Weston Playhouse Theatre Company presents “An Iliad”

David Bonanno as The Poet in “An Iliad.” Photo by Andy Butterfield
David Bonanno as The Poet in “An Iliad.” Photo by Andy Butterfield

WESTON, Vt. – Weston Playhouse Theatre Company announces a return to live performance with the first production of its 2021 season: “An Iliad,” running July 14 through Aug. 6 under the tent at Walker Farm.

The eternal, enchanting power of storytelling comes to life in Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson’s acclaimed adaptation of Homer’s classic. A chorus of ancient muses perform original compositions by Jonathan Larsen award-winner Jenny Giering as a solitary storyteller throws us into the midst of conflict. In this vibrant retelling directed by Meredith McDonough, heroes clash in a quest for glory as the excitement of an ancient tale is catapulted into a daring, spellbinding, and truly hopeful story for today.

“Weston is thrilled to welcome our audiences back to live performance with this intimate and urgent story of humanity surviving even in the most painful of times,” says Executive Artistic Director Susanna Gellert. “David Bonanno is an utterly captivating storyteller who brings this story to life in a way that is relevant and surprisingly contemporary. I can think of no better way for us all to gather again at the theatre than in the sharing of this pure, moving drama about how hope and joy survive against all odds. And Jenny Giering’s hauntingly beautiful compositions, written expressly for this production, create a whole new layer connecting the present and the past.”

In Weston, McDonough is known for “irresistible storytelling” (Times Argus) as displayed in her direction of 2019’s “Always…Patsy Cline,” the darling of the 84th season. McDonough was the associate artistic director at Actors Theatre of Louisville for seven seasons. She was the New Works director for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley and for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.

McDonough’s talents will be musically complemented with original composition by two-time Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award-winner Jenny Giering. Giering’s current projects include continued development of 2019 NMA winner “Alice Bliss,” commissioned by Playwright’s Horizons, “Saint-Ex,” a 2010 NMA winner with book and lyrics by Sean Barry, and “What We Leave Behind,” co-written with Sean Barry, for which she received a 2021 Barrington Stage Spark Grant.

“An Iliad” stars Weston legend David Bonanno as The Poet, an ancient teller of tales destined to share the story of war until the day human nature changes; until the day our love of rage comes to an end. Bonanno was last seen in Weston’s 2019 production of “The Fantasticks” and has been featured in many other memorable Weston performances over the past 34 years. He was in the original Broadway cast of “The Light in the Piazza” and the Chicago casts of “Ragtime” and “Lend Me a Tenor.”

“An Iliad” plays under the tent at Walker Farm, 703 Main Street, Weston, Vt. Two- and three-show subscriptions and single tickets are available online and by calling the Weston Box Office at 802-824-5288. Gift cards can be purchased online at www.westonplayhouse.org.

The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is a nonprofit organization supported in part by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and an ever-growing family of individuals and organizations who believe in the impact that the performing arts makes on its community.

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