The History of the Devil
By Clive Barker
Directed by David M. Jenkins
10th Anniversary Production
Oct. 30 – Nov. 16, 2008
Thu. – Sat. 8pm, Sun. 4pm
Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center for the Performing Arts
The trial of the new millennium is about to begin and Tampa Bay has been called for jury duty as Jobsite Theater revisits the play that put them on the area cultural map – horror guru Clive Barker’s The History of the Devil.
“A mixture of Decline and Fall, Paradise Lost, Perry Mason and Flash Gordon.” – The Guardian
The History of the Devil takes place at the Devil's parole hearing, where the audience attends as would-be jurors and are transported back in time via vignettes of testimony that illustrate the Devil’s actions throughout history. Notable appearances in the court and during flashbacks include Dante, Jesus Christ and Lilith.
Frequently fantastic, often grotesque, and chock full of wry humor in true Clive Barker style, this show’s ambitious scope and staging will celebrate ten years of Jobsite’s distinctive work in Tampa Bay as a cutting-edge theater company that creates compelling, adventurous and stimulating work.
In The History of the Devil, the prosecution argues that the Devil’s presence on Earth has had a disastrous effect on mankind, whereas the defense counters that the Devil is – and always has been – man’s greatest scapegoat. The Devil demands that he be found innocent and be released to return to Heaven.
Throughout the play, as we examine how the modern world views the archetypal battle between good and evil, we are faced with many core questions: Has the Devil wreaked havoc on Earth, or has he simply been an innocent observer of the human condition all these thousands of years? Does any being, no matter how terrifying it may seem, deserve an eternity of suffering? Does even the Devil eventually deserve Paradise?
The History of the Historians
The History of the Devil was written in the early 1980s, and published in 1995 as part of a collection of plays called Incarnations. Clive Barker never intended the play to be published, originally writing it to be developed and performed by his own London theatre, The Dog Company, with himself as director and Doug Bradley (who would eventually gain fame as Pinhead in Barker’s Hellraiser films) as the Devil. Since 1995, the play has been performed all around the world, often resulting in banned productions in some cities that deemed the content “too blasphemous”. According to Clive Barker, The History of the Devil is a story best described as “John Milton meets John Grisham.”
Jobsite originally produced The History of the Devil in 1999. It was the third play they performed at TBPAC, while they still split time at Ybor’s Silver Meteor Gallery, with late night performances that took place at 10pm. Jobsite now performs exclusively at TBPAC, and in their eleventh year, they are boasting over 41% more season ticket holders than they did in 2007–08. The 1999 production of The History of the Devil averaged 134 attendees per performance, with lines wrapping around the corner of the building on many nights full of people hoping to get a ticket. It was Jobsite’s first major blockbuster.
About the Artists
The 10th anniversary production includes four actors who were part of the original cast. Caroline Jett reprises her role as prosecuting attorney Catherine Lamb, and Chris Holcom is back again as the narrator figure, The Actor. Shawn Paonessa (defense attorney Sam Kyle) and Jason Vaughan Evans (as several characters in flashback testimony) return to the production in different roles than they played in 1999.
The show features four Best of the Bay Award winning actors (including Holcom): Steve Garland as the Devil, Ami Sallee Corley as Lilith (among other roles) and Katrina Stevenson as prosecuting attorney Jane Beck. This stellar cast is rounded out by Heather Atkinson (Pia Shim, et al), Summer Bohnenkamp-Jenkins (Verrier), Christopher Rutherford (Belial, et al), Leah LoSchiavo (Isobel Nider, et al), Michael McGreevy (Milo Milo, et al) and Ron Sommer (Judge Felix Popper).
The show is designed by Brian Smallheer (lights and set), Spencer Meyers (costumes) and David M. Jenkins (sound).
Read more about the cast and crew.
Clive Barker is the internationally bestselling author of more than twenty books for adults and children including Books of Blood, Everville, The Thief of Always and Abarat. He was born in Liverpool in 1952, and lived near the famed Penny Lane. Before gaining recognition as a writer of short stories and novels, he wrote many plays for The Dog Company in London, of which he was a co-founder. He is a widely acclaimed artist (Bert Green Fine Art Gallery, Bess Cutler Gallery), film producer (Candyman, Gods and Monsters), screenwriter (Rawhead Rex, Transmutations), and director (Hellraiser, Lord of Illusions). He lives with his partner, the renowned photographer David Armstrong, in Beverly Hills.