By M ichael Herren
At the origin of our world, one lone immortal—the first radical, the first revolutionary, the first savior—dares to defy the king of the gods, risking eternal torture and unending incarceration to rescue humankind from annihilation utter and complete.
That’s a logline that could belong to the next megabudget studio extravaganza or cable fantasy series. Rather, it’s the calling card for Prometheus, the chiseled ab’d Titan in Greek mythology who stole fire from the gods and gifted it to humanity, thereby becoming the Bringer of Light and enlightened civilizer to a benighted species (us!).
Prometheus also serves as the protagonist in Prometheus Bound, the fifth century BCE Greek tragedy, commonly credited to Aeschylus, firing afresh as the eighth annual outdoor theater production at The Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades. A collaboration between The J. Paul Getty Museum and CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP), Prometheus has further managed, somewhat paradoxically in a town that worships the new, to become the most of-the-moment staged event in Los Angeles.
What has made the production so combustible? The play’s decorated director, Travis Preston (a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters as well as the artistic director of the CalArts Center for New Performance, the “professional producing arm” of California Institute of the Arts, and dean of the CalArts School of Theater) attributes its power to the piece itself, which is “rich and dense and one of the great pillars of theater and dramatic history,” and which like all the classics, Aeschylus to Shakespeare, underscores the universality of the human experience. Read More .