Performing Arts

1984 and The Odyssey at Wortham Center

Aquila Theatre. 1984, by George Orwell. Photo by Richard Termine

Aquila Theatre. 1984, by George Orwell. Photo by Richard Termine

Wortham Center for the Performing Arts presents two productions by returning favorite Aquila Theatre. The first, George Orwell’s 1984, takes place Friday, January 31, at 8 p.m. in Diana Wortham Theatre. The dystopian classic follows the character Winston, who lives under the rigid control of a government that watches its citizens’ every move, even criminalizing rebellious thoughts.

Since its release 70 years ago, 1984 has served as a warning against the dangers of totalitarian society. As our modern world grapples with the threats and benefits of technological integration, the production provides space to appreciate the value of individual thought.

“Classics are classics because they stand the test of time with universal messages and themes,” says Wortham Center managing director Rae Geoffrey. “In our nation’s turbulent political environment, this year’s selections by Aquila are certainly still relevant as reminders that humanity continues to strive to connect with purpose and love.”

On Saturday, February 1, also at 8 p.m. in Diana Wortham Theatre, the troupe performs Homer’s The Odyssey, a poem so ancient it predates Shakespeare’s works by more than two millennia. The epic story follows Greek hero Odysseus, ten years after the fall of Troy, when he has yet to return home to his wife and son. After battling sea monsters, cyclopes and other life- threatening obstacles, Odysseus finds himself imprisoned on the island Ogygia, held captive by the beautiful nymph Calypso. Using his own strength, skill and intellect, as well as some help from the gods, Odysseus struggles to escape.

“Aquila Theatre takes these timeless classics and infuses them with new perspective and life,” says Geoffrey. “Unique staging and use of one small troupe of actors to perform two shows in two nights, makes this company a crowd favorite year after year.”

Wortham Center for the Performing Arts is located at 18 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville. Tickets are $20–$40. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit WorthamArts.org or call 828.257.4530.

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