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Calarts' Center for New Performance presents "Prometheus Bound" in conjunction with Trans Arts and the Getty

June 12, 2013
Los Angeles Times

By Mike Boehm


Getty Villa to sport a giant steel wheel for 'Prometheus Bound'


The Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades boasts a magnificent collection of ancient art in a replica of a Roman Villa, but this summer the biggest sculpture on display will be a creation from 2013: a 23-foot-tall, five-ton steel wheel that will be the centerpiece of an avant-garde production of the ancient drama “Prometheus Bound.”

The play, believed to have had its premiere around 450 B.C., depicts the suffering of the titan Prometheus, who’s been chained by the vengeful gods to a remote mountain. His transgression: teaching humanity the use of fire and other civilizing skills that had been the exclusive property of the gods themselves.
The wheel represents the mountain. Prometheus, played by Ron Cephus Jones in the production that begins previews Aug. 29, will spend the bulk of the evening strapped to it, on a smaller wheel that traverses the gigantic one like a hand on a clock or a gondola on a Ferris wheel.

Fortunately for the actor, he won’t be turned upside down, and he’ll have company from other performers who’ll clamber onto the wheel.
Vinny Golia, a noted L.A. jazz musician, will add live instrumentals, performing original music he composed with Ellen Reid.

The setpiece was conceived by director Travis Preston and scenic designer Efren Delgadillo Jr. for the production, which is being presented by the California Institute for the Arts’ Center for New Performance in conjunction with Trans Arts and the Getty Museum. The script is poet Joel Agee’s new translation of the ancient Greek text, which is commonly attributed to Aeschylus, although that’s a matter of scholarly dispute. Read More

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