(Seattle, WA)-Seattle Children's Theatre continues its 30th
anniversary season with the world-premiere production of The Red Badge of Courage, adapted by Joe Sutton from the historic Civil War novel by Stephen Crane, January 21 through March 5.
The Red Badge of Courage brings to life Crane's novel of a young soldier's coming-of-age during wartime-young Henry must reconcile his conflicting feelings of courage, fear and duty as he marches into the battle that will change his life. As he reflects on his life, we see what Henry went through as he struggled to be brave despite his fear.
"This tale is just as wrought with meaning today, in the political climate of our contemporary world, as when it was written in 1895, 30 years after the end of the Civil War," said Linda Hartzell, SCT artistic director and director of The Red Badge of Courage. "Today, many people around the world are having a struggle of conscience over duty, patriotism and the justifications for war, and this story acts as a neutral springboard for discussing these topics."
Public performances of The Red Badge of Courage run Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 and 5:30 p.m. in the Charlotte Martin Theatre, located at 201 Thomas Street at Seattle Center. Tickets range in price from $14 to $28 and are available by calling the SCT Ticket Office at (206) 441-3322 or by visiting SCT's website at www.sct.org. The Red Badge of Courage is recommended for ages 11 and older.
Sutton also adapted SCT's season-opening production The Magic City, which played to audience and critical acclaim. His plays have been produced around the country, abroad and locally, including Voir Dire, which premiered at Seattle Repertory Theatre and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the Best Play Award of the American Theatre Critics Association.
Published in 1895, The Red Badge of Courage is noted as being the "first modern war novel." The story was unique for its time because it was told from an ordinary soldier's point of view; it didn't glorify war but instead raised disconcerting questions by focusing on the conflicting emotions and internal turmoil of a young soldier. The book is controversial among critics, although most admire the emotional power of Crane's vivid prose, which details the horrors of battle in spite of the fact that he had no war experience.
Henry Fleming, a veteran of the U.S. Civil War, recounts his
memories of the days leading up to his first battle, the battle that shaped his life.
Young Henry, his regiment on the move looking for a skirmish, is struggling with himself-will he have what it takes when they go into battle or will he run away? His unit marches on, hot and thirsty, anxious for something to happen. Henry worries about his courage and the fact that none of the others seem to have the same reservations.
Finally, the time comes and Henry finds himself in battle. Fear and doubt wash over him as he stands and waits to fire. The first round is quick, with the rebels pulling back almost as soon as they had charged. The next round is more overwhelming, and one of Henry's fellow soldiers bolts. This is the impetus Henry needs; he too turns and runs from the battle.
From where he ends up, the long line of wounded march past, even one from his own regiment. After watching his friend succumb to his injuries, Henry's courage fails him again and he runs from the other dying men. A group of retreaters overtakes Henry, but when he tries to question them on the outcome of the battle, he is hit on the head by a rifle. This is what he's been missing-the red badge that will allow him to go back to his regiment with no questions asked. Once back among his fellow soldiers, Henry is off on another march, another battle and another chance to prove himself.
This time he gets caught up in the fever of warfare and rushes the enemy alone. In the next wave, the troops stand together until they are too close to the enemy's line and then fall back-all but Henry. With fierceness unforeseen, Henry leads the charge and captures the enemy's flag, as he recaptures his own pride and honor.
CAST AND DESIGN TEAM
The Red Badge of Courage cast features Anne Allgood as Henry's
Mother, Philip Davidson as Old Man, Brian Earp as Daws, Garrett Feek as Rodgers, William Hall, Jr. as Tattered Man and Cheery Man, Timothy Hyland as Jim Conklin, Adam Larmer as Simpson, Tony Nam as Corporal, Asa Taccone as Thompson, Shawn Telford as Wilson and Reb, Adam Twiss as Lieutenant, and Lathrop Walker as Henry. Brian Earp, Kevin C. Loomis and Marty Mukhalian are the understudies.
The artistic team includes Jennifer Lupton as scenic designer,
Melanie Taylor Burgess as costume designer, Rick Paulsen as lighting
designer, Chris Walker as composer/sound designer, Geoffrey Alm as fight choreographer, and Gwen Marksym as the assistant to the lighting designer.
A limited amount of $10 rush tickets will be available Friday nights at the ticket office, located at 201 Thomas Street in Seattle. There will be an American Sign Language interpreted performance of The Red Badge of Courage for deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons on Saturday, February 12, at 2 p.m. For more information, call (206) 441-3322, voice, or (206) 443-6938, TTY.
Seattle Children's Theatre would like to thank season sponsor
Microsoft, season education sponsor Washington Mutual, and show sponsors the Bellevue Schools Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts and show education sponsor Bank of America.
Now celebrating its 30th Anniversary Season, Seattle Children's Theatre performs September through June in the Charlotte Martin and Eve Alvord Theatres at Seattle Center. The second largest children's theatre in the nation, Seattle Children's Theatre is a leading producer of theatre, education programs and new scripts for young people. Since its inception, SCT has presented 167 plays, 83 of which have been world premieres, and entertained over 4 million children.
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For photos, complete biographies, interviews and further assistance, contact SCT Public Relations Manager Taryn Essinger at (206) 443-0807 x107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.