Following the company’s critically acclaimed debut in 2010 with THE DUCHESS OF MALFI, the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective is in rehearsals for its second full-stage production, an original take on Pierre de Marivaux’s CHANGES OF HEART. Though first performed in 1723 by the Comédie Italienne in Paris (with its origins in the Italian Commedia dell’arte), director Damon Bonetti, co-founder of the PAC, saw in this French courtly battle of the sexes a similarity to the American genre of screwball comedies from Hollywood’s Golden Age of the 1930s. He decided to relocate the PAC’s version (using Stephen Wadsworth’s English translation from the 1990s) to that era of glamour and elegance, sophistication and slapstick, rapid-fire dialogue and unexpected love.
In a preview salon at the Franklin Inn Club on April 30, Bonetti and his colleagues from the PAC (co-founder Dan Hodge and artistic associate Krista Apple) not only discussed the concepts behind the new staging, but also introduced PAC collaborators Andrew Clotworthy and Madeline Adams, who will provide the music and art for CHANGES OF HEART. Clotworthy, featured in the production as a crooning and piano-playing nobleman, performed a selection of period ballads that will be integrated into the show to inform the action and characters, including his own new arrangements of such traditional favorites as “Out of Nowhere”, “The Very Thought of You”, and “Body and Soul”. Adams screened images of her new series of abstract paintings inspired by the play and its archetypal characters, which will be hung throughout the theater and as part of the set design to help recreate Marivaux’s whimsical mood of intricate relationships and mutable emotions.
Hodge and Apple gave a small sampling of the play with a short scene of spurned love between the bourgeois Harlequin (a stock character from the Italian Commedia) and the coquettish Lisette, paying homage to the classic style of Charlie Chaplin and Groucho Marx, Carole Lombard and Jean Harlow. Along with Hodge, Apple, and Clotworthy, CHANGES OF HEART features Charlotte Northeast, Kevin Meehan, Jessica DalCanton, and John Lopes, all decked out in vintage costumes by Katherine Fritz.
If you love old Hollywood, new art, and great theater, be sure to catch CHANGES OF HEART beginning on May 10. Tickets are available at www.brownpapertickets.com or 1.800.838.3006.
CHANGES OF HEART (or, The Double Inconstancy)
Written by Pierre de Marivaux
Adapted by Stephen Wadsworth
Directed by Damon Bonetti
May 10-26, 2012
Philadelphia Artists’ Collective
Broad Street Ministry
315 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
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