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THE ACTORS' GANG PRESENTS GEORGE ORWELL'S "1984"

October 8, 2007
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR THE ARTS
PRESENTS
THE ACTORS’ GANG
GEORGE ORWELL’S "1984"
Friday, Nov. 16, 2007 at 8 p.m.


FAIRFAX, Va., Oct. 8, 2007 – “In the time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act,” novelist George Orwell once said. Los Angeles-based theater group The Actors’ Gang brings a powerful new adaptation of Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, "1984," to the stage at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Friday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. The production is directed by the troupe’s co-founder and artistic director, Academy Award-winning actor and director Tim Robbins. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticketholders, begins 45 minutes prior to the curtain, on the Hall’s Grand Tier.

Written in 1949, Orwell’s "1984" is the disturbing tale of an oppressive, totalitarian society in which citizens live in perpetual fear of Big Brother, where speech and thought are censored, and the country is fighting an everlasting war against an unseen enemy. Winston Smith is a secret dissident who longs to be a part of a fabled Brotherhood that wishes to overthrow the authoritarian government. Winston secretly falls in love with like-minded Julia and they have an affair, until O’Brien, an inner party member who poses as one of the Brotherhood, betrays them. Separated from Julia, Winston is interrogated and tortured by the party until he renounces his love for her and reaffirms his love for Big Brother.

“Multi-layered, intense and disturbing” (South China Morning Post), this sparsely staged adaptation by playwright Michael Gene Sullivan takes place entirely in the interrogation room. Six actors play multiple roles, both as Smith’s conspirators and interrogators, and re-enact the events leading up to Smith’s capture and imprisonment. The Actors’ Gang’s production of "1984" has been well received on both national and international stages. “The adaptation by The Actors’ Gang, is, in Orwellian terms, doubleplusgood.” (The Australian) The Actors’ Gang is known for being edgy and socially relevant, yet critics have agreed that the production does not suffer from a political bias, instead allows the audience to interpret the story for themselves. “We’re not afraid of difficult subject matter and we’re not afraid of stories that address the concerns we all have about this world,” Robbins said. “But they have to be done in a very compelling way.” (South China Morning Post).

Founded in 1981, The Actors’ Gang’s mission is to create bold, original works for the stage that and daring reinterpretations of classic plays. “Thank God for The Actors’ Gang. More than any other company [it] can be counted on to deliver the kind of audacious work that takes risks as it entertains.’’ (Orange County Register) With Robbins at the helm, the company has produced 72 plays and won more than 100 awards. The Actors’ Gang has received acclaim for its interpretations of Shakespeare, Bruchner, Brecht, Molière, Aeschylus, Ibsen and Chekhov while developing new plays by thought-provoking writers that address issues in today’s society through satire, popular culture and raucous stagecraft.

THIS PRODUCTION CONTAINS BRIEF, PARTIAL NUDITY, AND STRONG LANGUAGE.

 

Presented by special arrangement with the estate of the late Sonia Brownell Orwell and A. M. Heath & Co. Ltd.

PNC is the 2007-08 Season Sponsor for Great Performances at Mason.

Tickets for THE ACTORS’ GANG’s performance of 1984 are $34, $26, $17. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa


GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.

About George Mason University

George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 35 law schools in the United States.