Monday, October 22, 2012

The Golem comes to Harlequin

Harlequin Productions is doing a one-night, one-man play called The Golem that sounds like it might be a lot of creepy fun for Halloween. It’s an adaptation of Gustav Meyrink’s classic novel, Der Golem written for the stage and directed by Daniel Flint and fellow Taffety Punk company member Joel David Santner, with music by Jupiter Rex (Josh Taylor, who scored Taffety Punk’s “Burn Your Bookes “and “Measure for Measure”).

The one man on stage is Flint.
The Golem and the ghost, photo by Phillip Bernett

Now living in the other Washington, Flint maintains strong connections with Olympia and Harlequin. He started working with Harlequin back in 2002, playing multiple roles in King John. During Harlequin’s run of The Lonesome West he met Frank Lawler and Jason Marr, and the three of them teamed up to create The Elsinore Diaries, which performed at the Seattle Fringe and at Harlequin. It was my choice for Best New Play in my annual Critic’s Choice column.

In 2008 he moved to DC for graduate school but returned to Olympia this summer to play Richard in King Richard III at Harlequin. While doing Richard he asked about performing his adaption of The Golem.

“It means a lot to me that I can say to Scot and Linda (Whitney), ‘Hey since I’ll be there for Richard, can I do a performance of my show on Halloween?’ and that they would without blinking an eye say ‘sure!’  That’s why I love them and their Theatre.  Because the show is designed to have live music they are flying Josh Taylor here for the show. He will arrive on Monday and we will have two days to rehearse with him. The play is still in a kind of development stage, having been performed only twice (after a full rehearsal process) at a festival in July. After this, it will be having a full production in May at Taffety Punk Theatre Company in DC.

“I had been given the book, The Golem, or Der Golem, by a friend.  It did what all great books do, it drew me in so deep that I could almost not distinguish myself from the main character.  It deeply affected me and sometime not too long after I conceived of turning into a one-man play for myself.  It is a straight adaptation using the text of the novel cut and honed into a tight narrative that as closely resembles the book as possible.”

The Golem follows the story of Athanasius Pernath, a jeweler in Prague’s Jewish ghetto in the late 19th century who is afflicted with a curious amnesia. When a strange man enters Pernath’s life with a mysterious book, the jeweler begins his descent into a labyrinth of murder, madness, and plots of revenge and unrequited love that eventually bring him face to face with his own dark past and mortality

The stranger with the book is the legendary Golem who roamed the streets of the ghetto in the 16th Century. He is also the jeweler’s doppelganger – leading Pernath to a spiritual awakening which must be embraced in order to escape the madness of his past.

The performance is Halloween night, Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 Advance or $20 day of the event.

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