September 5, 2013
By Elysa Gardner
Most people are familiar with the story behind Prometheus Bound, but few have actually seen it staged.
Now there's a new opportunity to experience the rarely performed play, believed to have been written in the fifth century B.C. by Aeschylus (though some scholars have disputed his authorship), live, and al fresco. The California Institute of the Arts' Center for New Performance and the Getty Museum, in association with TransArts, are in previews for a new production, set to open Thursday at the Getty Villa in Malibu.
Helmed by CNP's artistic director, Travis Preston, it features a newly translated text by poet/essayist Joel Agee and a cast of 18 — plus a five-ton, 23-foot revolving steel wheel to which the titular hero is tied high above the stage, as punishment for defying Zeus in order to empower humanity with fire and education.
The wheel wasn't Preston's first concept, he says. "I had wanted to stage the piece in the audience area of the amphitheater. But that was rejected because of safety reasons. And the wheel addressed a number of needs, one of which is that Prometheus is meant to be chained up very high, presumably on a mountaintop at the end of the earth." Read More .