An Iliad

An Iliad

By Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare
Translated by Robert Fagles
Directed By David Ellenstein

From: Nancy Richards
Office: 858-481-1055 ext.

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Based on Homer’s ‘The Iliad’
By Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare
Translated by Robert Fagles
Directed By David Ellenstein
Featuring Richard Baird
March 31 – April 10, 2022

Solana Beach, Calif. – North Coast Rep announces the return engagement of AN ILIAD, a dynamic tour-de-force adaptation of Homer’s classic poem about the Trojan War. A war-weary poet recalls the nobility, savagery and valor of the battles and warriors, while deftly exploring the human costs of war through the centuries. Award-winning actor Richard Baird vividly brings to life the power and humor of this brilliant adaptation by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare. With an evocative accompaniment by Amanda Schaar, this is an enthralling, theatrical experience that is not to be missed.

David Ellenstein directs the award-winning Richard Baird on North Coast Rep’s mainstage. The play was streamed last year as part of our steaming series and David Ellenstein felt it was an important piece of theatre and that our audience should see this live on stage.

Set by Scenic Designer Marty Burnett and props by Phillip Korth. Aaron Rumley is the Stage Manager and Lighting/Sound Designer.

AN ILIAD will be performed from March 31 – April 10 as a limited run.


DENIS O’HARE (Co-Adaptor) is an actor and writer who lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Mr. O’Hare attended Northwestern University where he studied poetry for two years under Alan Shapiro, Mary Kinzie, and Reginald Gibbons. He ultimately received a B.S. in the theatre department and pursued an acting career in Chicago while maintaining a literary salon called the “Ansuz.” In 1992, Mr. O’Hare moved to New York to continue his acting career where he appeared in numerous productions on Broadway and Off-Broadway all the while exploring creative writing in the form of plays and screenplays. He has written three screenplays, numerous poems, and one other play. Mr. O’Hare and Ms. Petersen began collaborating on An Iliad in 2006 and honed the project through multiple workshops with New York Theatre Workshop at Vassar and Dartmouth and with the Sundance Lab Institute. Denis is married to Hugo Redwood, an interior designer, with whom he has a son.

LISA PETERSON (Co-Adaptor) is a theatre director who wrote and adapted An Iliad with actor Denis O’Hare, for which they won 2012 Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards. Her other adaptations include The Waves, adapted from the novel by Virginia Woolf, with composer David Bucknam (Drama Desk nominations), the upcoming The Good Book with Denis O’Hare, and Insurance Men with composer Todd Almond. She was Resident Director at the Mark Taper Forum for ten years, and Associate Director at La Jolla Playhouse for three years before that. Her directing credits include the world premieres of Tony Kushner’s Slavs!, Donald Margulies’ Collected Stories and The Model Apartment, Naomi Wallace’ Trestle At Pope Lick Creek, Janusz Glowacki’s The Fourth Sister, John Belluso’s The Poor Itch, Beth Henley’s Ridiculous Fraud, Jose Rivera’s Sueno, Marlane Meyer’s The Chemistry Of Change, and many others. She has worked at theatres around the country including New York Theater Workshop, The Public, Playwrights Horizons, The Vineyard, Primary Stages, Manhattan Theater Club, MCC, Guthrie Theater, Seattle Rep, Berkeley Rep, Actors Theater of Louisville, Arena Stage, Yale Rep, and the McCarter Theater. Lisa won an Obie in 1991 for Caryl Churchill’s Light Shining In Buckinghamshire at NYTW, and Dramalogue, Drama Desk, and Calloway Award nominations for many other productions. She was the recipient of a TCG/NEA Career Development grant, and regularly develops new plays with the Sundance Theater Lab, New Dramatists, The Playwrights’ Center, and the O’Neill Theater Center. She is a graduate of Yale College, and a member of Ensemble Studio Theater, and the executive board of SDC.

DAVID ELLENSTEIN (Director) Born into a theatrical family, David has worked in theatres across the country. Before joining North Coast Rep in 2003 he served as Artistic Director for the Los Angeles Repertory Company and the Arizona Jewish Theatre Company (AJTC). A veteran of over 300 theatrical productions, directorial favorites include: North Coast Rep –  The Homecoming, Ben Butler, The Outsider, Holmes & Watson, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Father, Travels with My Aunt, The Illusion, Way Downriver; William Faulkner’s ‘Old Man’ (West Coast Premiere), Freud’s Last Session (San Diego Premiere), Faded Glory (World Premiere), Mandate Memories (World Premiere), Becoming Cuba (World Premiere), Time Stands Still, Words by: Ira Gershwin and the Great American Songbook (World Premiere), My Name is Asher Lev, The Drawer Boy, Becky’s New Car, Ghosts, The Tempest, Talley’s Folly, Over the Tavern, Old Wicked Songs, The Dresser, Rashomon, A Moon for the Misbegotten; Tuesdays With Morrie; Collected Stories; Halpern and Johnson; Romeo and Juliet; Amy’s View; Einstein Comes Through (also co-author); The Chosen; and A Life in the Theatre. Coconut Grove Playhouse – Sonia Flew starring Lucie Arnaz; Halpern and Johnson starring Hal Linden and Brian Murray. Papermill Playhouse – The Chosen starring Theodore Bikel and John Lloyd Young. 59E59 – His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley. Park Square
& Colony Theatre – Words By. Portland Stage – Halpern and Johnson. Renaissance Theatre – Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Actor’s Theatre of Phoenix – Rabbit Hole. Alabama Shakespeare Festival – The Glass Menagerie, Rocket City (World Premiere) and Honky-Tonk Angels. Laguna Playhouse – Chapatti, Alexandros (World Premiere). Southwest Shakespeare Company – Cyrano de Bergerac. AJTC – Awake and Sing. Meadow Brook Theatre – A Christmas Carol. Portland Rep – Conversations With My Father and Gaslamp Quarter Theatre – A Shayna Maidel. Winner of numerous theatre awards, including the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award for “2018 Director of the Year.” Favorite roles as an actor include Andrey Botvinnik in A Walk in the Woods, Max Prince in Laughter on the 23rd Floor, at North Coast Rep, title roles in Hamlet at Los Angeles Theatre Center and Los Angeles Repertory Company; Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof at Moonlight Stage, and Richard III at California Shakespeare Festival;  David has also been guest faculty for numerous universities including California State Northridge, Cal Arts, and Shakespeare workshops privately.

RICHARD BAIRD* (The Poet) ) is an award-winning actor, director and producer. Productions at North Coast Rep include: The Homecoming, Ben Butler, An Iliad, Gabriel, The Father, Around the World in Eighty Days, Travels with My Aunt; Way Downriver; William Faulkner’s ‘Old Man,’ Betrayal, The Dumb Waiter/The Lover, Ghosts, and many more. At NCRT he has directed Dancing Lessons, Amadeus, A Walk in the Woods and Of Mice and Men.  Richard is the Founding Artistic Director of New Fortune Theatre Company where he has directed and appeared in Henry the Fifth (Craig Noel San Diego Critics Circle awards for Outstanding Direction and Lead Performance), The Birthday Party (McCann) and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (co director/ Valmont). Richard has appeared in regional theatres across the country, including The Old Globe, Backyard Renaissance, Santa Barbara Theatre Ensemble, San Diego Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Portland Centre Stage, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Arizona Theatre Company, Southwest Shakespeare Company (AriZoni Best Actor for Cyrano de Bergerac), Kingsmen Shakespeare and has directed for Intrepid Theatre and Diversionary Theatre.

AMANDA SCHAAR (The Muse) An acclaimed writer, musician and actress, Amanda has appeared in experimental and classical venues around the country. Credits include, North Coast Repertory Theatre; Perfect Wedding, Odd Couple; New Fortune: Henry VBirthday Party, Les Liaisons Dangereuses; Poor Players: Measure for Measure and Richard II; Sledgehammer: Heaven on Earth; Timeline Theatre Company (Chicago): Pitmen Painters (US Premiere) (Chicago Jeff Award, Best Ensemble), The Front Page (Jeff Nomination, Best Show); Northwestern University; Teatro Caliente Festival; Teatro Bravo; TIMB; Stray Cat; and a National Tour of New Voices. Amanda is proud to have written extensively for theatrical performance (notable: The Black Chicken, Naked with a Banjo, and Pancake of Truth), as well as full-length plays: Rummy Starker Love Fest (Best Avant Garde – EV Trib.), Kill Socrates, A Comedy, Twelfth Night of the Living Dead, and a new translation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters. Amanda holds a B.A. in Theatre from the Herberger College of Fine Arts, highest honors. Her first novella, Nothing to Wear, is slated for publication Spring ’21. This one’s for all us poor sinners…

AARON RUMLEY* (Stage Manager, Lighting & Sound Designer) has worked on over 120 shows at North Coast Rep, over 50 as a stage manager, over 20 as a designer.


MARTY BURNETT (Set Design) Resident Designer at North Coast Rep since 1992, designing more than 200 productions for the theater. Other design venues include Sahara and Hacienda hotels in Las Vegas, Claridge Hotel, Atlantic City and Drury Lane Chicago.

PHILLIP KORTH (Props) is an actor, writer, craftsman, and educator. He earned BAs in Acting and Creative Writing from Western Michigan University and his MFA in Acting from the University of Connecticut. He is a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps and served two tours of duty in Iraq. In addition to designing and managing props for NCRT, Phillip is also the Education Associate at The Theatre School @ North Coast Rep.