For Immediate Release
Contact: Audrey Ross
RALPH LEE'S METTAWEE RIVER THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES ITS NEW PRODUCTION 'THE
HISTORY OF VALENTYNE AND ORSON,' September 8-17 in the outdoor garden of the
Cathedral of St. John the Divine
September 8, 9, 10 and 15, 16, 17 (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) at 7:30 PM (6
Outdoor Garden of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (look for the
free-roaming peacocks), 111th Street & Amsterdam Avenue
Tickets: $10; $5 for children & seniors
Actors: Kim Gambino, Robert Ierardi, Ian Lassiter, Tom Marion, Jan-Peter
Pedross, Clea Rivera
Original score: Neal Kirwood, performed live by
Musicians: Corey King (trombone) and Barbara Benary (violin)
Ralph Lee, renowned puppet and mask maker, returns to the Outdoor Garden of
St. John the Divine with his Mettawee River Theatre Company's new production of
"The History of Valentyne and Orson," adapted from a 15th century French
romance about Valentyne, a courageous young fellow initially found as a baby in
the forest and raised by King Pepin, September 8-17 (2 weekends) at 7:30 PM.
The company of six actors will play multiple roles, and original music by
Neal Kirkwood will be performed live by Corey King on trombone and Barbara Benary
on violin. Costumes are by Casey Compton and, of course, the remarkable mas
ks and puppets are by Ralph Lee.
Mettawee director/designer Ralph Lee adapted the text for "The History of
Valentyne and Orson" from two major sources: a 1505 English translation by Henry
Watson of the 1489 French original prose version, and an early 18th century
English ballad that tells the story in rhyming quatrains. Notes Lee, "it's a
compelling story about achieving harmony with nature by finding the courage to
embrace one's opposite."
"The History of Valentyne and Orson" tells the story of Valentyne, found as
a baby in the forest and raised by King Pepin. Years later, when a ferocious
wildman threatens Pepin's domain, the courageous Valentyne sets out to deal
with him. Their encounter turns from a battle into the beginning of a
friendship, and the wildman is given the name Orson because he was raised by bears.
Our two heroes join forces to determine the nature of Valentyne's origins, and
along the way meet villains and fools, charming ladies, an ornery giant and a
Actors Kim Gambino, Robert Ierardi, Ian Lassiter, Tom Marion, Jan-Peter
Pedross and Clea Rivera will play multiple roles in this production that will
incorporate many puppets, masks and other visual elements evoking the pageantry of
court, castles and dark forests alive in the medieval imagination.