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Synetic season goes from dark to light

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Entertainment,Music,Barbara Mackay

Paata Tsikurishvili, artistic director of Synetic Theater, is still glowing over the four Helen Hayes Awards and 15 nominations his company earned last year. "I was really thrilled because it was the first time for us that one production, 'King Lear,' got nominated in every single category," he said.

Synetic, which has a history of excelling with dark plays, will begin its 2012-2013 season with one of the darkest: "Jekyll and Hyde," adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson's novel and directed by Tsikurishvili. "I love edgy, gritty stories, and when I read this, I thought, 'This fits us really well.'

"I'm fascinated by human nature, and this play tells an extreme tale about human beings. In the story, the hero is trying to extract the evil soul from himself to be a perfect man. The plot has biblical, spiritual and scientific elements. It's about what it is that we all carry within us, and combines all those things into a creepy, bizarre, unsure world." "Jekyll and Hyde" runs through Oct. 21 and stars Alex Mills.

The second production in the Synetic season (Dec. 6 to Jan. 6) will be "A Trip to the Moon," directed by Natsu Onoda Power. Based on the famous 1902 silent film by Georges Melies, "A Trip to the Moon" follows the adventures of six astronauts sent to the moon by way of a cannon.

If you go
Synetic Theater
Where: 1800 S. Bell St., Arlington
When: Season runs through Aug. 4, 2013
Info: 703-824-8061; synetictheater.org

"Natsu is a wonderful asset for Synetic," said Tsikurishvili. "She thinks outside the box and is continually working in untraditional ways. A lot of the play will be based on the original film, but there will also be Natsu's take on it. It will be a wonderful journey for the audience."

From Feb. 24 to March 24, Synetic will produce "The Tempest." "It's a play I've always wanted to do," said Tsikurishvili. "One day I woke up and thought, 'OK, I'm ready.' I have a great concept and I'm sure 'The Tempest' will top all the silent Shakespeare plays we've done. There will of course be water. I'll also use multimedia and surround projections, to try to tell the familiar story in a new way."

From May 9 to June 9, Synetic will produce "The Three Musketeers." "From my childhood, I've been attracted to this story," said Tsikurishvili. "It's comic, romantic, sexy, and it just seemed right to close the season with something that is funny."

Back for a limited run after the official end of the season, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" will run July 24 to Aug. 4. "I think the theater community in D.C. is so talented and so diverse," Tsikurishvili concluded. "I'm proud that my actors and I can be part of it."

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