CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The American Repertory Theater is continuing its tradition of being untraditional by presenting a new version of the classic Greek tragedy by Aeschylus, “Prometheus Bound,” as a rock opera, featuring the music of Serj Tankian, noted solo artist as well as a founder of the hard-rocking System of a Down.
The play, which started its run on February 25 and will continue through April 2, features a script and lyrics by Steven Sater and is directed by Diane Paulus.
The play will be staged at the Oberon, 2 Arrow St., Harvard Square.
An outcry against tyranny, “Prometheus Bound” illustrates one man’s struggle against the brute force of a ruthless dictator. Written by Tony and Grammy Award-winning playwright and lyricist Sater (“Spring Awakening”) with music composed by Grammy Award-winning System of a Down lead singer Tankian, this new musical is inspired by Aeschylus’s ancient Greek tragedy about the heroic struggle of Western civilization’s first prisoner of conscience.
The cast includes Gavin Creel as Prometheus, Lea DeLaria as Force, Michael Cunio as Oceanos, Gabe Ebert as Hephaistos/Hermes, Uzo Aduba as Io, Celina Carvajal, Ashley Flanagan as Daughters of the Ocean and Jo Lampert as Daughter of the Ocean and Violence. The band includes Charlie Chronopolous on guitars and sitar; Tom Duprey on trumpet, clarinet, bass clarinet, flugerlhorn, violin and accordion; David Finch on violin, viper and trombone; Jeff Muzerolle on drums, percussion and synthesizer and Rob Simring on bass guitars. The band leader is Vincent Padulla.
Tankian is a singer, poet, songwriter, activist and composer. He is an Armenian immigrant born in Lebanon and re-rooted in Los Angeles. Tankian has released two critically-acclaimed solo albums, “Imperfect Harmonies” and “Elect the Dead,” both produced by Tankian himself at his home studio in Los Angeles. He also formed a record label, Serjical Strike Records (established in 2001) that has released albums by eight artists, including Fair To Midland, Buckethead and Death By Stereo. With a mission of spreading diversity and understanding through music, poetry and activism, Tankian, together with fellow musician Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), cofounded the non-profit organization Axis Of Justice in 2002. Axis strives to bring together musicians, fans of music and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice. He has also acted as co-host of the Axis Of Justice Radio Network, which can be heard via Sirius Satellite Radio and KPFK in Los Angeles.