An Epic Revenge Tragedy Starring Award-Winning Fight Choreographer Jen Albert
Opening April 9 at The Hudson
LOS ANGELES - Taken from the history and legend of the Iceni Warrior Queen Boudica, famous for her bloody uprising against the invading Romans in 61 A.D. The School of Night (Punch and Judy, Klingon Tamburlaine, Hercules Insane, The Final Girl, The Troublesome Reign, Lamentable Death of Edward II) presents Battlesong of Boudica, returning after its award-winning 2022 Hollywood Fringe premiere. Written and directed by School of Night co-founder Christopher William Johnson and featuring fellow co-founder and multiple award-winning fight choreographer and actor Jen Albert as Boudica, Battlesong of Boudica is an ancient saga of the iron age, a primal spectacle of power and revenge told in song, spoken verse, dance and epic stage violence. Performances will run April 9 through April 30 at The Hudson Backstage in West Hollywood.
The legions of conquering Rome have swept across the mist-shrouded island of Britannia and subdued most of its warring, disunified tribes. On the advice of his consort Boudica, Chief Prasutagus of the Iceni tribe, has forged an alliance with the occupying Romans in hope of preserving his people’s liberty. But when Prasutagus is conscripted by Rome and killed in battle, Roman law refuses to recognize Boudica or her young daughters as the deceased chief’s heirs. For resisting the confiscation of her family’s ancestral home by the Romans, Boudica is flogged, and her daughters brutally assaulted. Savaged, dishonored, and discarded for dead, Boudica seeks a bloody revenge.
Securing the chiefdom of her tribe by trial of fight, Boudica sends word across Britannia: Rise up, unite and push the Romans out. Soon all of Celtic Britannia is in revolt, rallied beneath the banner of War Chief Boudica. But the steeled force of Rome intends neither surrender nor retreat. And so, the stage is set for an epic battle, the subject of legends and songs sung across two millennia.
Battlesong of Boudica is a fast-paced action-packed historical drama filled with visceral onstage battles, raw and savage fight and dance choreography, innovative stagecraft, and a haunting musical score complete with an on-stage percussionist. It is a must-see production that tells the timely and relevant story of a significant historical figure of the ancient world, a fierce woman and devoted mother who was wronged and sought an epic and history-altering revenge.
“A return to early theatrical principles, Battlesong of Boudica is a primal, tragic, cathartic, spectacle told in poetic verse,” says Johnson. “A historical piece that explores several very contemporary issues, including colonialism, sexism, revolution, and multiculturalism (just to name a few) that doesn't offer a sanitized or predetermined set of conclusions/positions on the topics. We hope audiences get a little more familiarity with a fascinating place and time in history as well as a heightened appreciation of the theatrical art form along with a deep sense of moral uncertainty about questions we think we already know the answers to.”
Jen Albert stars as Boudica. Daniel Adomian (Klingon Tamburlaine, Richard III: Hour of the Tyrant, Nineteen Years Later, Plaza Suite) plays Prasutaugus, Tom Block (The Grapes of Wrath, Julius Caesar, Hamlet) takes on the roles of Praefect and Gladiator, Colin A Borden (Better Call Saul, Dhar Mann) plays Agricola, Payton Cella plays Legionary, Sara Gorsky (award-winning actor, Broads You Should Know podcast) plays Mebdh, Brad C. Light (Entropy) portrays Decianus, Chloe Madriaga (Nimrod, Klingon Tamburlaine, Nothing is the Same) plays Percussionist, Christopher Neiman (Entropy, Hercules Insane) plays Paulinus, Tristan Rewald (The Crucible, A Doll’s House) takes on the roles of Cerialis and Gladiator, Lacey Rosewall is the understudy for Brenda and performs in the final weekend, Lucy Schmidt (Bonestall Studios & Incorporeal Investigations podcasts) plays Kerma, Allegra Rodriguez Shivers (Earth Eclipsed & Mortuus voice acting roles) plays Brenda, Jack TenBarge portrays Cautrix, Jesse James Thomas (Ovation Award nominated Fight Director) plays Camulos, Frank Tirimacco plays Legionary, and Dan Wingard (La Bête, The Swine Show) portrays Archdruid.
The creative team for Battlesong of Boudica includes lighting designer Aiden de Jong, Linda Muggeridge is costume designer, Ryan Beveridge is the composer and sound designer. Kate Coleman is the dance choreographer and Andrew Leman is the graphic designer. The stage manager is Michelle Elizabeth Vasquez.
Christopher William Johnson is a co-founder of The School of Night for whom he has directed Punch and Judy, The Final Girl, The Troublesome Reign and Lamentable Death of Edward II, Hercules Insane and Klingon Tamburlaine. Other Los Angeles directing credits include Marian or the True Tale of Robin Hood, Entropy, The Pity of Things – Desert Aria (all at Theatre of NOTE) and Henry VI, Part I (The Production Company). Before relocating to Los Angeles, Christopher was the founding artistic director of Chicago’s historic Defiant Theatre for whom he directed productions of Macbeth, Titus Andronicus, Hamlet, A Clockwork Orange and Dope, as well as world-premiere adaptations of Stephen King’s Apt Pupil and Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon. Johnson has appeared as an actor at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Redmoon Theater and The Building Stage. He currently oversees the prop and wardrobe departments at the Asylum where he has worked as a screenwriter, production designer, art director and actor.
Jen Albert is an actor, producer, award winning fight choreographer and an Intimacy Director. She is an emeritus company member of Babes with Blades, Chicago’s first all-female stage combat theatre company. She is currently a faculty member at Art of Acting – the Stella Adler Studio of Acting Conservatory, where she teaches stage combat and is the resident Fight Choreographer and Intimacy Director. Some Los Angeles fight choreography credits include: Klingon Tamburlaine (Ovation Award nominee), Hercules Insane, The Final Girl, Edward II and Punch and Judy (SON) (LADCC award for Fight Choreography, Stage Raw Nominee), An Octoroon, (The Fountain Theatre) (LADCC Nominee), Sucker Punch (Coeurage Theatre) (Ovation Award for Fight Direction), Romeo and Juliet, Normal (The Vagrancy), Marian or the True Tale of Robin Hood, (Stage Raw Award recipient, Best Fight Choreography), Year of the Rooster and Entropy (Theatre of NOTE), Fifty Shades of Shrew (Broads’ Word Ensemble), Henry VI-Part I, Beauty Queen of Leenane (The Production Company). Favorite roles as an actor include: Zenocrate in Klingon Tamburlaine (SON), Kate in Fifty Shades of Shrew (Broads’ Word Ensemble), Gwen in Fifth of July (The Production Company.)
The School of Night is a not-for-profit theatre company dedicated to the study and live presentation of the dramatic works of the European renaissance, their more modern permutations, and their much-neglected antecedents: the folk and religious dramas of the Middle Ages, the tragedies, comedies, and spectacle entertainments of pagan Rome and the Greek-influenced Atellan farces from which these derived. The School of Night employs a combination of the finest theatrical artistry and dramaturgical scholarship to create performances that evoke for a contemporary audience the same emotional immediacy, linguistic power, comedic vigor, charged spirituality and theatrical vitality that these artistically influential and culturally significant works provided audiences in centuries and millennia past.
Opening night performance of Battlesong of Boudica takes place on Sunday, April 9 at 7 p.m.; with a Pay-What-You-Can performance on Monday, April 10 at 8 p.m.; continuing with performances on Fridays, April 14, 21, 28 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, April 15, 22, 29 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, April 16, 23, 30 at 3 p.m.
Tickets to performances are $25, except Monday, April 10 at 8 p.m. which is Pay-What-You-Can. The Hudson Backstage is located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 90038
Battlesong of Boudica features bloody violence, suicide, depictions of animal sacrifice and verbal description of sexual assault (not portrayed on stage). For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit https://school-of-night.ticketleap.com/battlesong-of-boudica.
Details for Calendar Listings
‘Battlesong of Boudica’
Taken from the history and legend of the Iceni Warrior Queen Boudica, famous for her bloody uprising against the invading Romans in 61 A.D. The School of Night presents Battlesong of Boudica, returning after its award-winning 2022 Hollywood Fringe premiere. Written and directed by School of Night co-founder Christopher William Johnson and features fellow co-founder and multiple award-winning fight Choreographer and actor Jen Albert, as Boudica. Battlesong of Boudica is an ancient saga of the iron age, a primal spectacle of power and revenge told in song, spoken verse, dance and epic stage violence.
• Written, Directed, Production Design by Christopher William Johnson
• Fights Choreographed and Produced by Jen Albert
• Starring Daniel Adomian, Jen Albert, Tom Block, Colin A Borden, Payton Cella, Sara Gorsky, Brad C. Light, Chloe Madriaga, Chrisopher Neiman, Tristan Rewald, Lacey Rosewall, Lucy Schmidt, Allegra Rodriguez Shivers, Jack TenBarge, Jesse James Thomas, Frank Tirimacco, Dan Wingard
• Presented by The School of Night
• Sunday at 7 p.m.: April 9 (Opening),
• Sundays at 3 p.m.: April 16, April 23, April 30
• Monday at 8 p.m.: April 10 Pay-What-You-Can
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: April 14, April 21, April 28
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: April 15, April 22, April 29
The Hudson Backstage
6539 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
- For more information: https://schoolofnight.org/; 310-871-0621
- To purchase tickets: https://school-of-night.ticketleap.com/battlesong-of-boudica/
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