Actors’ Shakespeare Project (A.S.P.) completes its sixth season with the Boston premiere of the rarely produced Timon of Athens, directed by A.S.P.’s Resident Acting Company member Bill Barclay, previewing on May 19th, 20th & 21st, opening on May 22nd and running through June 13th at Midway Studios, 15 Channel Center Street, in Fort Point Channel.
Timon of Athens explores the corrupting power of wealth and the devastating effects of financial ruin on the human soul. When Timon (played here by Artistic Director Allyn Burrows) hears that his friends need money, he generously offers them all the financial help he can provide. Soon even government officials are lining up for a share of Timon’s extravagant gifts and lavish parties. Timon’s cynical friend Apemantus warns Timon not to put his faith in these flatterers, but the trusting Timon rebukes him. When Timon’s creditors call all his debts due, his fair‐weather friends refuse to lend him money. Soon Timon finds himself barred from his home, forced to fire his loyal servants, and in utter financial ruin. His fury at the corrupt government of Athens and false friends leads him to a merciless revenge.
Timon of Athens has its Boston premiere on the Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s stage. Written in 1607, the surprisingly funny Timon of Athens satirizes the extravagant spending of the nobility of Shakespeare’s day, who often mortgaged their lands and took on significant debts in order to support their decadent lifestyles. The story, full of humor, bluster, and bleak poetry, warns against the corrupting effect of money on government officials and the human toll of bankruptcy. “We produce this play now to examine the imprints of the financial hardship that surround us, and the extent to which such sea changes alter our own intimate relationships.” says Director Bill Barclay “This apocryphal play, a sometime whipping boy of Shakespeare jokes for its obscurity, offers a raw resonance we find urgently relevant. Timon of Athens will always be timely so long as financial inequality remains timeless.”
A.S.P. is the first American theater company to have a partnership with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (S.B.T.) in Stratford‐upon‐Avon, UK. S.B.T.’s Nick Walton, a world expert on Timon of Athens, will be coming over to moderate and participate in a series of Timon Talks, including a free lecture event at the Boston Athenaeum on May 25. Around the play, A.S.P will hold its traditional Open Rehearsal and a Community Night performance, post show discussions, as well as projects with Cambridge at Home, Miller’s River, Veterans Upward Bound, the Shakespeare on the Out after‐school program, Charlestown High School, and several Department of Youth Services facilities.
In addition to Allyn Burrows in the title role, a strong ensemble cast surrounds Timon as he faces his ruin, led by A.S.P. regulars Bobbie Steinbach, John Kuntz, and Steven Barkhimer, as well as guests Daniel Berger‐Jones, Joel Colodner, Michelle Dowd and Will Lyman.
Bill Barclay directs and is the scenic designer for Timon of Athens with Melanie Garber assisting. Emily Nichols provides murals. The other members of the production team are Anna-Alisa Belous (costumes), Jeff Adelberg (lighting), Peter Bayne (sound), Ellie Anders (properties) with the stage manager Adele Nadine Traub and production manager Jason Ries.
Compiled from the press release courtesy of the Actors' Shakespeare Project.