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Tug of War

Date: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, September 6–29, 2007, plus a special Wednesday performance on September 26
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, The Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater
Tickets: $35; students/seniors $30. Call (310) 440-7300 for tickets or use the "Get Tickets" button below.

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"A fresh translation of Plautus' Rudens tickles at the Getty Villa...the actors prove able singers, as well as virtuosic zanies...all comic standouts who are clearly having buckets of fun in this riotous, rollicking evening."
—F. Kathleen Foley, Los Angeles Times

An Ancient Roman Comedy with a Modern Twist
After a mighty storm wreaks havoc on a small coastal village, an old man searches for his lost daughter, two women of questionable reputation look for a better situation, and two impudent but resourceful slaves manage the whole affair. Find out how it all unfolds in the Getty's production of Tug of War.

A comedy with music where everyone wants what they can't have, Tug of War is the second annual classical play in the Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater, an outdoor theater based on ancient prototypes. Last year's inaugural production, Hippolytos, a dramatic tragedy, moved audiences and resulted in sold-out performances and rave reviews.

Tug of War

Director Meryl Friedman brings bawdiness and antic behavior to the stage in this theatrical production she adapted from an original translation by Amy Richlin from the Roman comedy Rudens, by Plautus.

Audiences should be prepared for a good laugh—actors often "break character," commenting on the play and various goings-on while a diverse array of musical numbers add additional whimsy to the proceedings. According to Friedman, her ultimate goal is to have the audience in stitches.

This production contains material that may not be suitable for young children.

About Plautus
Little is known about Titus Maccius Plautus (254–184 B.C.), one of Rome's most famous and influential playwrights. Born under modest circumstances in Umbria, north of Rome, Plautus was most likely a member of a theater troupe, and his familiarity with stagecraft suggests that he acted before turning to writing.

One of the finest examples of Plautine comedy, Rudens was first produced around 200 B.C.—a chaotic and war-filled time in Roman history. Like many of Plautus's plays, Rudens was designed to help Romans escape from the worries of everyday life. To acheive this goal, Plautus steered clear of political references and satiric innuendo, and instead filled his plays with boisterous routines of running gags, outrageous puns, slapstick, music, and dance.

Plautus wrote over 100 plays, 21 of which have survived to the present. His influence continues to be seen in theater today; Steven Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a composite of several of his plays.

FREE Shuttle and Pre-Paid Dining Options
For your convenience, a free shuttle from the Getty Center in Los Angeles to the Getty Villa in Malibu is available to each individual who purchases a Tug of War event ticket for performances between September 6–29.


Tug of War

The shuttle will pick up guests in the Getty Center parking structure, on level P1. Boarding will begin at 6:30 p.m., and the shuttle will leave the Getty Center at 6:40 p.m. Ticket holders must present their Tug of War tickets prior to entering the shuttle. The shuttle will depart the Getty Villa promptly at 10:00 p.m.

Shuttle space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have any questions, please call (310) 440-7300.

Pre-paid box dinners are also available, to be picked up at the Cafe at the Getty Villa before the performance. Please use the form below to fax or call in your menu selections and payment information by the Monday before the performance date purchased.

Download the box dinner reservation form (PDF, 250KB).

Please note that visitors will not be permitted to enter the site with food, beverages, or alcohol. All bags may be subject to security inspection, and backpacks and bags larger than 11 x 17 x 8 inches must be checked at the coat check in the Entry Pavilion.

Special Edition Getty Villa Blanket
Stay warm in the cool marine air with a special edition Getty Villa blanket. Made of a cozy fleece blend, it measures a generous 50 x 60 in. and comes with a carrying strap. Each blanket is $30.00, and is available for purchase before each performance at the top of the Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater or in the Museum Store. 

Get answers to frequently asked questions about this performance.


Tug of War


How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. Parking is $8 per car. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.

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