Immortal Beethovencreated by The Moving Company
Sat Jul 30, 2022
In this imaginative play with music, Beethoven comes to life in a new way. The Moving Company’s Nathan Keepers, Sarah Agnew and Steven Epp portray fictional and historical characters who pose a few questions to Beethoven: What’s the work of the artist today? Does that change across history? Directed by Dominique Serrand, and featuring live music performed by the Orchestra with Sarah Hicks conducting, the work examines Beethoven’s impact over the generations.
This performance will run approximately 75 minutes without intermission.
A Few Things to Know
- The Moving Company offered these comments on the ideas that went into creating the musical play Immortal Beethoven:
"Ludwig van Beethoven wasn’t the most jovial of people, you might say. He was known to be cantankerous and misanthropic—and singularly focused on his work, which caused him great joy and pain. When we started to read about him and his life, we were struck by the reality of his persona put next to his music. So we started to explore questions like who he was, who we think he was, who he wasn’t, what he made, what we think he made, what we hear when we listen to his music, what he was hearing in his head, why we still care—and why wouldn’t we still care?"
- These avenues of inquiry led to even broader questions. Can you separate the artist from the art? Do the events of an artist’s life inform the work solely? Or is it a pursuit of form, a need to break from the traditions and carve your own path? We can’t ever fully know—but does it matter if we do? And what happens if that artist’s life is combed over, picked through and argued about for 200 years? Can you hear the music the same way the very first audience did? With awe, and sometimes anger?
- In this performance, audience members are invited to imagine they’ve never heard of, or heard little of, this composer Ludwig van Beethoven. And to discover some things about him, but most importantly, listen to his music for the first time.
Date & Time
The Moving Company
stage director and writer
writer and actor
writer and actor
music and creative partner
The Grammy Award-winning Minnesota Orchestra, led by Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård—who is serving as music director designate during the 2022-23 season—is recognized for distinguished performances around the world, award-winning recordings and broadcasts, educational engagement programs, and commitment to building the orchestral repertoire of the future. Founded in 1903, the Orchestra has an extensive history of touring throughout Minnesota, nationally and abroad, including high-profile visits in recent years to Cuba, Europe and South Africa. Recording projects undertaken in the past two decades include complete cycles of symphonies by Beethoven, Sibelius and Mahler, all recorded under Osmo Vänskä, who is now the Orchestra’s conductor laureate.
Sarah Hicks is the Minnesota Orchestra’s principal conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall, a role in which she oversees planning for and conducts many concerts in the broad-spectrum series of popular music, jazz, Broadway classics, movie scores and other genres. She also conducted the Inside the Classics and Sam & Sarah series for ten seasons.
Hicks’ career has seen collaborations with a diverse range of artists, from Hilary Hahn and Dmitri Hvorostovsky to Rufus Wainwright, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson. She has been an artistic leader in concerts featuring artists from Minnesota’s internationally-renowned popular music scene—including shows with The New Standards, multiple sold-out performances with Dessa and a live-in-concert recording released on Doomtree Records, and collaborations with indie band Cloud Cult. A specialist in film music and the film in concert genre, she is passionate about creating concert experiences which combine sight and sound, and that welcome new audiences to the orchestral genre.
The Moving Company is devoted to creating new and imaginative theatre that is grounded in the present, rooted in its creators’ shared past, and always questioning the possible. They pursue a unique vocabulary using improvisation and play, space, image, movement, language and music to investigate the poetic and human. Locally, their work includes Anamnesis, Speechless, Liberty Falls, Come Hell and High Water and Refugia with the Guthrie Theater. Nationally, they have been seen at Berkeley Repertory Theater, South Coast Rep, the Shakespeare Theater, D.C., and Playmakers Rep, as well as teaching residencies at Stanford University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota and Gustavus Adolphus College.
Paris native Dominique Serrand, who is co-artistic director of The Moving Company, was artistic director and one of the co-founders of Theatre de la Jeune Lune from 1978 to 2008. He studied at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris. He has acted, conceived, directed, and designed sets, lights and video for most productions of Jeune Lune and The Moving Company for over 30 years, concentrating primarily on directing. He has also staged several operas. He has directed on stages such as Berkeley Rep, Playmakers, La Jolla Playhouse, Yale Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Actors Theater of Louisville, the Guthrie Theater, Children’s Theatre Company, the Alley Theatre, and the Shakespeare Theatre Company of D.C., amongst others. His awards include 2006 Best Production honors for The Miser in Boston, Houston, San Diego, Minneapolis and San Francisco; a 2005 Tony Award for Best Regional Theater; and being named a 2005 USA ARTIST Fellow, Ford and Bush Fellow. He has also been knighted by the French Government in the order of Arts and Letters.
Nathan Keepers, producing artistic director of The Moving Company, has co-created many works including Out of the Pan Into the Fire, Werther and Lotte, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Come Hell and High Water, Every Sentence Is For The Birds, Liberty Falls, 54321, Speechless, The 4 Seasons, What If, Anamnesis and Refugia at the Guthrie. He was a company member at Theatre de la Jeune Lune for 11 seasons. He has also performed locally at the Guthrie, the Jungle Theater, Ten Thousand Things Theater, Sod House Theater, Children’s Theatre Company and Augsburg Varsity Theater. Beyond Minnesota he has worked with Actors Theatre of Louisville, Playmakers Repertory, American Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Rep, the Alley Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, The Folger Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company of D.C. He has studied with Pierre Byland and Philippe Gaulier.
Sarah Agnew is an actor, writer, teacher, director and producer based in Minneapolis. As a former company member of Theatre de la Jeune Lune, she collaborated on more than 15 productions and appeared in national tours of both Tartuffe and Hamlet. She has created and co-directed new work at Open Eye Figure Theater, the Guthrie and the Southern Theater. She has performed at Yale Repertory Theater, Berkeley Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse, Mixed Blood, Sod House, Alley, Ten Thousand Things, the Guthrie and others companies and venues. She is currently a producer of new television content for Children’s Hospitals’ in-house TV channel. This fall she’ll be developing, directing and appearing in Sod House Theater’s new piece, Table.
Steven Epp is an actor, writer and co-artistic director of The Moving Company. His acting and writing credits include The House Can’t Stand, Come Hell and High Water, Out of the Pan Into the Fire, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Liberty Falls, Speechless, The 4 Seasons, What If, Anamnesis, Imaginary Invalid at Playmakers, Massoud for Center Theatre Group, L.A. Tartuffe at South Coast Rep, and Refugia at the Guthrie. His credits include productions at the Guthrie, Children’s Theatre Company, Ten Thousand Things Theater, the Jungle Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Trinity Repertory Theatre, the Spoleto Festival, American Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Alley Theatre, The Old Globe, Center-Stage, Berkeley Rep, the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Seattle Rep, and the New Victory Theatre, as well as Theatre for a New Audience, off-Broadway. He was an actor, writer and co-artistic director at Theatre de la Jeune Lune from 1983 to 2008. He has co-authored numerous plays including Children of Paradise, winner of the 1993 Outer-Critics Circle Award for best new play. He has been a Fox Fellow, McKnight Playwrights’ Center Theatre Artist Fellow and a Beinecke Fellow, Yale University, and won the 2012 Helen Hayes Award for Best Actor, and a 2017 Ivey Award.
Violist Sam Bergman joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2000. Born in Boston, he grew up primarily in small-town Pennsylvania, studying violin and viola with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra. He attended Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, studying viola with Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey, and was a member of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra before coming to Minneapolis. Since 2005, he has produced, written and hosted more than 40 original narrated shows for the Minnesota Orchestra, many with conductor Sarah Hicks for the Orchestra’s Inside the Classics series.
Your Concert Experience
Join us for Q&A’s, hosted discussions, exhibits and more. All free with your concert ticket!
Sounds + Bites
Come early and stay late for Sounds + Bites: special food experiences and free entertainment by outstanding local performers on the magnificent Peavey Plaza. Enjoy a cocktail beside the reflecting pool during our $5 Happy Hour while you listen. Learn more.
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask TheatreExhibit
Where: Balcony A Lobby
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre uses water, flour, newspaper, paint, and unlimited imagination to tell stories that explore the struggles and celebrations of human existence. Come see themed displays of puppets created by HOBT artists; from large dragon masks to a collection of winged creatures!
- Assistive Listening Devices
- Large Print Programs
- Service Animals
- Wheelchair & Accessible Seating
Additional services are available upon request.
The Creative Partner position is supported by Marilyn and Glen Nelson.