All the King’s Men"
Opens 44th Season At Trinty Rep

Trinity Repertory Company in Providence will open its 44th season with a new staging of "All the King's Men" by Adrian Hall, adapted from Robert Penn Warren’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.  Directed by Brian McEleney and with music by Randy Newman, this new production celebrates the 20th anniversary of the ensemble drama created for Trinity Rep’s resident company.

Written by Robert Penn Warren in 1946, "All the King’s Men" is the story of the rise and fall of a political titan in the Deep South during the 1930s. Willie Stark emerges from poverty to become the governor of his state and its most powerful political figure. He blackmails and bullies his enemies into submission, and institutes a radical series of liberal reforms designed to tax the rich and ease the burden of the state’s poor farmers. Stark’s transformation from an idealistic man of the people to a corrupt politician lusting for power is seen through the eyes of a young writer, Jack Burden.

Though set in the 1930s, this tale of political corruption, charisma and human frailty will resonate with modern audiences. Artistic Director Curt Columbus commented that when he first read the novel, "I kept asking myself, 'How could he write this book sixty years ago and it’s still a gorgeous meditation on the same issues we’re facing now and in the campaign of 2008?'"
Trinity Rep first staged former Artistic Director Adrian Hall’s adaptation of the epic novel in 1987 to enthusiastic reviews. Director McEleney praised Adrian Hall's adaptation of Warren's monumental novel saying, "Adrian has always had an amazing ability to cut straight to the heart of what makes things happen. As a director he’s brilliant at this kind of cinematic expression, and as a literary adaptor he worked the same way."
The production features company member Mauro Hantman ("Cyrano de Bergerac," "Cherry Orchard," "The Fantasticks") as the young writer Jack Burden with Joe Wilson, Jr. ("Cherry Orchard," "The Fantasticks," "Hamlet") in the central role of Willie Stark. Casting African-American Wilson Jr. as the Southern Governor is a directing choice that boldly moves the story from the past through the present and into the mythic. When asked about the use of non-traditional casting, McEleney pointed out that "Adrian Hall may not have invented nontraditional casting, but we have certainly been doing it here at Trinity Rep long before the term was known. Of course, there could never have been an African American politician of Stark's stature at that time. However -- the play shows us how politics affects people without money, class or station. It’s even more intriguing to talk about those issues when race is part of the conversation."
Rounding out the 17 person cast are fellow resident acting company members: Stephen Berenson, Angela Brazil, Janice Duclos, Phyllis Kay, Mauro Hantman, Barbara Meek, Anne Scurria, Fred Sullivan, Jr., Stephen Thorne; associate artists Kevin Fallon, Charlie Hudson III, and David Tessier, with Brown/Trinity Rep Consortium (class of 2008) actors Kelby Akin, Jill Knox, Alan McNaney, Scott Raker and Jessa Sherman.
Robert Penn Warren is one of America’s most honored and versatile twentieth century writers. He was awarded three Pulitzer Prizes – one for fiction ("All the King’s Men," 1946) and two for poetry ("Promises," 1957, and "Now and Then,"1978). He was the only writer to receive the Pulitzer Prize in both of these categories, and the first poet honored as Poet Laureate, in 1986.

Warren was born on April 24, 1905, in Guthrie, Kentucky. After a small-town childhood, he studied at Vanderbilt University, the University of California, Yale and Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar. "All the King’s Men" was an immediate popular and critical success in 1946. The novel was inspired by Huey Long, “The Kingfish,” Governor from 1928 to 1932, who transformed and controlled Louisiana’s fiscal, legal, educational, political and geographical landscape. Warren published 12 volumes of poetry, 10 novels, a volume of short stories, several volumes of literary criticism, social commentaries and texts, and plays. His other honors include the National Book Award, the National Medal for Literature, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The first performance on September 14 at 8:00 p.m. is Pay What You Can (PWYC) Night. PWYC tickets go on sale at 7:00 p.m., with a limit of one ticket per person. 
Audience Talkbacks will be held after every performance of "All the King’s Men."

For tickets and information, stop by the Trinity Rep box office at 201 Washington Street in Providence, call 401-351-4242 or visit

-- OnStage Boston


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