Sure, Joss Whedon can breathe new life into Shakespeare, but can a Ferengi/Sunnydale high school principal get together with a guy who was a dentist on Mad Men for a minute do the same for a classic Arthur Miller play?
The Anteus Company is promoting its new production of The Crucible, through a mockumentary about the co-directors, Armin Shimerman and Geoffrey Wade. More after the jump The five-minute short is actually pretty funny. It starts with both directors comparing their careers: Armin with his years on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Buffy ,and Geoffrey being a dentist in last year’s season finale of Mad Men (although he’s done many roles on TV and the movies before that). We see the pitfalls of having two directors, especially when their “visions” sometimes collide. We also get the cast’s point of view about it, especially when they hear Ferengi jokes and Wade telling stories about Jon Hamm. It’s all in good fun, and the company thinks using YouTube and social media to promote the play will get more interest, and hopefully more customers.
“Old school advertising is out the window,” says Rob Nagle, one of the three co-artistic directors of the company, “It’s now about paying attention, listening and interacting. This new frontier requires inventiveness, as well as profound originality. We must provide viewers with content that they want to watch and will share.”
The company did this before to promote You Can’t Take It With You last year, with the artistic directors “interrupting” performances and having a tough time remembering the names of actors. As Shimerman says, “We take the work very seriously. We don’t take ourselves very seriously.” Also, promoting Shimerman’s involvement may get curious Trekkies and Buffy fans to see the play.
The video was written and directed by filmmakers and actors Gabriel Diani and Etta Devine and features members of The Crucible ensemble appearing as befuddled versions of themselves, including Bo Foxworth, Christopher Guilmet, Devon Sorvari, Ann Noble, John Prosky, John Allee, Joe Delafield, Rhonda Aldrich, Lily Knight, Fran Bennett, Dawn Didawick, Shannon Lee Clair and Alexandra Goodman.
The Anteus Company’s production of The Crucible starts May 16th and runs through July 7th at 5112 Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood. There will be previews starting Thursday, and run through the 15th. For reservations and information (including parking), call 818-506-1983 or go to Anteus Company Theater
Antaeus is a cooperative theater ensemble founded to empower the actor and to bring classical theater to Los Angeles. The company exists to create a family of artists and audiences and is dedicated to exploring stories with enduring themes. Taking their company name from the Titan who gained strength by touching the Earth, Antaeus members — many of whom are familiar to film and television audiences — regain their creative strength by returning to the wellspring of their craft: live theater. Members of the company span a wide range of age, ethnicity and experience; they have performed on Broadway, at major regional theaters across the country, in film, television and on local stages, and are the recipients of numerous accolades including Tony, Los Angeles and New York Drama Critics Circle, Ovation, LA Weekly, and Back Stage Garland nominations and awards. Audiences, who never see an understudy due to Antaeus’s trademark “partner casting,” frequently return to see the same play in the hands of an equally excellent but very different set of actors.