May 05, 2011

New Villa Theater Lab Makes the Mythological Accessible Through Movement

Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Ensemble Presents "The Madness of Hercules" by Seneca the Younger

At the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Villa
May 20—22, 2011



LOS ANGELES—The J. Paul Getty Museum announces the second of three productions in its annual Villa Theater Lab Series at the Getty Villa: Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Ensemble’s presentation of The Madness of Hercules by the Roman playwright Seneca the Younger.

The Getty’s Villa Theater Lab features outstanding artists or ensembles presenting "in process" public presentations of new work rooted in classic literature or culture. Each team of artists-in-residence is provided with time, space, 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.

Following a two-week residency at the Getty Villa, Not Man Apart will present excerpts from The Madness of Hercules—a new play on ancient themes written and directed by Not Man Apart’s Artistic Director John Farmanesh-Bocca, based on a text by the philosopher and playwright Seneca.

Considered one of Seneca’s finest tragedies, Hercules Furens portrays one of the most bitter and grotesque legends of this half-mortal son of Zeus—Hercules’ maddened slaughter of his own innocent wife and children. Seneca’s play asks: how does a man survive his own unforgivable crimes?

The Madness of Hercules seeks to galvanize Seneca’s Roman tragedy with physical movement to create an immediate and visceral experience. The company invigorates the spoken word with athletic boosts of energy and unconventional dance sequences, bringing a new dimension to the Roman classic.

"Our goal to making the play come alive with movement while keeping intact all the beauty of Seneca’s poetry, all the weight of the classic," says Farmanesh-Bocca. "We hope to reframe Seneca’s Hercules Furens much in the same way the Getty Villa frames the artwork by its incredible gardens and grounds. Everything at the Villa is designed to help the visitor absorb the work, and, we aspire to do the same by making the production accessible by adding a physical narrative to the piece."

The cast of The Madness of Hercules includes:

John F. Bocca [Hercules], Apollo Dukakis [Amphytrion], Natacha Roi [Juno/ Magera], Randolph Curtis Rand [Lycus], Alix Angelis [Pleasure/ Wrath], Kris Angelis [Virtue/ Fury], Andrew Heffernan [Watchmen 1], Deus Scott [Watchmen 2], Jones Welsh [Watchmen 3].

Members of the creative team are:

John Farmanesh-Bocca [Artistic Director], Vanessa Waters [Hercules Production Manager], Jones Welsh [Managing Director and Co-Choreographer], Vincent Cardinale [Associate Artistic Director], Jennifer Landon [Associate Artistic Director], Devon Dione [NMA Company Member], Dash Pepin [NMA Company Member], Jean-Louis Rodrique [NMA Company Member], Jeffrey Eisenmann [Technical Director/ Scenic Design], Staci Walters [Assistant Scenic Design], Christina Berjarano [Assistant Scenic Design], Jessica Kohn [Lighting Design], Adam Phalen [Sound Design], Allison Leach [Costume Design] and Rachel Engstrom [Costume Design].

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.

Tickets are only $7 for the Villa Theater Lab events. Reservations are required for all performances and parking is free for those after 5:00 p.m. All performances take place in the Auditorium at the Getty Villa. For tickets and reservations, call (310) 440-7300 or visit

Note to editors: Because these performances are works in progress, they are not open for reviews.



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Desiree Zenowich
Getty Communications
(310) 440-7304

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 $10 after 5 p.m. for evening events. Reservations are required for groups of 15 or more. For more information, call (310) 440-7300 (English or Spanish). The TTY line for callers who are deaf or hearing impaired is (310) 440-7305. The Getty Villa is at located 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.


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