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.
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.
I’ve known Joe Popp since early 1999. I met him at an audition in the Jaeb Theater at TBPAC for a weird little show called
- David M. Jenkins – Director
- Xylina Golding – Stage Manager
- Heather Atkinson – Pia Shim / Yapshi / 2nd Actor / Therese
- Summer Bohnenkamp – Verrier
- Ami Sallee – Ulla Shim / Madeleine / Procell / Barbara / Lilith / Mary Ann Clarke
- Jason Evans – Callimachus / Nicolas Vidal / Jack Easter
- Steve Garland – The Devil
- Chris Holcom – Actor
- Caroline Jett – Catherine Lamb
- Leah LoSchiavo – Nancy Kyle / Polyxene / Alette /Soneillon / Isobel Nider / Mrs. Mendoza
- Michael C. McGreevy – Milo Milo / Daniel Mendoza
- Shawn Paonessa – Sam Kyle
- Christopher Rutherford – Belial / Jesus Christ / Dante / Macready / Duke of York
- Ron Sommer – Judge Felix Popper
- Katrina Stevenson – Jane Beck
- David M. Jenkins – Sound Designer
- Spencer Meyers – Costume Designer
- Brian M. Smallheer – Lighting and Scenic Designer
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