“Albatross,” a high-octane, adventure story and multi-media extravaganza, comes to Stage West at the Herberger Theater Center, March 16-26.
Inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic poem, “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” “Albatross” blends multi-media technology with a fast-paced rollicking sea yarn to explore the themes of regret, isolation and the interconnected relationship between human beings and the natural world we inhabit.
“Albatross” delivers a relevant message about mindfulness and the effect of thoughtless actions on all living things.
“Albatross” won two prestigious Elliot Norton Awards from the Boston Drama Critics Association and is currently on stage at one of New York City’s top off-Broadway theater, 59E59 Theater.
The show is produced by Valley resident Michael Seiden and Poet’s Theatre of Cambridge, Mass. and presented by Arizona Theatre Company. Mr. Seiden is past chair of the ATC Board of Trustees. “Albatross” had its initial reading through ATC’s Café Bohemia in Tucson and Phoenix.
Like Mr. Seiden, co-playwrights Matthew Spangler and star Benjamin Evett have ATC connections. ATC produced and premiered Mr. Spangler’s “Kite Runner” and Mr. Evett performed in the ATC production of “Freud’s Last Session,” as well as other ATC productions.
“The fact is: Arizona Theatre Company brought us together and the eventual outcome was ‘Albatross’ becoming a reality,” Mr. Seiden said.
The story follows an 18th century sailor, cursed with immortality, who is thrust into the modern world. The audience sets sail in a spare but visually thrilling stagecraft. Immersed in this sensory otherworld, audiences come to find out who the Mariner is, why he must forever tell his story, and what he is searching for as he roams the earth.
Mr. Spangler describes the play as “very relevant” in light of the today’s world events.
“The play asks that we be keenly present and cultivate an awareness of how nearly everything we do affects other people,” he said. “This idea, that all our fates are interconnected, provides something of a balance to an era of environmental degradation, increasing income disparity and radical individuality.”
Ticket prices begin at $40 and can be purchased through the Arizona Theatre Company website at www.arizonatheatre.org or the Herberger Theater Box office at (602) 252-8497.
For more information about Albatross, visit www.albatrosstheplay.net.
The Scottsdale Independent is available for free every Wednesday.