The nationally renowned Aquila Theatre will stage its artistic director Desiree Sanchez’s innovative adaptation of the Victorian novel of jealousy and spitefulness, Wuthering Weights, by first-time English novelist Emily Brontë (1818-48), at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28th, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 1st, in the Titmus Theatre in N.C. State University’s Frank Thompson Hall in Raleigh, as part of the NCSU Center Stage series. The New York City-based theater troupe characterizes this play as a “classic story of all-consuming passion.”
According to the Aquila Theatre:
“The novel, one of the most famous works of world literature, was first published in 1847 under a pseudonym and is Emily Brontë’s only work. Wuthering Heights recounts the tale of ill-fated lovers on the lonely moors of northern England. Heathcliff and Catherine meet as children when Catherine’s father brings the abandoned boy home to live with them.
“The two grow up together, living freely on the moors while Heathcliff is tormented by Catherine’s brother [Hindley Earnshaw]. When Catherine’s parents die, her brother turns Heathcliff out, forcing him to live among the servants. Catherine marries and the crushed Heathcliff disappears. Years later, a wealthy Heathcliff returns, but is it too late for them?
“Wuthering Heights is a deep and wide story of passion, revenge, family, class, and the supernatural. Over a century and a half later, Brontë’s magnum opus remains incredibly moving.
“Bringing its signature style and dynamic approach, Aquila re-imagines one of the most famous love stories ever told with this heart wrenching new production. Aquila Theatre is renowned for its ability to adapt works of classical literature into enthralling and mesmerizing live performances. Impeccable design and a unique physical style combine with a marvelous cast to make Wuthering Heights an exquisite and captivating theatrical experience.”
Adapted and directed by Aquila Theatre artistic director Desiree Sanchez, with musical direction and original music by Ralph Farris, Wuthering Heights stars Tara Crabbe as Cathy Earnshaw/ Mill Worker #4, Joseph Cappellazzi as Heathcliff/Mill Worker #5, James Lavender as Old Earnshaw/Joseph/Dr. Kenneth/Mill Worker #2, Carys Lewis as Nelly/Frances/Mill Worker #1, Rupert Baldwin as Edgar Linton/Mill Forman, and Michael Ring as Hindley/Isabella/Mill Worker #3.
The show’s creative team also includes technical director Bob Rogers, Aquila Theatre founder and lighting designer Peter Meineck, costume designer Deanna Berg MacLean, sound designer and stage manager Christopher Marc, and props designer and scenic carpenter designer Sara Morgan, and projection designer lighting assistant Ellie Engstrom.
Reading (PA) Eagle reviewer Susan L. Pena wrote: “Aquila’s artistic director, Desiree Sanchez, has not flinched from presenting the characters accurately, and the result is a theatrical work that captures not only the essence of the novel, but the zeitgeist of the 19th century. Sanchez has set the play squarely within the early Industrial Revolution by using the device of a textile mill in which the workers pantomime their jobs while listening to a narrator reading from the novel (the single departure from the book). The six actors portraying these workers at the beginning take on all the roles as the story develops.”
Eliza Anna Falk, reviewing for DC Metro Theater Arts awarded the show 4.5 of 5 stars and added: “Before you can see anything, you can hear it — the howling of the hostile and ominous wind of the Yorkshire moors. This is how Desiree Sanchez … lets us know that we are entering a dark and twisted world, in which nature and humans are one, and families, like fruits of one tree, refuse to share its seeds with other kinds. When the stage emerges out of darkness exposing a group of mill laborers, working as if they were in a trance, against a backdrop of a huge spider web like net, the introduction to Wuthering Heights gloom is complete. Then, Nelly [played by Carys Lewis on tour], the Earnshaws’ nanny and confidante, steps forward and begins to tell the tale.”
SECOND OPINION: Jan. 19th Raleigh, NC ArtsNow preview by Khushbu Gosai: http://artsnownc.com/2015/01/19/aquila-theatre-nc-state/.
NCSU Center Stage presents the Aquila Theatre’s production of WUTHERING HEIGHTS at 8 p.m. Feb. 28 and 3 p.m. March 1 in the Titmus Theatre in Frank Thompson Hall, 2241 E. Dunn Ave., Raleigh, North Carolina 27607, on the N.C. State University campus.
TICKETS: $28 (extremely limited availability).
BOX OFFICE: 919-515-1100, http://www.ncsu.edu/ticketcentral/index.html, or http://purchase.tickets.com/.
VIDEO PREVIEW: https://vimeo.com/116565702.
NCSU CENTER STAGE PLAYBILL NOTES: http://calendar.activedatax.com/ncstate/displaymedia.aspx?whatToDo=attch&id=356.
NCSU CENTER STAGE’S 2014-15 SEASON: http://www.ncsu.edu/centerstage/currentseason/index.html.
PRESENTER: http://www.ncsu.edu/centerstage/index.html https://www.facebook.com/NCSUCenterStage, and https://twitter.com/ncsucenterstage.
NOTE: One hour before each show, there will be a show discussion with a member of Aquila Theatre at The Crafts Center, located on the lower level of Frank Thompson Hall.
Wuthering Heights (1847 novel): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuthering_Heights (Wikipedia).
Emily Brontë (English novelist and poet, 1818-48): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Bront%C3%AB (Wikipedia).
Wuthering Heights (2014-15 National Tour): http://aquilatheatre.com/touring/wuthering-heights/ (official web page).
Aquila Theatre (New York City-based theater troupe, founded in 1991 in London): http://aquilatheatre.com/ (official website), http://www.baylinartists.com/artist/aquila_theatre/ (Baylin Artists Management), https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aquila-Theatre/110952181699 (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/aquilatheatre, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquila_Theatre (Wikipedia).
Desiree Sanchez (Aquila Theatre artistic director and adapter and director of this play): http://aquilatheatre.com/about/staff/desiree-sanchez/ (Aquila Theatre bio).
Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing email@example.com and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)