“Invested by an innovative director and uniformly excellent cast with surprisingly modern relevance…Head Trick breathes genuine life into Gabriel, a work that was way ahead of its time in understanding the subtleties of what makes men men and makes women women – if anything at all does.” —Motif Magazine
“Powerful and stylish production…[Pavao] really comes into her own with her stunning portrayal of Gabriel.” —Edge Media Network
The title character of George Sand’s Gabriel is passionate, athletic, nobly-minded, and the heir to both a principality and a secret: Gabriel is female, raised as a boy since birth. The young prince’s discovery of this secret plot to defraud the family’s lawful heir forces a choice that strikes at the heart of Gabriel’s sense of self: to ignore the voice of conscience and hold on to the rights and privileges of a man, or to live as a woman and sacrifice everything.
Head Trick’s production of Sand’s feminist parable, performed by a cast of female and non-binary actors, pits Gabriel against criminals and princes, the fantastic and nightmarish world of Carnival, and the pervasive social inequality from which even love and friendship are not safe. The company will hold post-show talkbacks with special guests to discuss the play, its feminist and trans themes, and the development process.
Gabriel opens Head Trick’s 2017-18 season, which responds to the political climate not with stories of government tyranny or business corruption, but with plays by, and about, the people marginalized by policies and rhetoric that repress difference. “Women and minorities aren’t a modern invention”, says Head Trick’s artistic director Rebecca Maxfield, whose company focuses on classic plays. “We’ve always been here, and in planning a season with the political situation at the forefront of our minds, Head Trick is choosing to put those voices and stories out there.”
by George Sand (Aurore Dupin)
translated by Gay Smith (Manifold)
Performed December 8-17 at AS220’s Black Box, Providence, RI
- Directed by Rebecca Maxfield
- GABRIEL…..Christine Pavao
- ASTOLPHE…..Kelly Robertson
- PRINCE JULES…..Sandra Laub
- ABBÉ CHIAVARI…..Amy Thompson
- FAUSTINA/VOLPE…..Destinee Mangum
- ANTONIO/MEZZANI…..Ashley Macamaux
- SETTIMIA/POLICEMAN…..Sarah Sinclair
- BROTHER COMO/HOST…..Rebecca Tung
- MARC…..Sissy O’Hara
- SANCHO/MENRIQUE…..Nina Carbone
- GIGLIO…..Morgan Potter
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin (1804-1876), who wrote as George Sand, is known for her unconventional lifestyle as much as for her writing. By adopting male dress, Sand shocked fashionable society, but was also able to experience firsthand a level of day-to-day freedom unavailable to most women. Her interest in women’s rights influenced her novels and plays about the struggle for freedom and idealistic love against the constraints a fundamentally gender-unequal society places on women.