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The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa Launches 2009 Villa Theater Lab Series

February 5, 2009

Los Angeles—The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa announces its annual Villa Theater Lab Series, beginning February 20, which brings diverse directors and companies to the stage through fresh presentations of classical theater.

This year’s offerings open in February with Orestes, a disarmingly funny, but ultimately heartbreaking new work-in-progress drawn from The Oresteia by Aeschylus and devised by Ghost Road, one of California's most ambitious experimental multimedia theater ensembles.  In April, the acclaimed and infamous Los Angeles-based Troubadour Theater Company – a freewheeling, no-holds-barred, commedia dell'arte-flavored ensemble of actors, musicians, and comedians – tackles Sophocles’ ancient Greek tragedy in their much-anticipated Oedipus: The King!   And in mid-May, innovative director Anne Bogart and the members of her New York City-based SITI Company bring to the Villa a first peek at their latest project, an adaptation of Sophocles' Antigone by Irish dramaturge and translator Jocelyn Clarke.

Each season, four outstanding theater artists or ensembles are invited by the Getty Museum to present “in process” public presentations of new work, rooted in Classical literature or culture, in the Getty Villa’s indoor Auditorium. Each team of artists-in-residence is provided with time, space, hospitality and production support by the Museum – both during and in advance of the period of residency – allowing for far broader and deeper experimentation than would a traditional play-reading format.

“These Villa Theater Lab presentations are based on classical drama and mythology, reimagined through a modern lens. They can demonstrate to audiences the important position theater held in antiquity, and how works from over two thousand years ago continue to inspire modern drama today,” said Karol Wight, senior curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

The Villa’s Theater programs are part of the J. Paul Getty Museum’s broad spectrum of public programming and events. Live performances of classical and classically-based drama offer insight into the social, cultural, and political realities of life in ancient Greece and Rome, while the Museum’s permanent collection of ancient art and changing exhibitions deepen the connection between modern audiences and the tragedies and comedies onstage.

Villa Theater Lab Series Schedule
February – May 2009 at the Getty Villa in Malibu

A ticket is required for each event, and must be obtained in advance.  Tickets are available online at or by phone at (310) 440-7300. All Villa Theater Lab presentations are in the Villa’s indoor Auditorium.

February 2009
The Ghost Road Company

Dates: Friday, February 20, 2009, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 21, 2009, 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 22, 2009, 3:00 p.m.
A discussion with the artists will follow the Saturday 3:00 p.m. performance.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium
Admission: Tickets $7.
Call (310) 440-7300 or visit

Orestes is the third part (still in development) of Home Siege Home, a disarmingly funny but ultimately heartbreaking trilogy of new plays based on Aeschylus’s Oresteia and devised by Ghost Road, one of California’s most ambitious experimental, multimedia theater ensembles.  In this final play of the trilogy, a royal family has been decimated by its own actions. Orestes is tormented by his memories of having killed his mother, Clytemnestra; the Furies seek revenge for this matricide; and the gods Apollo and Athena struggle to extract some peace and justice from the rubble.  Revenge, personal responsibility and familial duty collide as the characters struggle to discover their places in a world which is changing around them.

April 2009
Troubadour Theater Company
Oedipus: The King!

Dates: Friday, April 17, 2009, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 18, 2009, 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 19, 2009, 3:00 p.m.
A discussion with the artists will follow the Saturday 3:00 p.m. performance.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium
Admission: Tickets $7.
Tickets available beginning Tuesday, March 24, 2009, at 9:00 a.m.
Call (310) 440-7300 or visit

What happens when Sophocles meets Graceland? Find out when the Los Angeles-based Troubadour Theater Company – a free-wheeling, no-holds-barred, Commedia dell’Arte-flavored ensemble of actors, musicians and comedians – scales the heights of ancient Greek tragedy. The troupe’s track record of creating fast-paced, laugh-filled, loose-as-they-come adaptations of classic plays and films (As U2Like It, Fleetwood Macbeth, and It’s a Stevie Wonderful Life, among many others) guarantee that this will not be your mama's Oedipus cycle.

May 2009
SITI Company

Dates: Friday, May 15, 2009, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 16, 2009, 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 17, 2009, 3:00 p.m.
A discussion with the artists will follow the Saturday 3:00 p.m. performance.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium
Admission: Tickets $7.
Tickets available beginning Thursday, April 23, 2009, at 9:00 a.m.
Call (310) 440-7300 or visit

Director Anne Bogart and members of the New York City-based SITI Company ensemble bring to the Villa the first public presentations of their latest work-in process, an adaptation of Sophocles' Antigone by Irish translator and dramaturge Jocelyn Clarke. Considered by many to be one of our national theatrical treasures, SITI Company is an ensemble-based company whose three ongoing components are the creation of new work, the training of young theater artists, and a commitment to international collaboration. SITI was founded in 1992 by Anne Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki to redefine and revitalize contemporary theater in the United States through an emphasis on international cultural exchange and collaboration. Originally envisioned as a summer institute in Saratoga Springs, New York, SITI has expanded to encompass a year-round program based in New York City with a summer season in Saratoga Springs. SITI believes that contemporary American theater must necessarily incorporate artists from around the world and learn from the resulting cross-cultural exchange of dance, music, art, and performance experiences.

to the Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at The Getty Villa
Aristophanes' Peace

In 421 B.C. the twenty-seven-year-old Aristophanes presented a new play that fiercely ridiculed the entrenched "military-industrial complex" of ancient Athens.  On Mount Olympus, the ogre War has imprisoned the goddess Peace and holds sway over all of Greece; meanwhile, on Earth below, three rustic patriots hatch a plot to engineer her rescue and return Peace to the land.  The comic heroes of Culture Clash join forces with the revolutionary spirit of Aristophanes in the world premiere of this zany, utopian comedy, Aristophanes’ Peace, a newly-commissioned production.  
Tickets on sale from early-July.  Performances from September 3 through October 3, 2009

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Melissa Abraham    
Getty Communications

About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

Sign up for e-Getty at to receive free monthly highlights of events at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa via e-mail, or visit our event calendar for a complete calendar of public programs.

Visiting the Getty Villa: The Getty Villa is open Wednesday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Tuesday and major holidays. Admission to the Getty Villa is always free. A ticket is required for admission. Tickets can be ordered in advance, or on the day of your visit, at or at 310-440-7300. Parking is $15 per car, but free after 5pm for evening events. Groups of 15 or more must make reservations by phone. For more information, call 310-440-7300 (English or Spanish); 310-440-7305 (TTY line for the deaf or hearing impaired). The Getty Villa is at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, California.

Public Programs at the Getty Villa: The Getty Villa offers a variety of public programs including theater, musical performances, film screenings, Family Festivals, lectures, and seminars. These events complement the J. Paul Getty Museum's permanent antiquities collection and changing exhibitions, as well as reflect the scholarly activities of the Getty Trust's four programs.

The predominant focus of the Villa's public programming is on theater, rooted in Greek and Roman plays of antiquity. A major production is presented each fall in the outdoor Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater. The Villa Theater Lab, a series that acts as an incubator for the development of new works in the classical canon, is featured each winter and spring in the Auditorium.