2 01 2012

The Porters of Hellsgate present…
Troilus & Cressida
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Charles Pasternak
Produced by The Porters of Hellsgate
The most recent edition of Arden Shakespeare, beautifully introduced and edited by David Bevington, states that Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida is “hard to fit into the usual Shakespearean categories – comedy, history, tragedy, romance – ‘because it has so many elements of all four’ … an experimental play, characterized throughout by an intermingling of mode, tone, genre and style.” The Porters of Hellsgate have chosen this rarely produced and beautifully diverse “problem” play as the opener of their sixth season (their 13th Shakespearean outing, to date), running a full six weeks in the winter of 2012, directed by Artistic Director Charles Pasternak.

Troilus and Cressida is the story of the romance between a young, Trojan prince and a high-born girl at the height of the Trojan War. It is also the story of that war; The Greeks, in a quest to regain what they believe is rightfully theirs (the beautiful Helen, “a pearl, whose price hath launched above a thousand ships”) have been encamped on the beach of Troy for seven years with no exit strategy, and no plan to form one. Amongst their camp discontent and disunity rages, while Hector, eldest prince of Troy and commander of its armies, continues to defeat them in the field and hold them to the beach. Tragedy and romance set amidst the seemingly endless warscape, The Porters focus on the cyclical nature of possession and lust, centering on an exploration of value, the endeavor for honor and eternal canonization, and the furious discussion that rages within even the warring nations of today—what is worth fighting for? What is worth dying for? In the war for answers, the question remains: “What’s aught but as ‘tis valued?”

Hailed as “a promising, young theatre company” by The Los Angeles Times, The Porters of Hellsgate Theatre Company was founded in 2006 by Edward Castuera, Jack Leahy and Charles Pasternak. Their inaugural production of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar opened at the end of that year. Since then the Porters have produced eleven more of Shakespeare’s plays: Twelfth Night (’07), King Richard III (’07), Titus Andronicus (’07), Two Gentlemen of Verona (’07/’08), Much Ado About Nothing (’08), Macbeth (’08), Love’s Labour’s Lost (’08), King Richard II (’09), Hamlet (’10), The Comedy of Errors (‘10), and The Merchant of Venice (’11), as well as Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (’10, in rep. With Hamlet), an original work, Deity Clutch(originally produced in ’10, then remounted for the 2011 Hollywood Fringe Festival), penned by Associate Artistic Director Gus Krieger, and last season, the world premiere of a new translation of Oedipus the Tyrant (’11), translated by resident artist Jamey Hecht, Ph.D.

In 2010, Artistic Director Charles Pasternak was awarded “Shakespeare Performance of the Year” byStageSceneLA for his performance in the title role of Hamlet in The Porters’ production of The Bard’s timeless tragedy (which also received a “GO!” from the LA Weekly). Also awarded, Founding Managing Director Edward Castuera, in the role of Horatio, earning “Best Performance by a Featured Actor/Drama,” and Associate Artistic Director Thomas Bigley, earning “Outstanding Direction of a Drama.” In 2011, Associate Artistic Director Gus Krieger and resident artist Liza de Weerd were both honored with “Best Leading Actor in a Comedy/Drama” awards by StageSceneLA for their work as Shylock and Portia in The Porters’ production of The Merchant of VeniceAlso, The Porters had the honor of being Steven Leigh Morris’ full-page feature in the LA Weekly twice in 2010, where their Oedipus was raved as “remarkable,” and The Porters were said to have “commanding articulation of the poetical prose.”

It is the Porters’ continuing intent to bring powerful productions of classical work to the Los Angeles community.

Praise for The Porters’ previous production,
Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice:

The Merchant of Venice gives Artistic Director Charles Pasternak and his crackerjack team of young Shakespeareans another finely cut notch on their belt.”
-Steven Stanley, StageSceneLA, “WOW!” Winner of two StageSceneLA Awards

“This company has created a very inventive and truly entertaining interpretation of this problematic play; the stereotypes never brought us down – they actually made us laugh. And that is quite a feat.”
-Tony Frankel, Stage & Cinema

“The Porters, who have never shied from a challenge, take the Bard’s text head on without flinching. Thomas Bigley has helmed a brave production, and possibly The Porters’ best to date.”
-Susan Burns, Melpomene

“The acting is uniformly good, from leads…down to the minor players, a tribute to the meticulous direction of Thomas Bigley. In fact, the entire production’s attention to detail is noteworthy.”
-Joel Elkins, LA Theatre Review

Praise for The Porters’ 2011 Season:

“Absorbing” “GO!”
LA Weekly / Oedipus“Momentous”
LA Theatre Review / Oedipus

“Vibrant”
The Tolucan Times / Oedipus

“Inventive”
Stage & Cinema / Oedipus

“Inspired”
Melpomene / Oedipus“Striking”
LA Stage Watch / Oedipus “Flawless”
-Laist/Deity Clutch

“Intense”
- ACTS/Deity Clutch

“Wonderful… Sadistic”
-Melpomene/ Deity Clutch

“Eloquent”
LA Theatre Review Deity Clutch“Truly Entertaining”
Stage & Cinema Merchant

“Mesmerizing”
-Melpomene/ Merchant

“Imaginative”
-Stage SceneLA / Merchant

“Outstanding”
Advice to the Players Merchant

Troilus & Cressida opens Friday, January 13th, 2012, at 8pm. The production will run Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm, through Sunday, February 19th, 2012, closing the six-week run. Presented at:

The Whitmore Theatre
11006 Magnolia Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601

Tickets are $20, $15 for students/seniors 60+/AEA.
Reservations are available online via Brown Paper Tickets.
(Designated URL at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/216520).
Reservations can also be made via our e-mail or voice mail.
Information line/voice mail: 818-325-2055
E-mail questions/comments/reservation requests to: PortersOfHellsgate@gmail.com
This press release is available online at www.PortersOfHellsgate.com

PRESS CONTACT: ALEX PARKER, PortersOfHellsgate@gmail.com
Press Night: Press is welcome at any performance (plus one available by request), but the preferred press night is Saturday, January 14th, at 8pm.

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One response

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