Love, redemption, mythology and chlorine take center stage at the Center for Dramatic Art Saturday night.
PlayMakers Repertory Company will be performing William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and Mary Zimmerman’s “Metamorphoses” in rotating shows, beginning with “The Tempest” Saturday and “Metamorphoses” Sunday.
“The Tempest” is about Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, who plots to restore his and his daughter’s dynasty. “Metamorphoses,” a Broadway production, revolves around King Midas and other mythological characters in a contemporary setting.
A central concept to both of the plays is water, and PlayMakers is representing it quite literally — with a 15-ton pool constructed onstage in the Paul Green Theatre at the Center for Dramatic Art.
Joseph Haj, co-director of the two productions, said he has been waiting for years to do a play based around water. He finally found his opportunity this summer, after the theater’s 25-year-old fixed unit stage was removed.
‘“Metamorphoses’ is a play that is written and designed to be in or around a pool of water, and I’ve been wanting to do it with a pool of water since I started here at PlayMakers,” Haj said.
‘“The Tempest’ is a play where water and the sea figure mightily in the language and metaphor of the play, so I thought it would be interesting to put them in a conversation — as two plays that take water as their central metaphor.”
Haj tapped Dominique Serrand, a PlayMakers guest artist, to co-direct the plays with him. Serrand directed Moliere’s “Imaginary Invalid” last fall for PlayMakers.
Serrand said the two shows’ rehearsal dynamics vary, with some days focused on scenes from both pieces, and others devoted to longer strands of one of the plays.