ETCetera Stage – Andronicus
UPDATE: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the extension of Ventura County’s “safer at home” order to May 15, the Elite Theatre Company is postponing the stage run of ANDRONICUS originally schedule for May 2020. The (almost) all-female production of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, adapted and directed by Bill Walthall, is now set to run on the ETCetera Stage from September 25 through October 18 on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8pm, and Sunday afternoons at 2pm.
Last summer, the Elite hosted a table-read of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, adapted by Bill Walthall, and presented as an (almost-)ALL-female show. After this successful table-read, we will now attempt to mount a full production.
The concept of the production:
A virus kills nearly half of the world’s population, indiscriminate of race and age, but ultimately wiping out eighty percent of the male populace. As female victims fall soon after contagion, male nationalists rise to power across the globe. Conflict embroils the world, becoming brutally tribal. Modern weaponry quickly destroys the power and communication infrastructures, plunging humanity literally into a new Dark Age within months. THEN the virus takes its toll on the male populace; its victims become symptomatic and succumb after a year of incubation.
Time passes and modern weaponry runs out, giving way to older, more brutal warfare. Tribes with the strongest warrior women and most procreative men expand into city-states. In a reborn Roman Empire, the aging male Emperor dies, leaving a power vacuum. The Emperor’s two sons vie for rule, as the Senate votes to place the mantle of power onto the shoulders of Rome’s greatest general. Newly victorious after a decade-long war with the Goths, she returns with both war’s spoils–including the enemy’s queen and her three children–and evidence of its destruction–the remains of four more of her own warrior children.
The concept here is to do an (almost-)ALL-FEMALE cast for the play. The plan is to have every role save for Aaron to be performed by a woman. Aaron, in my head, MUST be an African-American male–for any number of reasons (but primarily: 1. the role is specifically written black; 2. the character will be presented as a touchstone for alienation).
This does not negate, however, the portrayal of some characters as male; there are a few roles that probably should be male, but most roles can be portrayed as any gender.
That being said, here’s the wonderful cast of ANDRONICUS:
Libby Baumgartner (Saturninus)
Rosalee Calvillo (Marcus)
Kailey Claycamp (Chiron)
Rafaela Garcia (Martia, Goth 2, Messenger, Ensemble)
Cassie Kelso (Enssemble)
Genevieve Levin (Lucia)
Olivia Leyva (Demetrius)
Lillian Lippold (Mutius, Young Lucia, Ensemble)
Stan McConnell (Aaron)
Sindy L McKay-Swerdlove (Tita Andronicus)
Ashley Maimes (Lavinia)
Tessa Parker (Quintus, Goth 1, Ensemble)
Genesis Perez (Bassianus, Alarbus, Enssemble)
Theresa Secor (Aemilius, Nurse, Enssemble)
Lynn Van Emmerik (Tamora)