Benito Cereno by Robert Lowell

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Benito Cereno
by Robert Lowell
Directed by Woodie King Jr

2011

Stage Manager: Mayra Amaya.
House Manager: Heesuk Chae

With Reynaldo Piniella, Frank Mayers, Mutiyat Ade-Salu, Jaymes Jorsling, Arthur Bartow, Benjamin Thys, Abdi Ismail, Pedro Rezende, Osvaldo Chavez, Ama Birch, Uchenna Onyia, Akintunde Sogunro, Rafael de Mussa , Rowan Meyers, and Sean Christian Taylor.

Cathy Small (Costume Design), Joyce Liao (Lighting Design), Jonathan Bremner, Bruce Heath (Dance Choreography), Michael Chin ( Fight Choreography ).

Horizon Theatre Rep will present the rarely-seen play BENITO CERENO – written by the late Robert Lowell and based on the Herman Melville novel of the same name — this Fall Off-Broadway at The Flea Theater (41 White St.) in Manhattan, with previews set to start Sept 22nd. BENITO CERENO is directed by Woodie King Jr., the Founding Producing Director of The New Federal Theatre.

First produced in 1965, when it won an Obie Award as part of the Robert Lowell trilogy “The Old Glory,” BENITO CERENO has not been seen in New York since a 1976 revival.
Based on Melville’s novel, BENITO CERENO is set in 1770 and depicts the mysterious events that occur when an American merchant vessel comes upon a battered Spanish ship with its nearly all-black crew and a white captain, Benito Cereno.

Known principally as a poet, Robert Lowell won the Pulitzer Prize in 1947 for “Lord Weary’s Castle,” and in 1974 for “The Dolphin.” He won the National Book Award for Poetry in 1960 for “Life Studies,” and served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 1947-48. His trilogy “The Old Glory” is comprised of BENITO CERENO; MY KINSMAN, MAJOR MOLINEUX; and ENDECOTT AND THE RED CROSS, all essentially plays about American history.

In his biography, “Melville: His World and Work,” (Vintage Paperbacks), author Andrew Delbanco writes, “In our own time of terror and torture, ‘Benito Cereno’ has emerged as the most salient of Melville’s works: a tale of desperate men in the grip of a vengeful fury that those whom they hate cannot begin to understand”.

Reviews

“ “Don’t miss this play ! Benito Cereno is electric — a powerful, hard hitting play, historically and philosophically resonant. Thanks to Horizon Theatre Rep for this rare opportunity to see a beautifully written, exciting, and never-to-be forgotten play about themes that are both timely and universal. ”
Let’sTalk Off-Broadway

“A smashing indictment of the tragic legacy of slavery. ” – Backstage

“Has so much to say . Plenty of substance. Its passions still remain .” – New York Times

” A gripping tale that should keep audiences on the edge of their seat ! “-New York Theatre Wire

” Suspenseful and horrifying . Like a slow, steady ship in the night, it makes it’s way relentlessly to it’s very satisfying conclusion. ” – Berkeshire Fine Arts.

Benito Cereno is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.