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Peter Shaffer’s ‘Amadeus’ begings October 29


Elemental Theatre Collective, in association with Big Table Productions, will stage Peter Shaffer’s Tony Award winning play, Amadeus, this October and November. Directed by Elemental’s Artistic Director Alexander Platt, the play opens in previews October 29 and runs through November 22 at the Round Top Center at Beneficent Church in downtown Providence. Tickets go on sale October 1st.

One of the most powerful plays of our time, Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus pits a cunning but mediocre composer, Antonio Salieri, against his unwilling nemesis, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. But Salieri’s war isn’t really with Mozart: it’s with a God who would choose to bless Mozart with the gifts that Salieri feels he deserves. When the disgruntled Salieri vows to destroy God’s creation, the tables are set for an epic battle of trust and betrayal, love and blinding hatred.

Elemental brings this play to Beneficent Church in downtown Providence, RI. “Setting the piece in a sacred space was absolutely essential,” says director Alexander Platt. “Performing in God’s house makes the play much more dangerous. Starting a war with God is one thing; starting a war with God in a church is entirely another.”

Instead of the usual cast of fifteen actors and elaborate recorded sound, the play will be performed with six actors and a selected group of live classical musicians. Salieri and Mozart are each played by a single actor, and four Ensemble actors perform the thirteen other roles. “We wanted to boil the play down to its barest elements,” explains Platt. “ We also felt that because music was one of the most important elements, we didn’t want to just hear the music – we wanted to feel it. And the only way to do that is to have the music being performed in the room with the audience.” Platt has been working with Joseph Amante, Director of Choral Activities at CCRI, to adapt the music required by the play into a score for chamber instruments and solo vocalists.

The cast features Tanya Anderson, Mike Bash, D’Arcy Dersham, Bryan Kimmelman, Kelly Seigh and Max Vogler. Vogler, who graduated from Trinity Rep Conservatory, is a New York-based actor returning to Rhode Island to play the lead role of Salieri. He is joined onstage by fellow Conservatory graduates and Elemental actors Anderson, Dersham and Seigh. Kimmelman, who moved to Providence a year ago and has already been seen in several productions, is playing Mozart. Rounding out the cast is Bash, a Boston-based actor and recent graduate of Emerson College’s acting program.

Amadeus is being co-produced by Elemental Theatre Collective and Big Table Productions. Big Table Productions is an organization of Rhode Island educational and business leaders, students, and theatre artists that have been working together to create The Amadeus Project, an ongoing curriculum initiative inspired by the play. Their concepts have been implemented in schools and universities across the state throughout the past year, and students have been instrumental in every aspect of this production.

Compiled from the press release courtesy of the Elemental Theatre Collective.

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