Even though it's a Nobel Prize-winner, Elis Canetti's novel Auto da Fe is still a pretty esoteric text. But not for much longer, says Brian Freeland, artistic director for the LIDA Project, which will bring the 1935 book to the stage for the first time with an original adaptation by Rebecca Gorman O'Neill.
The multimedia theater production is the tragic, darkly comic tale of a mid-forties recluse who is obsessed with books. "He hires a young woman to essentially dust and take care of his apartment where these books are kept," explains Freeland. "Over the course of the book, you find that he ultimately falls in love with the fact that she cares for books as much as he does." But where would the drama be if it all worked out harmoniously? The literature-loving hermit is cast out of his fortress of books and thrust into the seedy underbelly of the outside world he tried so long to avoid.
As with all LIDA productions, this one comes complete with videos, sound, and an experience for the senses. "We really hope that folks will come and experience a piece of live storytelling, but in a much deeper, richer, experiential way than you would in a more traditional theater setting," says Freeland. "There's a lot of bombastic video and sound and experience that really all ties into the way that we tell stories."
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Auto da Fe opens today and runs Thursdays through Saturdays until June 2; shows are at 8 p.m. at the Laundry on Lawrence, 2701 Lawrence Street. Information and tickets -- $15 for students, $18 for seniors and $20 general admission -- are available at auto-da-fe.eventbrite.com.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: May 11. Continues through June 2, 2012