England’s National Theatre Live in Grass Valley!

I spoke to Mike Getz today, owner of Sierra Cinemas, about their exciting new partnership with the National Theatre Live of London, which broadcasts live stage plays via satellite to a number of suitably equipped theaters throughout the world.

Now — thanks to extensive infrastructure upgrades Mike made to his theater on East Main in Grass Valley — local viewers will be able to see these plays too.

Here’s the press release Mike sent out today to his theater schedule subscribers:

“Sierra Cinemas, right here in Grass Valley is pleased to announce that it is partnering up with the National Theatre of London, England to present a series of extraordinary plays to show live via satellite on the big screen. Now equipped with state of the art digital projection, Sierra Cinemas will transport you direct to the London stage for an unforgettable live theater experience, without the air fare.

“The new season kicks off on September 30 with Phèdre, a classic tragedy of lust and betrayal. Academy Award winner Helen Mirren stars in the title role as a woman consumed by an uncontrollable passion for her young stepson. Believing Theseus, her absent husband to be dead, Phèdre confesses her darkest desires and enters the world of nightmare. When Theseus returns alive and well, Phèdre, fearing exposure, turns on her stepson with catastrophic results.”

Ticket Information for NT Live:

Adults: $18
Children, Seniors, and Students with current ID: $15

All Season Pass: $95 ($126 value – must be purchased by first event)
Group Rates: For groups of 20 or more, Adults $15, Child/Snr/Student $12.50. Group tickets must be purchased in advance.

Advance tickets available at the Sierra Cinemas Box Office.

Sierra Cinemas is located at 840-C East Main Street at the corner of Hughes Road in Grass Valley.

The 2010 season showcases seven productions that will be broadcast at Sierra Cinemas in Grass Valley. Each play will be screened twice – the first will be a live broadcast on Thursday evening at 7:15 pm, and the second will be an encore performance on Saturday morning at 10:00 am one week after the Thursday event.

A summary of this season’s productions:

September 30 & October 9

An encore performance of the 2009 production of Phèdre will start off the 2010 season in late September.  Helen Mirren takes the title role in this savage play by Jean Racine, translated into muscular free verse by the late Poet Laureate, Ted Hughes.

A Disappearing Number
October 14 & 23

The season will launch on October 14, 2010 with Complicite’s A Disappearing Number live from Theatre Royal Plymouth. Directed by Simon McBurney. Awards include the Olivier Award for Best New Play (2008), the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play (2007) and The Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Best New Play (2007).

December 9 & 18

On December 9, 2010 Hamlet will be broadcast, directed by Nicholas Hytner featuring Rory Kinnear in the title role, David Calder as Polonius, Clare Higgins as Gertrude, Patrick Malahide as Claudius and Ruth Negga as Ophelia.

January 13 & 22

A provocative and wholly unique hybrid of dance, theatre and music, FELA!explores the extravagant, decadent and rebellious world of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones.  Tony winning musical FELA! will be broadcast on January 13, 2011.

King Lear
February 3 & 12

The Donmar Warehouse’s production of King Lear will be broadcast as part of the second season of National Theatre Live on February 3, 2011.
An ageing monarch. A kingdom divided. A child’s love rejected. As Lear’s world descends into chaos, all that he once believed is brought into question.

One of the greatest works in western literature, King Lear explores the very nature of human existence: love and duty, power and loss, good and evil.

Derek Jacobi and Michael Grandage renew their collaboration, having previously worked together on The TempestDon Carlos and Twelfth Night.Grandage’s creative team – Christopher Oram, Neil Austin and Adam Cork are the Tony Award-winning team behind the company’s recent Broadway smash hit Red.

March 17 & 26

Danny Boyle’s production ofFrankenstein, a play by Nick Dear, based on the novel by Mary Shelley will follow on March 17, 2011.

The Cherry Orchard
June 30 & July 9

Also in the new season will be Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, directed by NT Associate Director Howard Davies, whose recent productions of Russian plays (includingPhilistinesBurnt by the Sun and The White Guard) have earned huge critical acclaim.  Zoë Wanamaker will play Madame Ranevskaya.

Sierra Theaters Presents National Theatre Live

National Theatre Live is a groundbreaking initiative to broadcast live performances from Britain’s stages to cinemas worldwide. The first season of events, which began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phèdrestarring Helen Mirren, was seen by over 150,000 people on 320 screens in 22 countries.  Each performance is filmed in high definition and broadcast via satellite and includes behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with artists.

Sierra Theaters in Grass Valley will be one of only ten California cinemas to broadcast the 2010 season.  Equipped with state of the art digital projection and Dolby Digital surround sound, Sierra Cinemas offers audiences the exclusive opportunity to be transported to London for an extraordinary live theater experience.

“We couldn’t have foreseen that the experimental National Theatre Live season would be such a hit with audiences around the world, who are hungry to see our work in their local cinema”, says Nicholas Hytner, Director of the National Theatre. “We’re delighted that we can confidently build on its success with a second season of broadcasts.”

This season’s line up includes two thrilling collaborations with other British theatre companies, Complicite and the Donmar Warehouse.

“A smashing success.” LA Times

“If you haven’t experienced NT Live yet, I can’t recommend it too highly.” Daily Telegraph

For press clippings, click here.

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