Twenty years ago, the DCPA Theatre Company and Royal Shakespeare Company embarked upon the most ambitious play ever attempted— TANTALUS. During an unprecedented six-month rehearsal period, Denver Center Media captured all of the determination, drama, and artistry that led to this highly acclaimed and unforgettable theatrical experience. Now a part of theatrical history, Denver audiences are invited to peer into the creation of this world premiere at a virtual viewing party of the two-and-a-half-hour documentary, TANTALUS: Behind the Mask, on Wednesday, December 16 at 6:30pm MT on YouTube.
Registrants will be able to pose questions to members of the original creative team. Their responses will be recorded in a video and shared with registrants at a later date. Participants include actor Robert Petkoff (who played many roles including Achilles), actor Steven Cole Hughes (ensemble), Director of Scenic Design Lisa Orzolek, and Costume Crafts Director Kevin Copenhaver.
The world premiere of TANTALUS — written by John Barton over 17 years — was inspired by the ancient Greek festivals of 2,500 years ago. Making its debut in Denver September 15 – December 17, 2000, before a six-city tour of the UK, TANTALUS was a modern retelling of a body of fragmentary but authentic mythical material which developed centuries before, during, and after fifth-century Greek drama flourished. The cycle focused on the Trojan War — its beginnings, its climax, and its aftermath and served as a useful metaphor for today’s questions and dilemmas.
The production was led by the eminent director of theatre, opera, film and television, Sir Peter Hall who gathered an international ensemble: English director Edward Hall, Japanese lighting designer Sumio Yoshii, Greek set and costume designer Dionysis Fotopoulos, Irish composer Mick Sands, American choreographer Donald McKayle, four actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company and 18 American actors.
Guests may participate in the free virtual TANTALUS: Behind the Mask viewing party on December 16 at 6:30pm MT by registering at denvercenter.org. Participants will receive an email with the link to join the viewing party where they may submit questions to the creative team for a post-event Q&A.