T U C S O N A R I Z O N A
A poetic reimagining of this seminal work of Western literature
Ryan Parker Knox as Dante and David Greenwood as Virgil
Christopher Johnson as Lombardo and the ensemble as the Wrathful
Marissa Garcia as the Siren and Ryan Parker Knox as Dante
Photos by Tim Fuller
The Rogue’s Dante’s Purgatorio—Sins and shades shape an engrossing climb
Dante and Virgil on the Road
Patrick Baliani’s translation and adaptation, Dante’s Purgatorio, was commissioned by The Rogue Theatre. The Rogue also commissioned and produced his translation and adaptation of The Decameron in 2011 and his translation and adaptation of Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author in 2008. His original plays—Figs and Red Wine, Two from Tanagra, Reckless Grace, Verba Non Facta, Sabunana, Monologue of a Muted Man, A Namib Spring, and Lie More Mountains—have been performed in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix, Prescott, and Tucson, where he has collaborated with Arizona Theatre Company, Tucson Art Theatre, Third Street Kids, and Old Pueblo Playwrights.
Patrick received the 2013 Tucson Pima Arts Council Artist’s Grant for work on Dante’s Purgatorio. He was one of twenty Arizona artists in all fields to be selected by the Creative Capital Foundation to participate in the Creative Capital/Arizona Commission on the Arts Artist Project. He received the 2005 Arizona Commission on the Arts Artist’s Project Grant for his play, Lie More Mountains. He was selected by the Tucson Pima Arts Council in 2002 to write an original full-length play based on gang life in South Tucson (ultimately not funded). He was awarded the 1999 Arizona Commission on the Arts Playwriting Fellowship and he received the 1998 National Play Award by the Los Angeles National Repertory Theatre Foundation for his play, A Namib Spring. He received a Collaborative Artists Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts in 1997 and was awarded the Tucson Pima Arts Council Playwriting Fellowship in 1996. He was twice a Finalist for the National Endowment of the Arts Playwriting Fellowship and was selected by New York’s Young Playwrights, Inc. as the 1993 Southwest Resident Playwright. He has been a Guest Playwright at the Arizona Commission on the Arts State Theatre Conference and at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education National Conference. He received the 1991 Arizona Theatre Company Genesis New Play Award for his first play, Figs and Red Wine.
His published short stories and essays have won awards from Transatlantic Review, Lyra, New Times, Arizona Authors Association, and The Tucson Weekly.
Patrick is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at The UA Honors College. He has received the Honors College Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Humanities Seminars Superior Teaching Award, the Academic Preparation for Excellence APEX Teaching Award, the Mortar Board National Honor Society Teaching Award, and the University of Arizona Five Star Faculty Award.
Joseph McGrath (Director) is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Drama and is the Artistic Director for The Rogue Theatre. For The Rogue Theatre, Joe authored and directed Immortal Longings, and directed Mistake of the Goddess, Mother Courage and Her Children, As I Lay Dying, The Real Inspector Hound (2010 Mac Award for Best Director), The Decameron, Our Town, Red Noses, Endymion, The Maids (winner of the Arizona Daily Star 2007 Mac Award for Best Play), and The Balcony. Joe was most recently seen as Duke Vincentio in Measure for Measure, Bernard Nightingale in Arcadia, Richard, Duke of Gloucester in Richard III, Griffin in The Night Heron, the Jade Emperor in Journey to the West, Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, Patsy in The New Electric Ballroom, and in the ensemble of Shipwrecked! In 2009 Joe won the Arizona Daily Star Mac Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Tobias in A Delicate Balance. He has toured with John Houseman’s Acting Company, performed with the Utah Shakespearean Festival, and he is a frequent performer with Ballet Tucson appearing in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Cinderella, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dracula and The Nutcracker. He has also performed with Arizona Theatre Company, Arizona Opera, Tucson Art Theatre, and Arizona OnStage. Joe owns, with his wife Regina Gagliano, Sonora Theatre Works, which produces theatrical scenery and draperies.
In projects like this I often feel overmatched by the literary expertise of Patrick and others around me. Dante’s Purgatorio has been much the same with one critical exception. It has given me the opportunity to revisit one of the more odd and bizarre aspects of my Catholic upbringing: the concept of Purgatory. With Patrick’s and Fabian’s help I have come to learn that, as a concept, Purgatory is a “patch” (as software designers might refer to it) taken up by thirteenth century theologians to reconcile various contradictions of scripture. This is one of those Catholic creations that prompts my fellow Artistic Director, the Congregational Cynthia Meier to mutter “you people!” And I see her point. After all, we’re not exactly at the heart of Christianity here—i.e. crucifixion, resurrection, faith. In Purgatory we find ourselves on a byway, the theological backwoods, so to speak, and it’s been absolutely fascinating. Prayers from the living, prayers from the dead, and centuries logged in cunningly devised penitence for the final purification of souls, comprise this in-between realm.
It is the one realm of Dante’s Comedy—and Catholic theology—where, just like in our lives, time passes. As such, it is far more dramatic than Inferno or Paradiso because it is a realm of possibility. Virgil expresses eloquently in Patrick’s cornice of the Gluttonous that after thirteen hundred years in the eternal realm of Limbo he has rediscovered Time as a consoling and familiar thing. “It’s felt so good to age,” he says. Virgil’s nostalgia for Time’s blessings and cruelties brings to mind another theatrical figure: Emily from Our Town. And perhaps Wilder’s windswept New England graveyard is a rural American Purgatory that owes much to Dante.
Finally, the pressing question: are we at the Rogue out of our minds? Purgatory is a completely otherworldly realm. With the exception of the character of Dante, the entire play is occupied either by the dead or divine beings of some kind. How to stage such a place? It became clear that the great challenge of Purgatorio would be finding its theatrical voice—a conceit that might render such otherworldly elements. We’ve settled on shadow play, and we’ve been rewarded, I think. There is, occasionally, a moment in design work, when a brush stroke or gesture seems to rest, from the start, in complete agreement with the idea at hand. Such have been those odd, distorted forms we’ve seen on the shadow screen.
What a blessing it’s been to put our shoulder to the wheel of something so magnificently ambitious. Patrick stressed to me, from the beginning, that Dante’s great flaw was pride. Would it be unchristian of me to say that Dante’s pride has been a blessing to us? After all, it gave him the energy and presumption to pen this massive undertaking.
—Joseph McGrath, Director of Dante’s Purgatorio
Notes from the Playwright
I remember the moment I first imagined writing a play based on Dante’s The Divine Comedy. During The Rogue Theatre production of Endymion, the character Echo morphed in an instant from youthful to aged, then became a tree. Something about that magic struck me in the form of a possibility: that I might work with The Rogue in the staging of Dante.
Six Rogue plays later, by my count, Cindy Meier approached me during the intermission of Red Noses, wondering if I were interested in translating and adapting Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author. At the beginning of their next season—what fortune—Six Characters was produced at the Zuzi Theatre, around the corner in the Historic Y. Three months later, Joe McGrath and I chanced upon each other at the Lucky Chinese Restaurant. Joe said, “Do you know the story of The Pot of Basil? What do you think of Boccaccio?” Thirty months (and twelve Rogue plays) after that, here on this stage, The Decameron was produced. Lady Fortune, as Boccaccio would say, smiling upon us again. Then, the weekend in May that The Decameron closed, I read Life of Dante, by Dante’s great admirer, and first biographer, Giovanni Boccaccio. Three months later, August 14, 2011, I wrote Joe and Cindy: “I wonder if there is a process we can conceive whereby we again work toward a wondrous project…I’ve been giving a lot of thought to Purgatory.” Joe’s response (16 Aug 2011): “Yes, of course this is appealing. Right now we are becoming swamped in Major Barbara.” That was three years (and fifteen Rogue plays) ago. Good things come in threes. And since working on Dante, I number everything.
Why Purgatory? I never doubted my choice of Dante’s middle “cantica” for the stage. Hell is infamous and graphic, yet changeless. Paradise? No striving there. “Il purgatorio e’ una fiamma interiore.” Purgatory is a fire within. Purgatory instills hope and inspires change. Purgatory is Heaven and Hell, the light and the dark. Purgatory, like good drama, occurs in time—fleeting and lasting. In Purgatory, as in our lives—nostra vita—we struggle for redemption. Purgatory is a place wherein we might well be trees.
I doubted everything else. I questioned what to do with Dante’s terza rima. In the Commedia Dante rhymes every third line for the duration of 14,233 lines. I wondered whether to maintain, as Dante does, the poem’s “metafiction.” In the original, Dante is the central character and the Poet/Creator of the whole. What to do with the great many cultural/political/historical references? How to depict Dante’s day without detracting from our contemporaneity? My approach, radically different in rendering Dante’s poetry than it was in capturing Boccaccio’s prose, shared this essential feature: I got as close as I could to the original before leaping as far from it as possible. In this way, I came to a singular and comprehensive grasp of the whole. This seeming paradox—moving away from the source in order to capture at it all more—lies at the heart of the translation/adaptation process. Two turning points: Realizing that my dramatic premise necessitated the pilgrim’s actual purging and penitence in order to advance (in the original Dante rather grants himself poetic “license to ascend”) and intuiting that Virgil should not be so all-knowing in the play. Regarding Beatrice: She is real. She is neither symbol nor allegory. I know this because you have met her, or someone quite like her, yourselves. In truth, I never considered the Commedia allegorical. It is an autobiography (Dante’s) and a biography (mine).
Thankfully, Dante had Virgil to guide him. I have Joe McGrath and Cindy Meier. And, as always, there is Dian. In desperate times (often daily, she can attest) I told myself that whenever the solitary phase of my work was done, and whatever shape that work was in, Joe and Cindy would make it better. This they did and do, significantly. They entrusted me. They gave me time, then more time. They gave me hope. In our many conversations and in their meticulous notations, each gave me fruitful suggestions on the dozens of drafts they read. Dozens more preceded their gaze. Now the brilliant actors, musical directors, technical designers, stage manager, crew—we are all on the “ship of souls”—and you, the audience, continue the voyage. I thank you all and wish you every well as you discover the fires within.
—Patrick Baliani, Playwright
Patrick wishes to thank Cynthia White for the Latin in the play; brother Danny for the French; the Purgatorio production sponsors, Joan and Doug Cook; The Rogue Theatre season sponsor, Norma Davenport; and the Tucson/Pima Arts Council for its generous support of the “Dante Project.”
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) is most famous for his Inferno, the first portion of his Divine Comedy. In it, he uses his description of hell to examine the myriad forms of human depravity and weakness. But the bleakness and cynicism of Inferno is not pervasive to his entire masterpiece.
In Purgatorio, the second portion of his afterlife, Dante shifts his literary aims. It is not the realm of sinners condemned to eternal punishments, but the area where the forgiven are cleansed of their imperfections so that they can enter Paradise. Dante populates his purgatory with real people in a recognizable landscape, retaining the realistic descriptions and concrete language of Inferno. But these souls are happily undergoing a slow process of transformation. Human beings are really, Dante writes, “worms born to become angelic butterflies,” and that process takes place here.
As a concept, “purgatory” developed during the Middle Ages as an attempt to reconcile some apparently contradictory passages of the Bible. For instance, several passages of Scripture speak of the value of prayers for the dead, but the damned cannot be helped, and the blessed do not need help; surely, medieval theologians deduced, there must be an area where people are prepared for Heaven.
Equally importantly, medieval thinkers had categorized the Bible’s sins according to a type of psychology. Gregory the Great (540–604CE) developed the notion that all human imperfections are derived from seven natural impulses: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride. A person’s sins are washed away at confession, but the impure impulses that give rise to those sins are inherent to that person’s character, and thus they remain even after confession. But surely, the perfection of Heaven cannot allow such imperfect impulses—there must be a realm in the afterlife where the impulses themselves are purged. And thus medieval Christianity required the notion of purgatory.
Dante imagines purgatory as a mountain on a small island on the southern hemisphere. Yes, Dante conceived of the earth as a sphere, as did most thinkers of the Middle Ages! Dante’s mountain is terraced, with each level dedicated to purging an impure impulse: pride, envy, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony, lust. Accompanied by Virgil, who had led him through Hell, Dante climbs the mountain, meeting famous people and undergoing a type of purgation process himself. At the top of the mountain lies Eden, where Virgil takes his leave of Dante, leaving him in the hands of Beatrice. She will be his guide through Paradiso, but only after Dante has been fully cleansed. By that point, he will be “pure and ready to ascend to the stars.”
—Fabian Alfie, Professor of Italian, University of Arizona
Download the handout from Patrick Baliani’s April 19 talk,
“Dante’s The Divine Comedy in His Day and Ours,”
including a map of Purgatory and suggestions for further reading.
The file is viewable in Adobe Reader, downloadable here.
Patty Gallagher as Madame Moiselle, Gabby DeBrequet as the Angel of Abstinence
and David Greenwood as Virgil
Photo by Tim Fuller
Lighting design by Don Fox
Dante Ryan Parker Knox Virgil David Greenwood Beatrice Marissa Garcia Ensemble Gabriella De Brequet Ensemble Patty Gallagher* Ensemble Holly Griffith Ensemble Christopher Johnson Ensemble Cynthia Meier Ensemble David Morden* Ensemble Lee Rayment Casella Paul Amiel
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association,
the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States,
appearing under a Special Appearance Contract
Gabriella De Brequet (Ensemble) is performing for the second time with The Rogue Theatre, having debuted earlier this season as Thomasina Coverly in Arcadia. Gabriella is a theatre major at Pima Community College where she has appeared in the Shakespearian Showcase, Musical Theatre Workshop, Curtains (Niki Harris), The Jungle Book (Ensemble), All Shook Up (Ensemble), The Trumpet of the Swan (Miss Plum), and The Diary of Anne Frank (Anne Frank). Gaby would like to thank her family for always supporting her passion for theatre, and the entire Rogue Theatre community.
Patty Gallagher (Ensemble) is Professor of Theatre Arts at University of California Santa Cruz where she teaches movement, mask, Balinese dance, and clown traditions. With The Rogue, she has performed the roles of Hannah Jarvis in Arcadia, Kali in Mistake of the Goddess (Hayavadana), Red Peter in Kafka’s Monkey, Mrs. Samsa in Metamorphosis, Monkey King in Journey to the West, Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale, Player 1 in Shipwrecked!, Alibech in The Decameron, Ariel in The Tempest, Rani in Naga Mandala, Emilia in Othello, the Player in Act Without Words, Orlando in Orlando, Sonnerie and Scarron in Red Noses, Winnie in Happy Days, Ranevskaya in The Cherry Orchard and Shen Te in The Good Woman of Setzuan. She has worked with Shakespeare Santa Cruz, The Folger Shakespeare Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, The New Pickle Circus, Ripe Time Theatre, Two River Theatre, Teatro Cronopio and Grupo Malayerba. She has performed, choreographed and directed workshops in Asia, South America, Europe, and the U.S. In 2006 she was Fulbright Scholar in Quito, Ecuador. In 2014 she was awarded the Pavel Machotka Chair in Creative Studies at UCSC’s Porter College. She holds a doctorate in Theatre from University of Wisconsin–Madison, and she is Director in Residence for the Clown Conservatory, San Francisco Circus Center.
Patty Gallagher’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Sheldon Trubatch & Katharina Phillips.
Marissa Garcia (Beatrice) celebrates her third season with The Rogue, having in that time played many roles. Favorites include Emma in Betrayal, Bodhisattva Guanyin in Journey to the West, Lady Anne Neville in Richard III, Isabella in Measure for Measure, and the title character in Major Barbara. Marissa has been seen on Rogue stages as a musician as well, contributing flute, mandolin and voice to the company’s always-live music tradition. She has been honored to work for troupes in Colorado and California and graced with the talents of band mates throughout the country. A homegrown export, Marissa is a native Tucsonan and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and Directing from the University of Arizona. Other local roles include: Ann Deever in All My Sons (Live Theatre Workshop), Thomasina Coverly in Arcadia (Arizona Repertory Theatre) and Ana Hernandez in Living Out (Borderlands Theater—Mac Award Nominee, Best Actress).
Marissa Garcia’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Katherine Smith.
David Greenwood (Virgil) was a member of the cast of The Rogue Theatre’s first production, The Balcony, and has recently appeared in Arcadia, Measure for Measure, Mistake of the Goddess (Hayavadana), Richard III, Metamorphosis, Mother Courage and Her Children, The Night Heron, Journey to the West, The Decameron, The Real Inspector Hound, Major Barbara, As I Lay Dying and The Winter’s Tale. He has appeared locally in Shining City and The Birthday Party at Beowulf Alley Theatre and The One-Armed Man, The Disposal and The Glass Menagerie at Tucson Art Theatre.
David Greenwood’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Maura Brackett.
Holly Griffith (Ensemble) has appeared earlier this season at The Rogue Theatre as Chloë Coverly in Arcadia. Holly has also served at The Rogue as a box office assistant and as dramaturg for Measure for Measure and Mistake of the Goddess. Holly is a Master’s student of English Literature at the University of Arizona where she also teaches Freshman Composition. Holly’s academic interests include American Literature, folklore, Irish literature, and of course, drama and theatre studies. In addition to her scholarly pursuits, Holly has worn many hats as a performing artist. She most recently served as the President of Emerson Dance Company in Boston, MA, and choreographed a Student Dance Showcase at The Miami Valley School in Dayton, OH. Holly also directed Marina Carr’s By the Bog of Cats, and co-directed Brian Friel’s Lovers for Rareworks Theatre Company in Boston, MA. Holly would like to dedicate her performance to her sister Leah.
Christopher Johnson (Ensemble) has previously appeared at The Rogue in Richard III, Mother Courage and Her Children, The Night Heron, Journey to the West, The Winter’s Tale and As I Lay Dying. Recent local credits include turns with Winding Road Theater Ensemble as Pale (Burn This), Doug (Gruesome Playground Injuries) and The Master of Ceremonies (Cabaret) for which he received the 2013 Arizona Daily Star Mac Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
Ryan Parker Knox (Dante) is a native of South Dakota and has lived in Tucson for two years. A BFA graduate of the University of South Dakota, “RPK” called Minneapolis/St. Paul home for over a decade before relocating to the Southwest on a whim, and good thing he did. This marks his second season as a Rogue Acting Company Member, having previously appeared in Betrayal as Jerry, Arcadia as Septimus Hodge, Measure for Measure as Pompey, Mistake of the Goddess (Hayavadana) as Devadatta, Richard III as Hastings/Blunt, Metamorphosis as Clerk/Charwoman/Three Gentlemen, Mother Courage and Her Children as Lieutenant/various other soldiers, The Night Heron as Neddy Beagle, and Journey to the West as Sha Monk. Some of his favorite past roles include Jerry in The Full Monty, and title roles in Picasso at the Lapin Agile and The Who’s Tommy, all for Paul Bunyan Playhouse in Bemidji, MN as well as Henry in Henry V, Tesman in Hedda Gabler, and Phillip in Orphans. Ryan sends humble thanks out to all his previous and current Rogue sponsors, to his four biggest little fans O, D, A, and P back in South Dakota, and especially to his beautiful girlfriend Shayna. Please enjoy the season!
Ryan Parker Knox’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Pat & John Hemann.
Cynthia Meier (Ensemble) is the Managing and Associate Artistic Director for The Rogue Theatre, where she most recently played The Bhagavata in Mistake of the Goddess, Mistress Overdone in Measure for Measure and the title role in Mother Courage and Her Children. Cynthia has been nominated for seven Mac Awards for Best Actress from the Arizona Daily Star, and she received the Mac Award for her performance of Stevie in Edward Albee’s The Goat at The Rogue Theatre. She has also performed in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Arizona Repertory Theatre), A Streetcar Named Desire (Arizona Theatre Company), Blithe Spirit and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Michigan Repertory Theatre), Romeo & Juliet and Chicago Milagro (Borderlands Theatre) and A Namib Spring (1999 National Play Award winner). Cynthia co-founded Bloodhut Productions, a company performing original monologues and comedy improvisation, which toured throughout the western United States. This season, she directed Arcadia and Betrayal for The Rogue. Cynthia holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the University of Arizona.
Cynthia Meier’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Bill & Carol Mangold.
David Morden (Ensemble) has appeared with The Rogue Theatre as Jellaby and Captain Brice in Arcadia, the Actor in Mistake of the Goddess (Hayavadana), Buckingham in Richard III, The Chaplain in Mother Courage and Her Children, the Dragon King in Journey to the West, Polixenes in The Winter’s Tale, Louis de Rougemont in Shipwrecked!, Rinieri in The Decameron, Stephano in The Tempest, Brabantio and Montano in Othello, Editor Webb in Our Town, in the ensembles of Animal Farm and Orlando, as Madame Pace in Six Characters in Search of an Author, The Pope in Red Noses, Yephikhov in The Cherry Orchard, The Man in the Silver Dress in the preshow to The Maids and Glaucus in Endymion. He has acted locally with Arizona Opera (The Pirates of Penzance, The Threepenny Opera), Arizona Onstage Productions (Assassins), Actors Theatre (The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged)) and Green Thursday Theatre Project (Anger Box, Rain), of which he was a co-founder. David also directed The Rogue’s productions of Measure for Measure, Major Barbara, Ghosts, A Delicate Balance, The Goat (2008 Arizona Daily Star Mac Award), Six Characters in Search of an Author and Krapp’s Last Tape, Not I and Act Without Words. Last season, David directed Inspecting Carol for Arizona Repertory Theatre and directed three one-act adaptations of Medea for the Studio Series at the University of Arizona, where he is an Assistant Professor in the School of Theatre, Film and Television.
David Morden’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from Sheldon Trubatch & Katharina Phillips.
Lee Rayment (Ensemble) is a graduate from the University of Northern Colorado. When not performing he can be found swinging on the trapeze at the Zuzi Theatre or saving Corporate America from utter destruction. He has performed in several shows at The Rogue: Arcadia (Ezra Chater), Measure for Measure (Lucio), Richard III (Sir William Catesby, Second Murderer), Mother Courage and Her Children (Regimental Clerk), Journey to the West (Moksa), The Winter’s Tale (Archidamus), As I Lay Dying (ensemble), and in Major Barbara (Stephen Undershaft). He has also assistant directed The Night Heron and The New Electric Ballroom. In Tucson he has appeared as Katurian in The Pillowman for The Now Theatre (for which he received the 2011 Mac Award for Best Actor from the Arizona Daily Star). At the University of Northern Colorado he performed in Amadeus (Salieri), The Servant of Two Masters (Pantalone), and Urinetown (Mr. Caldwell).
Lee Rayment’s performance is supported in part by a generous gift from an anonymous donor.
David Greenwood as Virgil, Ryan Parker Knox as Dante, and Patty Gallagher, Christopher Johnson,
Holly Griffith, Cynthia Meier and David Morden as the zara players
Preshow music with Harlan Hokin, Jake Sorgen and Paul Amiel
Christopher Johnson, Ryan Parker Knox as Dante, Lee Rayment, Paul Amiel as Casella,
Gabriella De Brequet, Holly Griffith and Patty Gallagher
Photos by Tim Fuller
Lighting design by Don Fox
Music Director Paul Amiel Harlan Hokin Jake Sorgen
Paul Amiel (Music Director, Casella) is a musician/composer passionate about traditional music and instruments of the world, with an emphasis on Turkish, Medieval, Chinese, Japanese, Mediterranean, and ancient music. Paul has performed on gothic harp, kaval, saz, ney, banjo, flute, piano, guitar, dizi, shakuhachi, and accordéon for his groups Summer Thunder, Muso, Seyyah, Zambuka, and Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre 3) as well as Musica Sonora, the Arizona Early Music Society, and Odaiko Sonora. Paul, an Artistic Associate of The Rogue, was Music Director for Betrayal, Arcadia, Measure for Measure, Mistake of the Goddess, Richard III, Kafka’s Monkey and Metamorphosis, The Night Heron, Journey to the West, As I Lay Dying and The Winter’s Tale. Dante’s Purgatorio is his 20th production with The Rogue Theatre.
Paul Amiel’s music direction is supported in part by a generous gift from Bryan & Lizzie Falcón.
Harlan Hokin (Musician) has performed extensively as a solo singer and director with many international early music ensembles including Sequentia and P.A.N. (Project Ars Nova), and did a stint with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival many years ago. He earned a doctorate in historical performance practice from Stanford, and has taught at Stanford and UC Santa Cruz. Harlan is an active workshop teacher and writer on topics of interest to singers and early music performers, and teaches music theory and literature at Pima Community College. He served as Music Director at The Rogue for its first six seasons, and acted as vocal director for Arizona Onstage’s production of Assassins. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Early Music Society, and is the father of two nearly perfect former children.
Jake Sorgen (Guitar) is a musician/composer originally from Woodstock, New York. He appeared earlier this season as the musician for Betrayal. Primarily a guitarist & saxophonist Jake also plays mandolin, bass, and other reed instruments in a wide range of styles including American and European folk, jazz, contemporary improvisation, and free music. As a solo artist Jake has released two albums, Sudden Myth in 2012 and In Transit in 2013, as well as appearing as a featured artist on the avant-garde band BLOB’s 2010 release A Night At The Opera and has performed extensively throughout the Northeast. In 2012 Jake composed the score for Rareworks Theatre’s production of Lovers and By The Bog of Cats in Boston and began work on a lyrical project adapting Joseph Brodsky’s Watermark for guitar and voice.
Music Director’s Notes
Dante’s Inferno has no music, and Paradise is full of heavenly choirs; but Purgatory’s music is sung in simple monody, and Dante alludes in his text to the many chants he hears there on his upward climb. We’ve tried to keep that sensibility with chants and hymns mentioned in the poem, but I’ve amended quite a bit to create a soundscape that borrows music and musical styles from all around late medieval Europe. I’m not sure to which realm Dante would banish me because of this.
I am delighted to be working with Harlan Hokin, very knowledgeable about this period, who taught and directs the singers, and Jake Sorgen, who recently provided music in Betrayal. Their contributions are inestimable. We are playing a variety of instruments, many of which would have been recognizable to Dante. Thanks go out as always to James Tanguay at the Folk Shop for his skill and kind attention, and to those learnéd in the music of this period, to whom I ask, like a cautious sinner, indulgence.
—Paul Amiel, Music Director
Ryan Parker Knox as Dante, David Morden as Pope Adrian, Holly Griffith as Sulpizia,
David Greenwood as Virgil and the ensemble as the Avaricious
Photo by Tim Fuller
Lighting design by Don Fox
Costume Design Cynthia Meier Scenic Design Joseph McGrath Lighting Design Don Fox
Assistant Director Leah Taylor Stage Manager Sara Micromatis Choral Coach Harlan Hokin Costume Construction Cynthia Meier & Karen DeLay Master Electrician Peter Bleasby Lighting Programmer Josh Hemmo Lighting Crew Josh Hemmo & Steven Davis Angel Wings Matt Cotten Serpent Head Leah Taylor House Manager Susan Collinet Assistant House Manager Caroline Ragano Box Office Manager Thomas Wentzel Box Office Assistants Kara Clauser, Holly Griffith,
Jake Sorgen & Latifah Street
Poster, Program & Website Thomas Wentzel
Don Fox (Lighting Design) holds a B.A. in Theatre Administration from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX and in May 2014 will complete his MFA in Lighting Design at the University of Arizona. Prior to returning to grad school in 2011, Don was the Technical Director and Facilities Manager at the high-tech Performing Arts Center of Wenatchee, in Washington’s Cascade Mountains. He has served as lighting and sound consultant for Silversea Cruises, has twice designed Shakespeare in the Park for the San Antonio Botanical Gardens, and is resident lighting designer for Tucson’s Artifact Dance Project for whom he recently designed I Wonder if My Name is Alice, and The Great American Dance Tour which toured for a month to the great opera houses of China. Favorite designs include Bat Boy—The Musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, and SAAF’s Moda Provacateur fashion show/fundraiser. Don recently designed Betrayal, Arcadia, Measure for Measure and Mistake of the Goddess for The Rogue and The Fantasticks for the University of Arizona. His complete portfolio is at www.djfox.biz.
Leah Taylor (Assistant Director) was Resident Stage Manager for The Rogue Theatre’s 2011–12 and 2012–13 seasons, Stage Manager for The Rogue’s recent productions of Arcadia and Mistake of the Goddess (Hayavadana) and Assistant Director for Betrayal and Measure for Measure. She was Assistant to the Stage Manager for The Rogue Theatre’s 2011 production of The Decameron, and has stage managed for several theatre companies in Tucson including the Now Theatre and Winding Road Theatre Ensemble. Leah received her BA in Classics and Anthropology from the University of Arizona.
Sara Micromatis (Stage Manager) holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theater from Frostburg State University in Maryland. She served as Stage Manager at The Rogue Theatre for Betrayal earlier this season, and has had the pleasure of working with several other theaters in Tucson, both onstage and backstage. She has performed with comedy improv troupe Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed, and acted with Old Pueblo Playwrights, Top Hat Theater Club, the Vagina Monologues, New Kiva Motions Puppet Theater, and the Lesbian Short Series, also stage managing for Wilde Playhouse. Before her move to Tucson, she stage managed with the Red Barn Theater and the touring dance company Urban Bush Women.
Susan Collinet (House Manager) earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of Arizona in 2008. Decades before returning to college as a non-traditional student, Susan spent twenty years in amateur theater, mostly on the East coast, as well as in Brussels, Belgium in the American Theater of Brussels, and the Theatre de Chenois in Waterloo. She has worked in such positions as a volunteer bi-lingual guide in the Children’s Museum of Brussels, the Bursar of a Naturopathic Medical school in Tempe, Arizona, an entrepreneur with two “Susan’s of Scottsdale” hotel gift shops in Scottsdale, Arizona, and as the volunteer assistant Director of Development of the Arizona Aids Project in Phoenix. Susan continues to work on collections of poetry and non-fiction. Her writing has won awards from Sandscript Magazine, the John Hearst Poetry Contest, the Salem College for Women’s Center for Writing, and was published in a Norton Anthology of Student’s Writing. In addition to being House Manager, Susan serves on the Board of Directors and acts as Volunteer Coordinator for the Rogue.
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David Greenwood as Virgil and Ryan Parker Knox as Dante
Ryan Parker Knox as Dante and Marissa Garcia as Beatrice
Ryan Parker Knox as Dante
Photo by Tim Fuller
Location: The Rogue Theatre at The Historic Y, 300 East University Boulevard
Click here for information on free off-street parking
Performance run time is 2 hours and 15 minutes, including one ten-minute intermission, and not including music preshow or post-show discussion.
Thursday, April 24, 2014, 7:30 pm DISCOUNT PREVIEW
Friday, April 25, 2014, 7:30 pm DISCOUNT PREVIEW
Saturday, April 26, 2014, 7:30pm DISCOUNT PREVIEW
Sunday, April 27, 2014, 2:00 pm matinee OPENING PERFORMANCE SOLD OUT
Thursday, May 1, 2014, 7:30 pm
Friday, May 2, 2014, 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 3, 2014, 7:30 pm SOLD OUT
Sunday, May 4, 2014, 2:00 pm matinee SOLD OUT
Thursday, May 8, 2014, 7:30 pm
Friday, May 9, 2014, 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 10, 2014, 2:00 pm matinee
Saturday, May 10, 2014, 7:30 pm
Sunday, May 11, 2014, 2:00 pm matinee SOLD OUT