LANESBORO, MN — The Commonweal Theatre, located in historic downtown Lanesboro, is pleased to announce the winter remount of one of the company’s successful 2019 Wealhouse productions. An Iliad adapted by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare from a translation by Robert Feagles will be remounted for one performance only in 2020 at the Commonweal on Sunday, January 19 at 1:30 p.m.
An Iliad telescopes Homer’s Trojan War epic into a gripping monologue that captures both the heroism and horror of war. Crafted around the stories of Achilles and Hector, in language that is by turns poetic and conversational, the play brilliantly refreshes this world classic. What emerges is a powerful piece of theatrical storytelling that vividly drives home the timelessness of mankind’s compulsion toward violence.
The piece is an acting “tour-de-force” in that one performer, The Poet, tells the tale by switching in and out of voices and characters to bring the story to life. Filling that role for the production will be Commonweal professional resident ensemble member Ben Gorman now entering his fifth year with the company. Mr. Gorman’s prior relationship with the company extends back to the early 2000s when he was a seasonal actor with the company. In reading and subsequently proposing the play, Gorman found a strong and instant connection. “The material,” says Gorman, “resonates with me as a staunch opponent of war. My father fought in WWII and believed it was a just and necessary war, but he rarely talked about his experience. He did, however, speak against war and war-mongering throughout the years I knew him, and expressed his concerns, over the course of many administrations, about America’s involvement in various wars and conflicts globally. I grew,” Gorman states, “to appreciate his mindset about war and war-making and consider myself opposed to war as a means of conflict resolution. It’s far too costly—in lives and treasure—to be a viable solution in an increasingly crowded and interdependent world.”
Wealhouse debuted in 2019 as a series of plays produced by the company and performed outside of the organization’s permanent home. Wealhouse is an avenue for the company to explore voices and stories that are not ideal for the mainstage but can reinforce Lanesboro’s identity as an arts campus and give each story a place that will deepen its meaning for the audience.
Regular ticket price is $20 for the general public and $15 for Commonweal MDC members and Season Pass Holders. For more information and to reserve tickets, please phone the Commonweal Box Office at (800) 657-7025, email a ticket request to tickets@CommonwealTheatre.org or reserve and purchase online at www.CommonwealTheatre.org.
Funding for Commonweal Theatre’s programming is provided in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature), and a grant from the McKnight Foundation, Mayo Clinic, as well as private funders.