By Mark Jackson
Directed by Mark Jackson
Originally produced at Aurora Theatre Company, Berkeley, CA.
June 15, 2012 through July 22, 2012
About the Premiere Production
Closing Aurora Theatre Company's 20th season is the World Premiere of Salomania, Artistic Director Tom Ross’s first new play commission for the company, written and directed by award-winning Bay Area auteur Mark Jackson (Metamorphosis, Salome, Miss Julie). When Jackson helmed Aurora’s hit production of Oscar Wilde’s Salome in 2006, the production was called “Riveting...fierce and funny” by the San Francisco Chronicle and “Elegantly depraved, tastefully decadent, wickedly funny” by the Contra Costa Times. This World Premiere, commissioned by Aurora especially for its 20th anniversary season, is a sequel of sorts to Wilde’s fascinating and sensual play and is based on the extraordinary story of dancer Maud Allan.
A native of San Francisco, Maud Allan took Europe by storm in the early 1900’s with her version of the “Dance of the Seven Veils,” which she called “The Vision of Salomé.” She became notoriously known as “The Salomé Dancer,” and was unexpectedly fraught with a lawsuit that destroyed her career. Whereas Salome was Oscar Wilde’s wild take on the infamous Biblical temptress, her unrequited love of the prophet Jokanaan, and her desperate dance, Salomania uses Allan’s story as a framework to explore themes of media sensationalism, freedom of expression, and wartime hysteria, themes as relevant today as they were a century ago.
"Mark Jackson is unquestionably one of the most exciting and visionary playwright/directors in the San Francisco Bay Area" said Aurora Theatre Company Artistic Director Tom Ross. "I have long wanted to produce one of his original works, and after some thoughtful discussion, we decided upon this commission, Salomania, a play about Salomé dancer Maud Allan. I strive for contextualization in Aurora's programming, contrasting the various plays in the season, historically and aesthetically and Salomania is certainly relevant today. It's a story about war-time hysteria, freedom of expression, and how personal values and political values feed one another. Salomania is an important commission for Aurora, and it will no doubt create a lot of excitement in our community."
"Rehearsing a new play is like bringing a group of adventurers together to explore a new land for the first time," said Aurora Theatre Company Artistic Director Tom Ross. "A script is certainly a map, but maps are only abstractions of distances and space. Receiving the Edgerton grant will allow Aurora Theatre Company to add an additional week of rehearsal time for our world premiere production of Salomania. This extra rehearsal time will allow our adventurous cast and crew to cover more miles of artistic terrain and continue to uncover the complex, emotion detail associated with legendary performer Maud Allan, about whom this new work from auteur Mark Jackson is based."
Director: Mark Jackson
Sound Design: Jake Rodriguez
Choreographer: Chris Black
East Bay Community Foundation
Kenneth Rainin Foundation
The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust