The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Culture OC. The information provided has been written by the submitting organization and not by the writers at Culture OC. We include this on our site in the spirit of sharing information about the arts and culture community in Orange County.
Play Anchors the 26th Pacific Playwrights Festival
South Coast Repertory (Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei) announced the world premiere of Galilee, 34 by Eleanor Burgess will join the schedule for the theatre’s milestone 60th season. The story exploring a moment in history where a movement came together and what transpired, fills the previously to-be-announced slot on SCR’s schedule April 21-May 12, 2024 on the Julianne Argyros Stage.
Tickets are on sale at scr.org
Galilee, 34 takes a multi-faceted look at what happened to the disciples after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The healer from Nazareth is dead—and his followers are determined to keep sharing his message. The problem is the Roman Empire wants them out of the picture. And they don’t have a leader. And they can’t quite agree on exactly what that message is. With wit and intelligence, one of the country’s most exciting writers takes audiences back to the start of a world-changing movement for a deeply personal look at those who made it happen.
“Eleanor Burgess’ Galilee, 34 asks evocative and smart questions about ‘what if?’ On a cover page of the script she writes, ‘None of this happened, but all of it is true.’ I love how this encapsulates Eleanor’s adventurous, intelligent, hilarious and human new play about the chronicling of biblical history,” Ivers said. “As she wrestles with the legacy of Yeshua in an ancient world, Galilee, 34 elevates voices left out, illuminates new context and builds the foundation for a dimensional and complicated narrative. Galilee, 34 is a thrilling addition to our PPF roster of world premiere productions.”
Burgess spent three years researching and writing Galilee, 34, diving into Jewish and Christian theology, the Roman Empire, the history of the Kingdom of Judea and the daily life of the people living there in the first century CE.
“There was a clear jumping-off point that led me to think about these people,” she said. “What if you’re a human being who has encountered the divine and who is now struggling to hold onto that feeling and to figure out what the divine looks like when applied to real, daily life? What if the way forward wasn’t all revealed to them, but instead they were normal human beings who had to figure out what to do—and they disagreed about it?
“I wanted to tell the most famous story on Earth as if the outcome weren’t a foregone conclusion. What if the figures we’ve turned into saints were capable of jealousy, uncertainty, grief, cruelty? Even failure? My goal with Galilee, 34 was to take things we've turned into hallowed traditions and put a human face on them.”
Galilee, 34 was a reading at the 2023 Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF), where it was well-received. It continues SCR’s commitment to producing and showcasing new works from talented playwrights.
SCR will announce the director, cast and creative team at a later time.
A versatile and prolific writer, Burgess’s work has been produced across the United States and internationally, at Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre Center, Geffen Playhouse, Huntington Theatre Company, the Alliance Theatre, Writers Theatre, Finborough Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Geva Theatre Center, InterAct Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Contemporary American Theatre, Festival, Portland Stage Company, and Centenary Stage. She has also developed work with the New Group, New York Theatre Workshop, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Salt Lake Acting Company, Lark Play Development Center, and The Kennedy Center/NNPN MFA Playwrights Workshop. She has been a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages, Page 73’s writers’ group Interstate 73, The Civilians’ R&D Group, and New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship.
Her television credits include work on “Perry Mason for HBO, “WeCrashed” for Apple TV and “Interview with the Vampire” for AMC. Originally from Brookline, Massachusetts, Burgess studied history at Yale College and Dramatic Writing at NYU/Tisch.
Galilee, 34 received generous support from Lead Honorary Producer Julia Voce and The Playwrights Circle, which includes Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, Julie and Robert F. Davey and David Emmes and Paula Tomei.
Tickets range in price from $29 to $105, with additional discounts available for educators, seniors and theatregoers ages 25 and under. Tickets may be purchased online at www.scr.org or by phone at (714) 708-5555. More information is available at www.scr.org.
Location: South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the David Emmes/Martin Benson Theatre Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available on Park Center Drive, off Anton Boulevard.
2023-24 Productions: Quixote Nuevo, Sept 30-Oct. 28, 2023; A Raisin in the Sun, Oct. 22-Nov. 12; A Christmas Carol, Nov. 25-Dec. 24; Hershey Felder as George Gershwin Alone, Jan. 18-28, 2024; (Theatre for Young Audiences) Alice’s Wonderland, Feb. 10-25; Prelude to a Kiss, The Musical, April 5-May 4; Galilee, 34, April 21-May 12. Outside SCR at Mission San Juan Capistrano, July 20-Aug. 11. The annual showcase of new works, the Pacific Playwrights Festival, runs May 3-5, 2024. Complete information is available at www.scr.org.