4.48 PSYCHOSIS by Sarah Kane

Critics

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Reviews: 3

Audience

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Award-winning theatre company Son of Semele Ensemble is proud to present its third mainstage production for the 2019 season, 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane.

4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane
October 12 – November 3, 2019
Performances Fridays & Saturdays @ 8pm, Sundays @ 5pm and Tuesdays @ 7pm
www.sonofsemele.org

WHERE
Son of Semele Theater, 3301 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004
at Hoover, between Alvarado and Vermont.
Metro Red line stop at Vermont & Beverly; Metro bus local line 14.

TEASER

Produced on the twentieth anniversary of the playwright’s suicide.

ABOUT
Deeply layered, this stream-of-consciousness view into a psychotic mind is both mysterious and crystalline, and explores with raw authenticity the complexities of mental illness. Son of Semele Ensemble’s production of this beautiful and haunting play is a powerful celebration of Kane’s contribution to contemporary, boundary-pushing theater, and an exploration of an often-misunderstood subject. Sarah Kane is known for her poetic and intense plays which challenge traditional forms. 4.48 Psychosis was written in the autumn and winter of 1998-99 as Kane herself battled one of her recurrent bouts of depression. It is the last play she wrote before her suicide in 1999. 4.48 Psychosis appears on the page as a poem, with no prescribed characters, actions or settings. Sarah Kane was a British playwright who studied drama at Bristol University and University of Birmingham. With ferocious poetry and loving abandon, her plays starkly confront death, sex, violence and mental illness. Although she struggled with intense manic depression for many years, she continued to work, serving as writer-in-residence for both Paines Plough and the Royal Court Theatre.

TICKETS
$25 general admission, $20 for patrons 25 years old and under.
Limited pay-what-you-will tickets are available for performances through October 20 (suggested $10 minimum donation). Early purchase recommended! www.sonofsemele.org
Box office opens 30 minutes prior to each performance. In case of a sold out house, there will be a waitlist to fill unclaimed seats.

WHO
Directed by Matthew McCray
Set by David Offner
Lights by Matt Richter
Video by Corwin Evans
Sound by Daniel Gower
Costumes by Michael Mullen
Props by Edgar Landa

Featuring:
Melina Bielefelt*, Ron Bottitta*, Taylor Hawthorne*, Dylan Jones*, Jinny Ryann and Betsy Zajko*

* Appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association

For further information: write to [email protected]
Phone: 213-351-3507

ABOUT SON OF SEMELE ENSEMBLE: Son of Semele Ensemble is a Los Angeles-based ensemble theatre company comprised of 30+ actors, directors, designers, dramaturgs and producers. Since 2001, Son of Semele Ensemble productions have been honored with two LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards (nine nominations), five LA Weekly Theatre Awards (eleven nominations), four Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, two SAGE Awards, and an NAACP Theatre Award (four nominations). The company was also nominated in six categories at the inaugural Stage Raw Awards.

SON OF SEMELE ENSEMBLE MISSION: We believe the impact of a theatrical experience should resonate beyond the theater door. As an ensemble of artists, we integrate complex design and performance, producing theatre that embraces the friction between emotion and intellect. Through a process of discovery, collaboration and creative risk-taking, we illuminate and amplify universal questions. To that end, we make an earnest commitment to the artistic sustainability of the greater community.

Reviews

Leigh Kennicott

In Son of Semele ‘s production of Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis, the hallucinogenic cacophony interrupted by nuggets of dialogue exemplified by Don Bottitta – a psychiatrist who left her too soon – represents the “soup” of Kane’s despair, within which her attempts at recovery swam. Miss Dylan Jones has the unenviable task of repeating this journey four times a week, and any less grounded actor may not have been able to travel the distance from start to finish. As a result, audiences can sit at a safe, dramatic distance without sinking into the same despair. In Kane’s ultimate demise, we catch a glimpse of the hope she held onto even in the act of suicide. “Remember the light,” she wrote. “And believe the light.” Certainly death was her effort to reach it.

Director Matthew McCray brings coherence to the echoes and reverberations this poet set down in an effort to explain herself. Of necessity, the addition of muses Melina Bielefelt, Taylor Hawthorne, Jinny Ryann and Betsy Zajko, in representing her voices, brings order to the chaos; but it robs us of Kane’s disordered mind and the reason she (may have) wanted to express it to herself.

sweet - Leigh Kennicott - ShowMag - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

Sarah Kane’s poetic yet disturbing cry for help is not a simple play to produce—and not only because of the subject matter graphically chronicling her struggle with her own debilitating depression and drug dependency, but also because it is a journal of a life spent in painful self-induced isolation. Visionary director Matthew McCray has chosen to set the play in a minimal, dreamlike space where an amazing group of actors speak Kane’s repetitious screams and moans of jarring dialogue, brilliantly led by a phenomenally brave tour de force turn by Dylan Jones in an effort to moor their synchronized and highly choreographed movements.

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA - ...read full review


Stephen Fife

...it is Dylan Jones who makes this such a memorable event. She so fully embodies Sarah Kane’s agony (and occasional ecstasy) that we cannot take our eyes off her, cannot get her cries out of our mind long after the stage lights have dimmed. With her pale white skin and tangles of blazing red hair, she is like a priestess of pain, a Cassandra for our troubled times... But the hour that we spend in her company also feels like theatrical heaven, as she strips away layer after layer of her social self until we get down to what Shakespeare called “the thing itself” — her naked spirit. - RECOMMENDED

sweet - Stephen Fife - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Leigh Kennicott

In Son of Semele ‘s production of Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis, the hallucinogenic cacophony interrupted by nuggets of dialogue exemplified by Don Bottitta – a psychiatrist who left her too soon – represents the “soup” of Kane’s despair, within which her attempts at recovery swam. Miss Dylan Jones has the unenviable task of repeating this journey four times a week, and any less grounded actor may not have been able to travel the distance from start to finish. As a result, audiences can sit at a safe, dramatic distance without sinking into the same despair. In Kane’s ultimate demise, we catch a glimpse of the hope she held onto even in the act of suicide. “Remember the light,” she wrote. “And believe the light.” Certainly death was her effort to reach it.

Director Matthew McCray brings coherence to the echoes and reverberations this poet set down in an effort to explain herself. Of necessity, the addition of muses Melina Bielefelt, Taylor Hawthorne, Jinny Ryann and Betsy Zajko, in representing her voices, brings order to the chaos; but it robs us of Kane’s disordered mind and the reason she (may have) wanted to express it to herself.

sweet - Leigh Kennicott - ShowMag - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

Sarah Kane’s poetic yet disturbing cry for help is not a simple play to produce—and not only because of the subject matter graphically chronicling her struggle with her own debilitating depression and drug dependency, but also because it is a journal of a life spent in painful self-induced isolation. Visionary director Matthew McCray has chosen to set the play in a minimal, dreamlike space where an amazing group of actors speak Kane’s repetitious screams and moans of jarring dialogue, brilliantly led by a phenomenally brave tour de force turn by Dylan Jones in an effort to moor their synchronized and highly choreographed movements.

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA - ...read full review


Stephen Fife

...it is Dylan Jones who makes this such a memorable event. She so fully embodies Sarah Kane’s agony (and occasional ecstasy) that we cannot take our eyes off her, cannot get her cries out of our mind long after the stage lights have dimmed. With her pale white skin and tangles of blazing red hair, she is like a priestess of pain, a Cassandra for our troubled times... But the hour that we spend in her company also feels like theatrical heaven, as she strips away layer after layer of her social self until we get down to what Shakespeare called “the thing itself” — her naked spirit. - RECOMMENDED

sweet - Stephen Fife - Stage Raw - ...read full review