May 21st, 2015
International City Theatre has always believed that theatre was more than just another form of entertainment. In fact, the resident professional theatre company of Long Beach was founded with the goal of creating new theater that not only entertains, but educates and provokes thoughtful dialogue as well. So it should come as no surprise that when ICT Artistic Director/Producer caryn desai announced the 2015 season back in August of 2014, she introduced a season of new works and premieres (with a classic thrown in as well) that are engaging, relevant and insightful. Perhaps the perfect embodiment of ICT’s mission is their currently running show Abigail/1702.
The basic premise of this new Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa play is that it is an imagined sequel to the Arthur Miller classic The Crucible. The play begins 10 years after the Salem Witch Trials and shows what happened to Abigail Williams, the famed seductress of the original tale. On a much deeper level, it is a searing portrait of someone facing their own self-created demons and desperately seeking atonement and absolution in their determined quest for redemption. Such a notion is something to which anyone can relate, although in various degrees, but nonetheless sparking a conversation about the path one takes to find forgiveness.
desai was so moved by the play that she decided to not only give it its West Coast Premiere but also to direct this moving piece of contemporary theatre. As an art form, we must stay fresh and support new works and new writers in their growth and development. Theatre cannot continue to produce the same tried-and-true hits over and over if it is to stay relevant. And theatres must invest in relevant, sometimes challenging new works and not the latest movie made into a stage production. Theatre’s role is to create a more educated society.
ICT is pleased to present this captivating play from a talented young playwright who continues to shine in his craft. More than half of the shows produced in ICT’s 30-year history have been premieres, and they are delighted that Abigail/1702 is part of their milestone season.
Abigail/1702 runs through May 24th on the ICT stage at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. To purchase tickets or for more information about Abigail/1702, please call (562) 436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.