The Tampa Repertory Theatre will produce Archibald MacLeish's rarely seen play, PANIC on August 21st at Studio @ 620 in St. Petersburg. "Panic," was MacLeish's first produced play. When performed in 1935, the cast featured Orson Welles in the leading role of financier McGafferty. The play, as the title suggests, explores the financial panic during the Great Depression and focuses on the nature of individual and corporate responsibility within American society, especially in a time of economic distress.
Tampa Rep's production, supported by a grant from Hampton Arts Management and the Gobioff Foundation, comes the week before the start of the Republican National Convention in Tampa. According to Tampa Rep Artistic Director C. David Frankel (who is also directing the staged reading), "At a time when the economic system of the United States still struggles, some of the questions the play raises continue to resonate."
MacLeish, one of America's greatest poets, had a lifelong love of theatre and a determination to create dramatic verse that captured the vernacular language of the day. "Panic" is one of his early attempts, an practice that found its greatest accomplishment in "J.B.," MacLeish's re-telling and re-imagining of the story of Job. As in "J.B.," in "Panic," MacLeish also explored the ideas of individual free will versus a fatalistic belief in pre-determination.
The Tampa Repertory Theatre recently concluded its first season with an acclaimed production of Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire." In addition to its currency, the production of "Panic" fits in with Tampa Rep's commitment to making American classic drama the core of its mission. The performance of "Panic" will be at 7pm; tickets are $5.00 and can be purchased in advance at www.tamparep.org or at the door. For further information or to make reservations, email email@example.com.