April 17, 2014

Merlin: The Untold Adventures Opens July 20 at Theatricum

 

A young druid wizard destined for greatness comes of age during Britain’s bloodiest age.

The world premiere of Merlin: The Untold Adventures, written and directed by Ellen Geer and featuring an original electronic score by Marshall McDaniel and Kellen McDaniel, opens on July 20 at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga.

PHOTO BY IAN FLANDERS

<i>Merlin: The Untold Adventures</i> Opens July 20 at Theatricum

Melora Marshall stars in Merlin, the Untold Adventures opening on July 20. at the Theatricum Botanicum and continues through Sept. 29 in repertory with The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Royal Family.

A prominent figure in Arthurian legend, the Merlin of Celtic lore predates the sorcerer long associated with Camelot. It is this Merlin, discovered in old Welsh and English stories rooted in Judeo-Christian references and historic battles, that inspired writer Ellen Geer.



“Merlin was around to see one civilization fall and shepherd in another,” she says. “For me, it was a revelation—the perfect story for today’s world, as our society seems to teeter on the brink.”



Reframing the wizard warrior in a context that merges fact, fiction and mythology, Geer sets the play against a bloody backdrop of Roman invasions and the start of the Crusades.

As the “untold adventures” of Merlin begin, the Celts and their druid priests face expulsion and death, and fear looms over Britain and her neighboring isles. Combining elements from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae, biblical texts, Atlantis, Stonehenge and a clash of kings and dynasties, Geer introduces a young Merlin grappling with his identity.


Merlin: The Untold Adventures is an imaginative epic imbued with hope, suspense and mysticism.

The adventure comes to life in Theatricum’s verdant outdoor theater in rustic Topanga Canyon, challenging preconceived notions and revealing the humanity of a magician set on a quest for truth and everlasting peace.

Melora Marshall stars as Merlin, with Susan Angelo as Charon; Abby Craden as the evil Morgana; Samara Frame as Asis; Willow Geer as Guinivere; Ed Giron as King Leodgrance; Aaron Hendry as Uther; Will Hickman as King Timor; Jim LeFave as Satan; Michael McFall as King Vortigan; and Colin Simon doubling in the roles of Jesus and Arthur.



Also in the cast are Claire Andrew, Lily Andrew, Mannette Antill, Charlotte Bailey, Ben Birmingham, Jonathan Blandino, Jessica Butenshon, Clayton Cook, Ruth Coughlin, Tanya Edwards, Edward Gallogly, Victoria Hilyard, Valeka Holt, Charles M. Howell IV, Leo Knudson, Sarah Lyddan, Dianne Manaster, Syd Mason, Corbin Mayberry, Nick Molari; Emilie O’Hara, Marcelo Olivas, Dane Oliver, Luis Ordaz, Wendy Pigott, Taylor Jackson Ross, Greg Steinbrecher, Evan Tamayo, Andrew Thacher, Esdras Toussaint, Setareki Wainiqolo, J.B. Waterman and Christopher Weir.


Merlin: The Untold Adventures opens on July 20, continuing through Sept. 29 in repertory with The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Royal Family.

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum is located at 1419 North Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Topanga, midway between Malibu and the San Fernando Valley.

For a complete schedule of performances and to purchase tickets, call (310) 455-3723; www.theatricum.com. Visit Theatricum on facebook: www.facebook.com/theatricum or follow on twitter: @theatricum.


For tickets: Adults: $35 (lower tier); $25 (upper tier);
Seniors (60+), Students, Military Veterans, AEA Members: $25/$15;
Children (7-12): $10;
Children 6 and under: Free.

The outdoor amphitheater at Theatricum Botanicum is terraced into the hillside of the rustic canyon. Audience members are advised to dress casually (warmly for evenings) and bring cushions for bench seating. Snacks are available at the Hamlet Hut and picnickers are welcome before and after the performances.