View 2017 Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage performance : Grant Bagley- Videographer
ANTHONY E.GALLO 202 544 6973 agallo2368@verizon.
This play is the third in the dramatist’s Dynastic Trilogy (includes The Agony of David and The Last Daysof King Solomon) of three monarchs whose legacy is still pervasive both in the Abrahamic religions and the modern secular world. As in the other two, Samuel 1, Chronicles and Josephus are the basic sources.
Saul was Israel’s first king, following two hundred years of being ruled by judges or seers. God, speaking through Samuel, warned against a kingship, but eventually allowed the people to have their way. This play deals with Saul’s tragic kinship. A mighty warrior who succeeded in the battlefield, Saul aroused the enmity of an already jealous Samuel because he (Saul) had disobeyed God’s Will by not killing all the Amalekites rather than just some of them. Saul eventually loses both human and divine favor because of his character flaws. He comes into conflict with his biological son Jonathan, adopted son David (eventually king), daughter Michal and all others around him as he deals with his own melancholy and eventual destruction while creating and defending the nation of Israel.
Samuel secretly anoints a remarkable young shepherd boy, David, to be the next king. Following this downfall, life for Saul get’s worse. Samuel never speaks to him again. Saul wins battle after battle, but David out-shines him in battle, even killing the ferocious giant Goliath. Saul‘s children submit to this new warrior-fighter, poet, harpist, lover, and warrior, to Saul’s chagrin. Saul becomes depressed, and becomes melancholic. He even visits the Witches of Endor who lead him to the dead soul of Samuel, who gives Saul no comfort. Saul finally dies in battle, falling on his own sword—essentially a suicide. His sons died with him, and David becomes king.
The ingredients in this play make for intense drama more in line with the ancient Greek tragedies: murder, betrayal, power, depression, fighting, military battles, insecurity, and jealousy. All based on Samuel 1 and Josephus. Even the occult has a role in the play.
Not exactly a nice Sunday school story.
First Witch of Endor Renate Wallenberg
Second Witch of Endor Emily Canavan
Abner George Spencer
Samuel, Chief Judge of Israel Sam Simon
Saul, First King of Israel Tim Wolf
Johnathan, Saul’s son Julian Ball
David Second King of Israel Aref Dajani
Jesse, David’s Father Grant Bagley
Michal Emily Canavan
Ahimelch Rod Ross
Joel Aref Dajani
Ensemble Entire Cast
Sound and Narration Beatrix Whitehall