Burning of the Ancient Library of Alexandria


February 12-22, 2009

Burning of the Ancient LIbrary of Alexandria Trio

AN ORIGINAL THEATER PIECE WITH AN INTERPRETIVE AND VISUAL ART EXHIBITION

ARTSHIP Ensemble – San Francisco
2009 - 2010 Home Season & World Premiere

CounterPULSE 1310 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Thurs, Fri, Sat, February 12, 13, 14 - 8:00PM
Fri, Sat, February 20, 21 at 8:00PM
Sun, February 22 - 2:00 PM matinee with the filming of the performance

Tickets $ 20 - students, seniors and CounterPULSE members $15

Tickets may be purchased online via Brown Paper Tickets, or by calling: 1.800.838.3006

Conceived and Directed by Slobodan Dan Paich
in collaboration with the ensemble

Artship Actors, Dancers, and Singers:
Ana Diane Landelle, Tom Franco, Ali Tahbaz,
Mardi Van Winkle, Craig Coss, Nazila Ghazi,
Julia Lazar, Zia Burchert, Damiana Carpizo,
Brandon Christian, Sam Rubin

Musicians:
Suellen Primost, Cello,
John Kadyk, Clarinet & Steel Drum,
Marie Perrey, Harmonium & Percussion

The central figure is Hypatia, daughter of the last chief librarian, who wanted to live a simple life, but events would not let her. Hypatia was one of the greatest mathematicians of her time, and head of the Academy in Alexandria. For her, the simple life was teaching day to day.

In the ebb and flow of history, times of cultural flourishing are superseded by times of oppression and darkness. It seems that the great library was burnt more than once.

Burning of the Ancient Library of Alexandria grouping

About the Performance

The performance of Burning of the Ancient Library of Alexandria deals directly or indirectly with ideas of alignment and disalignment of place, issues of freedom of speech and expression, and the rise and fall of empires.

The performance addresses the tensions brought about by huge events in history to ordinary people who happen to be there. The central figure is the daughter of the chief librarian, Hypatia, who wanted to live an ordinary simple life–but the events of her time would not let her. In the ebb and flow of history, times of cultural flourishing are superseded by times of oppression and darkness. It seems that the great library was burnt more than once.

“The loss of the ancient world's single greatest archive of knowledge, the Library of Alexandria, has been lamented for ages. But how and why it was lost is still a mystery. The mystery exists not for lack of suspects, but from an excess of them.” Preston Chesser, The Burning of the Library of Alexandria (2006)

Greek text fragment on papyrus
Heiroglyph of scholars writing on the wall
Heiroglyph of scholars preparing to write on the wall

Duet from Burning of the Library of Alexandria 01
Duet from Burning of the Library of Alexandria 02

Heiroglyph of men lowering figures to the ground
Heiroglyph of one giving to another

Duet from Burning of the Library of Alexandria 03
Duet from Burning of the Library of Alexandria 04

Duet from Burning of the Library of Alexandria 05
Hellenistic game

Anadiane Landelle and Tom Franco, interspersed with historical drawings and heiroglyphs

Crude carving of a hellenistic throne
Hand drawn map of a section of Egypt

Images from the incubating rehearsals of Alexandria

Alexandria rehearsal 01
Alexandria rehearsal 02

Alexandria rehearsal 03
Alexandria rehearsal 04

Alexandria rehearsal 05
Alexandria rehearsal 06

Images from a performance of Burning of the Ancient Library of Alexandria

Alexandria performance
Alexandria performance
Alexandria performance
Alexandria performance
Alexandria performance
Alexandria performance
Alexandria performance