SEPTEMBER 21 - 24, 2017

Performances

September 2013
This show was presented in the past

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Myrtle and Lot - charcoal by Bill Evaul

Kingdom of Earth

by Tennessee Williams
DRAMA
The sleeper hit from last year's Festival returned from South Africa after winning awards and acclaim in Cape Town.
directed by Fred Abrahamse

ArtScape with Abrahamse-Meyer Productions

Cape Town, South Africa

Event Sponsored By: 

With additional support from
Peter Portney 

Marine Specialties Provincetown

 

 

Past Festivals

the play grabbed hold of your throat and slowly, purposefully, squeezed your breath away.
...the effect was riveting, frightening, and horrific.
–Robert Israel, EDGE Boston, October 2012 

 


About the Play

Anthea Thomson repeated her jaw-dropping performance in pink stretch pants as Myrtle, the Personality Kid, partnered by Nicholas Dallas as her sickly new husband, and Marcel Meyer as Chicken, the feral half-brother who aims to inherit the family farm.

Kingdom of Earth from South Africa at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival

After receiving nightly standing ovations in 2012, this rarely performed play returned to Provincetown from Cape Town, South Africa, where it won awards for its superb acting and bold interpretation.  

Meet Myrtle, the former "Petite Personality Kid" who just got married on a television show to a strange man named Lot, who takes Myrtle back to the old family farm. Among other secrets, Lot hasn’t mentioned his half-brother Chicken lives on the place.

 

 

“...grace of language and merciful tenderness for the lonely, misplaced, soft people of the earth shine through ludicrous details of what Williams called 'my funny melodrama.' ''
- Alvin Klein, NY Times, 2001

 


About the Creative Team

Anthea Thompson appears as Myrtle in Kingdom of EarthAnthea Thompson (Myrtle) is a multiple Fleur-du-Cap award winner for her stunning performance in Kingdom of Earth and other Cape Town productions, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cabaret, Into the Woods, Shirley Valentine and Much Ado About Nothing among many others.

“Her Myrtle is a complex creature: brassy yet vulnerable, secure about herself in some ways, but self-deprecating in others. Thompson earns our compassion and this plays no small part in the production's success.”
-Broadway World, December 2012

 

 

Nicholas Dallas appears as Lot in Kingdom of Earth Nicholas Dallas (Lot) presents a brooding, secretive, dark pragmatist who is desperate to win a final familial battle even as his body and mind are failing.

As Lot, Nicholas Dallas shifts between a kind of epicene languor and a sharp, ugly wit that confounds Myrtle... His physical work in the role is beautifully executed.
-Broadway World, December 2012

 

 

 


Marcel Meyer appears as Chicken and costume designs in Kingdom of EarthMarcel Meyer
(Chicken/Costume Design) is a founding member of Abrahamse-Meyer Productinos, one of a few independent classical theatre companies in South Africa. The small company built up an excellent international reputation, particularly through their innovative productions of Shakespeare plays.

"Marcel Meyer delivers compelling work as the masculine, earthbound Chicken. ...he reveals Chicken's tortured soul bit by bit so that both Myrtle and the audience are seduced by him as the play progresses."
-Broadway World, December 2012

 

 

 

“As directed by Fred Abrahamse, the play grabbed hold of your throat and slowly, purposefully, squeezed your breath away. ...the effect was riveting, frightening, and horrific.”
-Robert Israel, EDGE Boston, October 2012 

Fred Abrahamse directs THE MILK TRAIN Fred Abrahamse (director) graduated from the University of Cape Town. He started his career at the Space Theatre, as a founder member of Troupe Theatre Company. He went on to become Artistic Director at The Baxter Theatre and is now a freelance producer and director. Fred is also a well-respected theatre designer. His theatre involvement spans some twenty years and sixty-five odd productions. He has directed dramas, opera, musicals, cabarets, musical theatre and several community theatre groups. He has been nominated for, and won, several prestigious theatre awards. Steven Berkoff‘s Decadence and Greek, The Glass Menagerie, Angels in America, Shirley Valentine, District Six-the Musical, Steel Magnolias, Beautiful Thing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream are among his directorial attributes. As Producer and Director his productions include Station 70,The Buddy Holly Story, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Grease, Solid Gold Jukebox Abba (ish), DISCOvery, Bouncers and Shopping & F***ing. Of his productions at least twenty have involved bringing new South African work to the stage. In 1999 Fred co-founded The Gauloises Warehouse Theatre with Charl-Johan Lingenfelder and acted as producing management for 37 productions including -Joe Barber, Naked Boys Singing, My Night with Reg and Abdullah Ibrahiem before closing in September 2003. The highlight of the Warehouse Theatre undoubtedly being the production of Joe Barber which was seen by over 45,000 people. Fred’s 2005 productions include the highly successful Much Ado About Nothing, The Canal Walk Children’s Festival of Fun, The Secret Love Life of Ophelia, The Stabani Project and Bouncers. 2006 saw Fred’s highly controversial productions of Romeo and Juliet and Bangbroek Mountain the Musical playing to capacity houses in Cape Town. Fred is currently working on several film projects including writing his first feature length film.  

 

Williams on Humor in Kingdom

“Let Me Hang It All Out.” First published in the New York Times March 4, 1973:

It is simply not in my nature as a dramatist to work without humor, no matter how desperate may be the fates and situations of the protagonists.

I have recently seen a West Coast revival of Kingdom of Earth…there emerged a play of such hilarity that once again the more serious-minded members of the audience made angry objections to my decibel of enjoyment.

Do I laugh too much? Do I take too much pleasure in my own use of humor? It would appear to be so, but in a life that has contained so much of a shadowy nature, I have learned that my safest place of refuge is in this very capacity to laugh my head off, in public or in private, and I am afraid that I am incorrigibly blessed or afflicted with this trait—that is, on practically all occasions except when making love or when the curtain comes down upon an opening night and the audience and the critics all appear to me as a single monolithic being whose face is distorted with fur and whose look is concentrated upon me with such a glaring intensity that it would wither an asbestos cabbage.

 

 

 

 

 

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