Triad Stage

South African Theatre Brings Intimate O’Neil Play to Triad Stage

September 1, 2016

 (Greensboro, N.C.) Triad Stage and UNC-Greensboro’s College of Visual and Performing Art is proud to be presenting Cape Town-based theatre company Abrahamse-Meyer Productions and their production of Eugene O’Neil’s Desire Under The Elms at Triad Stage’s UpStage Cabaret, directed by Fred Abrahamse.

The production is brought to North Carolina following its performance at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival in September. The Festival is a co-producer of this presentation with the College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean’s Discretionary Creative Activity Fund, the UNCG IPC Kohler Fund, Triad Stage, and the O. Henry Hotel. 
UNCG Theatre Professor Denise Gabriel has been producing the event. In 2014 Gabriel was invited to attend the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival where was deeply moved by their production of Yukio Mishima’s The Lady Aoi. This led to discussions with Literary Director Thomas Keith and Artistic Director David Kaplan in which Gabriel ignited the possibility of bringing the company to Greensboro. 
With the vision of establishing an ongoing visitation of international artists to perform in Greensboro yearly, Triad Stage Artistic Director Preston Lane enthusiastically supported this endeavor to be part of Triad Stage and UNCG’s mission for sharing global artistry across communities. This productions follows last year’s production of Welsh artist Robbie Bowen’s solo show Diary of a Madman.  
“I’m thrilled that Triad Stage can be a home to innovative and groundbreaking international theater productions,” said Triad Stage Founding Artistic Director Preston Lane. “Great theater captures the essence of the culture that produces it, becoming a window into a different place. I’m eager to share this extraordinary Eugene O’Neill drama re-envisioned by the acclaimed Abrahamse-Meyer Productions with our Triad audiences.”
About the Show
In Desire Under the Elms, O’Neill explores the plots and themes of Greek tragedy, reimagining classical characters as inhabitants of rural New England farmland. The play was inspired by the tragic love triangle in Hippolytus by Euripides, in which Phaedra, the wife of the Athenian king Theseus, falls in love with and attempts to seduce his son Hippolytus. The play premiered in 1924 at the Provincetown Playhouse in New York City. A film version, starring Sophia Loren, was produced in 1958. 
This Abrahamse version has been hailed as “inescapably thought-provoking and extremely enjoyable.” Their presentation of Desire Under the Elms will mark the third Abrahamse-Meyers Production featured on the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival season. 
Abrahamse-Meyer Productions is a theatre company founded in 2006 by Fred Abrahamse and Marcel Meyer, this is one of a few independent classical theatre companies in South Africa. The small company built up an excellent international reputation, particularly through their innovative productions of the Shakespeare plays.
Their diverse productions include The Tragedy of Richard III (2010), Shakespeare's R&J (2011), A Midsummer Night's Dream (2012) including the South African premières of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, and Tennessee Williams's The Kingdom of Earth (2012 and 2013) and The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, (both in conjunction with Artscape, 2013), as well as a revival of Noël Coward’s Private Lives. The South African premiere of Desire Under the Elms was at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and the Baxter Theatre, Cape Town. 
Desire Under the Elms will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on September 28 - 29, 8pm September 30, and 2pm, 8pm on October 1 in the UpStage Cabaret at Triad Stage (232 Elm Street). Tickets are currently available through the UNCG or Triad Stage box office. For more information, call the Triad Stage box office at (336) 272-0160 or visit
About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival
The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival presents the works of Tennessee Williams, often world premieres, in plays, film, dance, live music, and performance art. We have presented shows from around the world and from different parts of America. We also present new works inspired by Williams. 
About Triad Stage
Triad Stage is a professional not-for-profit regional theater company based in Greensboro’s downtown historic district. All Triad Stage productions are created in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina using the best of local and national talent. Triad Stage gratefully acknowledges the support of its Season Sponsors: Blue Zoom, the North Carolina Arts Council, ArtsGreensboro and The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.