AKRON THEATRE HOSTS AKROPOLIS PERFORMANCE LAB FROM SEATTLE
SEATTLE ENSEMBLE PERFORMS WORLD PREMIERE AT BALCH STREET THEATRE
(AKRON, OH) Akron’s New World Performance Lab (NWPL) presents Seattle’s premiere ensemble-based theatre company, Akropolis Performance Lab (APL), and its production of Crime + Punishment. Akron audiences can experience the world premiere of this physical and musical version of Dostoevsky’s dark and thrilling opus on November 30, December 1 and 2 at 7:30 pm at The Balch Street Theatre, 220 South Balch Street, Akron, OH 44302. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students/seniors. Seating is very limited. Reservations can be made by calling (330) 867-3299 or online at dostoevsky.brownpapertickets.com.
Crime + Punishment follows the fortunes of Raskolnikov, a debt-ridden and disillusioned university drop-out. After robbing and murdering a pawnbroker, Raskolnikov descends into a guilt-induced fever dream where he is plagued by the ghosts of his crime and conscience.
APL’s version of Dostoevsky’s 19th century novel combines bold dramaturgy with rigorous physicality and a rich musical soundscape drawn from traditional Russian sacred chant and folk song. The live music includes otherworldly a cappella vocal harmonies — for which APL has twice received Gypsy Award nominations from Seattle’s theatre critics — and the distinctive sound of a hurdy-gurdy. The result is a singularly theatrical translation of Dostoevsky’s classic psychological novel of alienation, duality, morality, transgression, and justice.
As part of NWPL’s 25th anniversary celebration, the company welcomes back to Akron APL’s co-directors Zhenya and Joseph Lavy, founding members of NWPL. In Crime + Punishment, APL’s taut, nine-person ensemble ventures to the lower depths of 19th-century St. Petersburg, where the mysteries of the mind of a killer are revealed in his search for meaning and redemption. Crime + Punishment epitomizes the APL aesthetic: minimal and low-tech, yet full of inventive stagecraft and theatrical magic.
Director/Playwright – Joseph Lavy
Music Director – Zhenya Lavy
Set/Lighting Designer – Kix (Ohio-based)
Costume Designer – Fantasia Rose
Tour Manager – Margaretta Campagna
Tyler J. Polumsky – Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov
Emily Jo Testa – Alyona Ivanovna, Pulkheria Raskolnikova
Annie Paladino – Lizaveta, Avdotya Romanovna Raskolnikova
Sara Kaus – Sonya Marmeladova
Joseph Lavy – Marmeladov, Svidrigailov
Zhenya Lavy – Katerina Ivanovna Marmeladova, Hurdy Gurdist
Matt Sherrill – Dmitry Prokofytch Razumikhin
Jennifer Crooks – Porfiry Petrovich
- Location: The Balch Street Theatre, 220 S. Balch Street, Akron OH 44302
- Dates/Times: Thursday—Saturday, Nov 30 – Dec 2, 2017, 7:30pm
- Tickets: $15 General, Students and Seniors $10. Available through Brown Paper Tickets: dostoevsky.brownpapertickets.com
- Running Time: Approx. 3 hours, with 1 intermission.
- Seating is limited.
- Trigger Warning for loud noises (2 gunshots)
- Promotional Video: https://youtu.be/aQrmbuxVaOQ
About Akropolis Performance Lab
Akropolis Performance Lab is an ensemble-based theatre company founded in Seattle in 2000 by Co-Artistic Directors Joseph and Zhenya Lavy, who trace their artistic lineage through the Central and Eastern European heritage of Meyerhold, Vakhtangov, and Grotowski. Our artisanal approach favors exquisite creation subtly nuanced for small audiences, questioning intellects, and individual experience. Through ongoing ensemble training, as well as extended exploration and rehearsal processes, APL crafts deeply layered performance experiences at the intersection of source material, cultural heritage, physical action, music, dance, and personal memory. Simultaneously ancient and new, beautiful and essential, our ensemble- creative-mind’s distinct aesthetic signature is Theatre of Polyphony. We believe that at its simplest reduction, theatre exists only in the relationship between actor and witness. Therefore, we embrace a minimalist aesthetic, eliminating the noise of our modern, techno-frenetic world to bring clarity to the actor-witness relationship and build a richer spectator experience. Our work asks audiences to slow down, view at length, listen, and think. Recent work includes Ecce Faustus (2016), The Glas Nocturne (2015, reviewed in Theatre Journal’s March 2016 issue, Seattle Times Footlight Award for solo acting to Joseph Lavy), Pomegranate & Ash (2015), and Uncle Vanya (2014, original translation by Zhenya Lavy). Seattle’s longest established ensemble company and local pioneer of devising processes, APL’s original and devised work also includes Beautiful Treasure (a Unicef commission for the International Year of the Girl); and Dream of a Ridiculous Man — which received a special showing at the 2005 national Theatre Communications Group conference and was the subject of a feature article in The Stage (Moscow, Russia – Winter 2006). The company also produced the world premiere (2006) of Week 2 of Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365 Days / 365 Plays and a highly successful adaptation of Oedipus (2006) that received mention in Oxford University Press’s 2009 scholarly book on Seneca. Akron Connections: This is APL’s second tour to Akron. The ensemble brought The Glas Nocturne in November 2015. Longtime Akron residents who grew up in Northeast Ohio, both Lavys were founding members of New World Performance Lab and graduated from The University of Akron: Joseph, MA’92 Theatre; Zhenya BA’91 English, MA’96 English Literature. Zhenya Lavy was managing editor of the West Side Leader 1992-95 and editor of Akron, The University of Akron’s alumni magazine, 1995-1998. Acknowledgements: This project is supported, in part, by a grant from 4Culture. Akropolis Performance Lab is a sponsored program of Fractured Atlas.
About CATAC and NWPL
CATAC serves as the administrative umbrella for NWPL, an internationally acclaimed ensemble of theatre artists that has been active in Northeastern Ohio since 1992. Since taking up residence at The Balch Street Theatre in 2011, CATAC has produced a number of exceptional NWPL productions including “Virginia Woolf’s ORLANDO” and “Gilgamesh: He Who Saw Everything” as well as hosting various theatre companies such as Studium Teatralne from Poland, TAPIT Theatre Ensemble from Madison, WI, and Ma’Sue Productions. CATAC/NWPL spearheads numerous community projects, training sessions, educational programs, and performances throughout the region, nationally, and internationally. Most recently, CATAC/NWPL premiered The Devil’s Milk Trilogy, a project which explored Akron’s relationship with rubber and the rubber industry. CATAC/NWPL is supported in part by the Ohio Arts Council, Akron Community Foundation, The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation and is a winner of the Knight Foundation 2016 Akron Arts Challenge and a finalist in the 2017 Akron Arts Challenge.