Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions

Programs - Educational Theatre

Storytelling at the Provincetown Playhouse

Spring 2015 Season

An Epic Season

Astounding adventures in exotic lands and extraordinary deeds by Heroines and Heroes, Demi-Gods and Goddesses: our Winter-Spring season brings ancient epics, some of the world’s oldest and best stories, told by three great storytellers. Anita Ratnam, David Novak, and Regina Ress will transport us to India, Mesopotamia, and into the rainforest of Borneo with captivating performances of classic tales. Don’t miss this epic season!

Regina Ress tells Adi, Song of Agan
Friday, February 13, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.

“Who is that person coming down the river? He is all one can desire! How white and shiny and big are the tiger teeth he wears in his ears!” For an unusual Valentine’s treat, Regina Ress tells the adventures of Agan Tadun Ngagtang Balang, epic hero from the Kelabit people of Borneo, as he ventures forth to seek a wife. We meet two pairs of lovers and a scheming comic witch who wants our hero. She doesn’t get him!

Regina Ress, award winning storyteller, actor, and writer, has performed and taught from Brazil to Broadway, from homeless shelters and prisons to Lincoln Center and the White House. She has appeared in numerous national and international storytelling festivals and teaches storytelling for NYU’s Programs in Educational Theatre and Multilingual/Multicultural Studies and at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. She was given Adi, Song of Agan by Carol Rubenstein, who recorded and translated it in 1972, just before the tribe was “silenced” by outside forces. Regina is its sole “carrier.”

David Novak tells Gilgamesh
Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.

For 2,500 years it was the greatest story ever told. For another 2,500 years it was completely forgotten. The epic of Gilgamesh, from ancient Mesopotamia, returns to its roots as a spoken-word performance in an extraordinary rendering by renowned storyteller David Novak. “This story has something for everyone,” Novak says, “steamy seduction, monster-slaying, heavenly battles, and a grief-stricken hero’s quest. Although it is our oldest written epic, for thousands of years Gilgamesh was a great telling experience.” 

David Novak, recently returned from tours of International schools in China, has performed at numerous theatres and festivals including the Czech Children’s Theatre Festival, CSC Repertory, The Cincinnati Playhouse, Woodstock Theatre Company, Timpanogos, Tejas Festival, Oklahoma City's Winter Tales, Hawaiian Talking Island, Northern Appalachian, and Sierra storytelling festivals. In 2013, he was featured at the National Storytelling Festival where he gave a tour-de-force performance as R. Buckminster Fuller. Mr. Novak is an instructor for the nation’s only post-graduate degree in storytelling at East Tennessee State University.

Anita Ratnam tells A Million Sitas
Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.

Through the lens of Sita, timeless icon of womanhood, Anita Ratnam refracts and re-weaves the many strands of the majestic and sweeping Hindu epic The Ramayana. Five women are sketched…Manthara, Surpanakha, Mandodari, Ahalya, and the eternal Sita, who holds them all together. One of India’s most celebrated dance-actors, Ratnam brings storytelling, theatre, and dance to her rendering of Sita, who stands at the epicenter of this story of love, honor, courage, treachery, and sacrifice.

Dr. Anita Ratnam, one of India’s most renowned performers, describes herself as a “contemporary classicist” whose solo work re-imagines notions of what is sacred and what is secular from within the framework of her life and experience. Her ability to connect through storytelling, musical theatre, and gesture to a wide variety of audiences has led to international engagements in diverse venues such as Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Korzo Theatre in The Hague, Substation Singapore, Newark Museum, and Peabody Essex Museum in the US.

All shows are at the historic Provincetown Playhouse at 133 MacDougal Street and are appropriate for adults and children over 12.

Events are free. Box office opens one hour before the show
Information line  212-998-5867
David Montgomery, Program Director, Program in Educational Theatre
Regina Ress, Producer

Photos by Ari Ress (Regina Ress) and Sanjay Taneja (Anita Ratnam).