Post talks with Andrea “Dre” Moore about designing the show’s props – click here
Watch for a feature story on how Crown of Shadows found its way to the RHT stage in Arts section of the Sun., Apr. 15 Washington Post
| Tickets & discounts |
Tickets: click or call 240.644.1100
| Photo of Julia Proctor and Michael Morrow Hammack by Danisha Crosby|
Pay-What-You-Can: Wed., Apr. 11 at 7:30pm & Sat., Apr. 14 at 3pm
PWYC tix on sale in person 1 hour before curtain. Cash/exact change only, 2 tix per person.
$10 & $15 tix for age 30 & under: $10 Wed. - Fri., $15 Sat. & Sun. Call 240.644.1100
Order online & save $10 per seat April 11 - 19*
Enter code CROWN when ordering full-priced center orchestra & center balcony tix at roundhousetheatre.org. Valid for shows from Apr. 11 - 19, 2012. *Online orders only. Discounts may not be combined. Not valid on previously purchased tickets. Online orders subject to $3.50 per ticket convenience charge.
$10 Tuesday – Apr. 24: $10 Side Orchestra & Side Balcony seats for everyone - call or order online
Groups of 10+ save: call 240.644.1387 or email
| Meet the playwright |
"If you get married again and bring that man home. Before we know about dad. I will slit his throat. And if you marry again, to fill the position, I will slit that man’s throat, and again and again for as many days as I have." - Telemachus to his mother, Penelope, in Crown of Shadows
Jason Gray Platt’s work has been produced and developed around the country by American Repertory Theater, Round House, P73, Red Bull Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, Abingdon Theatre Company, The Inkwell, The Inconvenience, and Samuel French, and through residencies at The Millay Colony and Djerassi. At Vassar he was awarded the Marilyn Swartz Seven award for best play in 2005, and the Molly Thacher Kazan Memorial Prize for distinction in the theater arts in 2006. He was also the runner-up for the 2007 Princess Grace Award in playwriting and a finalist for the 2011 O’Neill Conference. Originally from Arizona, Jason now lives in Brooklyn and works for The Wooster Group. BA: Vassar; MFA: Columbia.
| Audience Events |
Designer Discussion: Wed., Apr. 11 at 6:45pm
| Photo of Deborah Hazlett and Michael Morrow Hammack by Danisha Crosby|
With the Crown design team
Director Discussion: Fri., Apr. 13 at 7:15pm
With Blake Robison
Audio-described performance: Sat., Apr. 21 at 3pm
Post-Show Talkbacks: Sun.,Apr. 22 & Sun., Apr. 29
Parents’ Matinee: Sun., Apr. 22 at 3pm
Patrons can drop off children (ages 3-12, must be potty trained) to an RHT teaching artist while they’re seeing the show at this designated matinee. The kids enjoy an afternoon of theatre games and arts activities. Childcare reservations required in advance by 5pm on Apr. 18 by calling 240.644.1100.
For more on Audience Events offered this season, visit our website