By Lena Finkel, Daily Arts Writer
Published September 25, 2013
In one of the hottest plays to hit the stage, the dynamic duo of Director Tim Rhoze and Actor John Manfredi hopes to breathe new life into a classic tale.
September 26-October 27
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“An Iliad,” adapted by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare, transforms Homer’s epic poem into a dramatic one-man play. But this won’t be your average stool-sitting, monotone-narrated snoozefest. The star Manfredi insisted there is “no lack of activity” and that it will indeed be an action-packed event.
“I had to make sure I was in shape, as it was more of a physical play,” Manfredi explained.
But this shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish, as Manfredi is no stranger to the stage. He previously performed in Performance Network Theatre’s productions of “A Picasso” and “K2,” the latter of which Rhoze also directed.
But even prior to their collaboration in “K2,” Rhoze and Manfredi had developed a strong relationship.
“I’ve known him for over 20 years,” Rhoze said. “As a person, I’ve known him very well. As a professional, it was exciting to unearth all the things he could do.”
Added Manfredi: “We get along fabulous. We have a very similar approach, and I trust him."
Manfredi’s trust will be important, as Rhoze plans to take a lot of risks with their interpretation of the play.
“Tim is not afraid to try new things,” Manfredi said. “It’s a new telling, a brand-new play — only two years old. But Tim’s version is even newer than that.”
Added Rhoze: “My approach is different from what it has been. The setting is different; the music is different — as it should be. You bring your own personality.”
The twosome may be demanding high expectations of its performance, but with both members in their sweet spots, their goals are likely to be met.
A professor at Oakland University during the day, Manfredi asserted that, “Acting is far and away my bigger passion. I’m blessed to get a lot of work.”
As for Rhoze, he has a wealth of both acting and directing experience but much prefers the director’s chair.
“I love the collaboration with the producers, the costume and set designers and, sometimes, even the playwrights,” he said.
With their passion — and so much dedication — Manfredi and Rhoze are sure to enthrall the audience with their one-man adaptation of a classic adventure.