Get Lit’s DANTE, groundbreaking musical adaptation of Dante’s Inferno, opens July 6 at The Actors’ Gang, written by poet Raul Herrera, directed by The Actors’ Gang co-artistic director, Cynthia Ettinger, and inspired by mentor Daveed Diggs
“Where the only light is the one you create”
The Actors’ Gang presents DANTE, Get Lit’s musical adaptation of Dante’s Inferno, opening Saturday, July 8! Written by young poet Raul Herrera, adapted by Diane Luby Lane and directed by Cynthia Ettinger, DANTE will begin with 2 previews, July 6 and 7, and will continue for 10 performances only, July 8 – July 29, 2017.
Originally inspired by a course called “Dante in Translation” led by Giuseppe Mazzotta, Get Lit’s founder Diane Luby Lane met with the Literati Fellows to dissect and free-write modern adaptions of the classic text throughout 2015 and 2016, with Raul Herrera ultimately taking the lead on completing a radical full-length theatrical interpretation. In Herrera’s words, “There’s a Dante in everyone…you don’t have to be a 13th-century poet to go through hell.”
Featuring the Get Lit Players and Literati Fellows, DANTE explores the power of young voices in our current cultural and political climate. In Lane’s words, “DANTE asks young people to think about and dissect the world so that they can understand and improve it. The show is an incredible lesson in what young voices can create and do.” Set in modern day Los Angeles, DANTE is the tale of a young man’s second chance at redeeming himself, having to go through hell in order to confront his demons and realize that one can’t live and learn without making mistakes.
This brand new original play, co-produced by Diane Luby Lane and Tim Robbins, is the work of a long time creative relationship between Get Lit and The Actors’ Gang Theater. “We are thrilled to present Get Lit’s adaptation of Dante’s Inferno. For the past 8 years, The Actors’ Gang has been supporting and mentoring this exciting and talented group of young men and women. Having presented Get Lit for years in monthly poetry slams, this co-production of their wildly original and exciting adaptation of Dante is a natural extension of our support.” said Tim Robbins, Artistic Director of The Actors’ Gang.
Inspired by the musical Hamilton, in which Get Lit mentor Daveed Diggs appeared as Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in Broadway cast, DANTE tells its story with elements of poetry, rap, comedy, and original music by Wilkie Ferguson (Hamilton, Boys Choir of Harlem).
The audience will follow Dante through LA’s temptations, both hellish and blissful, to ultimately find self-discovery and redemption. Along with each performance, audience members will be invited to participate in a comprehensive installation in which a new vice/circle of hell will be explored before and after the show through sensory experiences, cocktails, panels, live performances and featuring original artwork by the Ernesto Yerena (protegee of Shepard Fairey and creator of the public art for the Women’s March), as well as other guest speakers, performers, and artists.
The Cast for Dante will feature (in alphabetical order): Marquesha Babers, Walter Finnie, Gordon Ip, Khamal Iwuanyanwu, Joab Louis, Alexis Martinez, Maia Mayor, Anna Osuna, Zach Perlmuter, Vanessa Tahay, Kyland Turner,
The Creative Team includes: Cynthia Ettinger (Director), Pierre Adeli (Assistant Director), Paul Herrera (Playwright), Olivia Courtin (Costume Design), Cihan Sahin (Lightning and Sound Design), Wilkie Ferguson (Original Music), Michael Panes (Dramaturg), Samuel Curtis (Cinematographer), Ernesto Yerena (Poster Design) Diane Luby Lane (Producer), Tim Robbins (Co-Producer), Simon Hanna (Assistant Producer), Christina Pacheco (Co-Assistant Producer).
Get Lit – Words Ignite is a performing arts organization that fuses classic and spoken word poetry to empower youth and inspire communities in over 100 schools across Southern California. By engaging at-risk youth in classic literature and penning their own responses, teens become engaged in their own futures and unearth their potential. Get Lit was founded in 2006 by Diane Luby Lane and has grown into a revolutionary poetic movement. Join the #LiteraryRiot!
Dante previews begin Thursday, July 6, opens Saturday, July 8 and runs through Saturday, July 29, 2017. Performances are Thursdays at 8:00 pm, Fridays at 9:00 pm and Saturdays at 8:00 pm at The Actors’ Gang Theater, 9070 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA, 90232
General tickets are available for $34,99. Students may purchase $20.00 tickets and seniors may purchase $25.00 tickets. Thursday evenings are “Pay-What-You-Can.” For tickets, please call 310-838-4264 or visit www.theactorsgang.com to purchase tickets online or to view the complete schedule. The Actors’ Gang Theatre is located at 9070 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA, 90232.