Local storyteller David Novak shares his solo rendition of Gilgamesh as part of the Professional Storytelling Series at Provincetown Playhouse on Sunday, April 19.
Press release from Novak:
“I will rebuild the temple and the scribes will write of my adventure. I have no doubt, but that in five thousand years it will still be a good story.” So says the Sumerian king, Gilgamesh, in David Novak’s theatrical retelling of this ancient epic. Five thousand years later, the story stands as history’s earliest written epic, and a pattern for all great stories that follow. And, in Novak’s hands, it still is a good story.
Local performing artist, David Novak, brings his unique storytelling style to New York City this spring. Novak’s solo rendition of Gilgamesh will be part of the long running, Professional Storytelling Series at Provincetown Playhouse, sponsored by the Educational Theater Program of NYU’s Steinhardt School.
Novak first crafted his performance for The Catalyst Series at North Carolina Stage Company in downtown Asheville. Asheville Citizen-Times reviewer, Jim Cavener, wrote:
“David Novak is simply an exceptional storyteller, and his production of the renowned “Gilgamesh” at North Carolina Stage Company is well worth seeing.
“Poetic construct, and awesome meter and cadence, coupled with this moving tale of lost love make for powerful theater.”
Novak credits the generosity and support of NC Stage for the opportunity to develop new work. “With The Catalyst Series, NC Stage gives a great gift to local artists: a place to grow. Many folks want to see Asheville become the “Broadway of the South,” mistakenly thinking the way to do that is to bring New York productions to Asheville theatres. The Catalyst Series demonstrates that we can nurture work in Asheville theatres to bring to New York.
“Asheville is lucky to have such talented and skilled artists like David in its midst and NC Stage is happy to be able to foster the great stories he tells!” said Charlie Flynn-McIver, Founder and Artistic Director.
“This is an epic story cycle,” Novak says, “ with something for everyone: a steamy seduction; an heroic monster-slaying; a terrifying battle with heaven; and a grief-stricken hero’s quest. Gilgamesh was originally spoken. And although it is the first written epic, for thousands of years it was a great telling experience.
“The storyteller is co-creator of the tale, working with episodes and themes received from tradition while reshaping them to the present moment. Storytellers historically adapted their stories to suit the cultural and political moment; whether to establish the authority of the king, or to offer counsel on the nature of leadership. To make Gilgamesh a dynamic, living, story I give my own voice to issues in the story that speak to our time.”
David Novak performs in New York on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. at the Provincetown Playhouse.