Bless my ever-resilient heart, I'm a hopeless romantic and a complete fool when it comes to love. The practicality of the Capricorn is completely lost on me. I also have a mischievous sense of adventure. As a child, I devoured maps and dreamed of all the places that I would one day go. During grad school, I finally got to travel and spent my summers abroad in Europe and Australia. What's more, my favorite heroes are those who risk life and limb in unrelenting pursuits of justice, freedom, truth and equality. And my favorite characters to write are soldiers for their sense of duty, code of loyalty and honor and their ardent love of country.
With all of that, it's no wonder that Zorro is one of my favorite fictional characters. I'm so excited to see Constellation Theatre Company's upcoming world premiere production of Zorro written by Janet Allard and Eleanor Holdridge, who also serves as director. It opens to Pay-What-You-Can previews on Thursday, January 17th and runs to February 17, 2013. I'm going on Saturday and can hardly wait!
Over the next few days, I'm going to share interviews from Constellation Theatre Company's Allison Stockman and co-authors Janet Allard and Eleanor Holdridge, all of whom speak honestly, passionately and eloquently about their admiration for Zorro, the significance of this beautiful new play, and what it took to bring this world premiere to one of D.C.'s finest stages. For now, here's more information on the show and how you can purchase tickets:
Mystery, Romance, Adventure & Swashbuckling!!
Zorro, the masked avenger, is born when quiet, bookish Diego must find a way to fight corruption and injustice in this swashbuckling adventure. This World Premiere reframes the pulp drama as a coming of age story about self-discovery and the courage needed to seek justice for all. It is a world of high romance and adventure, where good vanquishes evil, and wrongs are righted with three signature swipes of a sword.
Danny Gavigan as Zorro. Photo by Andrew Propp.
The history of Zorro has captivated our collective imagination for nearly 100 years. Darting thrice with his rapier, the mark of the "Z" has been the calling card of the world's most recognized masked highwayman. At once romantic, passionate and righteous, Zorro has become an intergenerational, cross-cultural icon. Immortalized by a wide span of genres, the man in the black mask continues to inspire with tales of his great adventures. Zorro made his first appearance in the August 9, 1919 edition of the pulp-fiction journal All-Story Weekly in The Curse of Capistrano, created by freelance writer and first generation Irishman, Johnston McCulley. No sooner did Zorro's legend begin on the written page did it spread to the silver screen. A year after The Curse of Capistrano was issued, Douglas Fairbanks Sr. starred in the 1920 silent film The Mark of Zorro as the fox and his foppish alter ego, Don Diego de la Vega. Since the 1920's, there have been fifteen Zorro movies made in the United States, and over thirty films internationally. The Zorro Disney television series, starring Guy Williams, debuted in 1957 and had seventy-eight episodes and four one-hour specials. The rudiments of the Zorro lore - a masked hero who fights for the oppressed - also inspired a host of dual identity avengers, including the Phantom, the Lone Ranger, the Green Hornet, Superman and Batman. In many ways, Zorro was the first modern super-hero.
Eleanor Holdridge teamed up with fellow Yale School of Drama alumna Janet Allard to bring the story of Zorro to the stage. Holdridge’s directing work has been seen at many Washington area theatres including: Folger Theatre (The Gaming Table), Theatre J (Body Awareness), Round House Theatre (Double Indemnity) and Taffety Punk (Much Ado About Nothing). Allard's work has been seen at The Guthrie Lab, The Kennedy Center, Mixed Blood, Playwrights Horizons, Yale Rep, The Yale Cabaret, The Women's Project and Productions, Perseverance Theatre, The House Of Candles, and Access Theater in New York City, as well as internationally in Ireland, England, Greece, and New Zealand. Holdridge’s passion for Zorro dates back to childhood. She remembers, “My dad was born in 1910 and was ten years old when the Fairbanks movie came out. His phrases, stories and tall tales were filled with the purple poetic language of the pulps. I watched the movies and TV series over and over, trying to understand the more innocent childhood of my father’s youth… As I was trying to figure out who I’d be in the world so, it seemed, was Zorro.”
Ensemble: Vanessa Bradchulis, Oscar Ceville, Danny Gavigan*, Carlos Juan Gonzalez*, Jim Jorgensen, Michael Kramer*, Stephanie LaVardera, Carlos Saldaña, Andrés Talero. *Member, Actors’ Equity Association
Design and Production: A.J. Guban (Set), Kendrai Rai (Costumes), Nancy Shertler (Lights), Mariano Vales (Composer), Behzad Habibzai (Sound Designer), Casey Kaleba (Fight Choreographer), Melissa Flaim (Dialect Coach), Taylor Hitaffer (Dramaturg), Cheryl Gnerlich (Stage Manager), Kevin Laughon (Props Design), Jason Krznarich (Technical Director), Jeny Hall (Master Electrician), Audience Relations Coordinator (Lindsey Ruehl).
WHO: Constellation Theatre Company
WHAT: Zorro by Janet Allard and Eleanor Holdridge. Directed by Eleanor Holdridge
WHERE: Source Theatre 1835 14th St. NW
WHEN: January 17- February 17, 2013.
OTHER: Audiences aged 10 and up. A parent or guardian should accompany any child under 13.
I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!