Actors’ Shakespeare Project begins Season 14 with Eugène Ionesco’s Exit The King, a parable on ego and mortality offering comedic respite from real-life woes that some may find topical, even cautionary. Performances September 13-October 8, Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre at the Paramount Center, 559 Washington Street, Boston. For more information visit actorsshakespeareproject.org; to purchase tickets, visit emersonparamount.org.
King Berenger’s kingdom crumbles around him, and his incompetence has left the country near ruin. His current and former queen, along with other members of the court, implore the King to realize he has only 90 minutes left to live. He fiercely denies both his mortality and numerous failures as a leader and refuses to relinquish any control. As his power and his faculties subside, his subjects themselves fade away, leaving the King to face his mortality amid the devastation he has wrought.
“Exit The King offers a nightmare burlesque that’s both funny and eerie,” says director Dmitry Troyanovsky. "In this production, I'm interested in exploring what happens when terrible rulers leave a devastated world behind them. A glittery and gaudy party, that's now over. Ionesco uncannily predicts a scale of social and environmental collapse that's ever more pertinent today. Language and values of truth don't fare well either.”
The inaugural production begins ASP’s 14th season, “The Downfall of Despots,” and welcomes the first of three new directors to Actors’ Shakespeare Project this season. Troyanovsky directs Resident Acting Company members Jesse Hinson* (Queen Marie), Sarah Newhouse* (Queen Marguerite) and Richard Snee* (King Berenger The First) with other cast members including Rachel Bellman (Juliette), and Gunnar Manchester (The Guard), and D'Anne Walters (The Doctor). Designers for the production include Cameron Anderson** (Set), Dan Jentzen (Lights), Olivera Gajic** (Costumes), and Arshan Gailus** (Sound).
*Member of the Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
** Member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829