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>The Sunset Limited

>Ratio Theatre Company and Outback Steakhouse will present the second production of their 2011-2012 season, The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men).

Ratio’s velvet curtain will rise again on November 18th with evening performances continuing on November 19, 25 and 26 at 8:00pm. Matinees November 20 and 27 at 2:00pm. All performances will be at The Scottish Rite Auditorium 516 Hancock St. New Bern, NC. Tickets are available through The Bank of the Arts (252) 638-2577 or www.ratiotheatre.org. Ticket prices are $18.00 in advance and $20.00 at the door.

Cormac McCarthy’s first novel, The Orchard Keeper, was published in 1965 after receiving a fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He left America for the home of his Irish ancestors (King Cormac McCarthy built Blarney Castle). McCarthy went on to receive numerous grants and fellowships while publishing another three novels (Outer Dark, Child of God, and Suttree), and a screenplay for a PBS film called The Gardener’s Son.

While receiving great critical attention, he did not garner much public acclaim until he penned the gothic western, Blood Meridian in 1985 which was declared “one of the best novels of the twentieth century” by critic Harold Bloom. All The Pretty Horses, the first volume of The Border Trilogy was released in 1992 and became a publishing sensation and was his first New York Times bestseller (All the Pretty Horses was adapted into a film in 2000, but met with less than positive reviews.). The Crossing in 1994 and Cities of the Plain in 1998 rounded out The Border Trilogy.

In recent years, McCarthy has once again garnered new critical acclaim and Hollywood attention with his two latest works, No Country for Old Men (2005) and The Road (2006). All the Pretty Horses had been adapted into a film in 2000, but was met with less than positive reviews. No Country for Old Men, released on film by the Coen brothers in 2007, was widely acclaimed and received a multitude of awards, including Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The Road was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction in 2006 and, in 2007, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Since then, the novel has been adapted to film and was released in 2009. Blood Meridian has also been adapted to the big screen and is currently classified as “in production” with a release date of 2015.

Rarely granting interviews, reliably silent about his work, McCarthy did concede to his first television interview with Oprah in June 2007, after she named The Road as her April 2007 Book Club selection. McCarthy currently lives north of Santa Fe with Jennifer and their son, and he satisfies his interest in science by spending time as a research fellow at the Santa Fe Institute.

The Sunset Limited, which McCarthy calls a novel in dramatic form, was recently produced for HBO. Adapted by the author (McCarthy) starring Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones (who also directed). Ratio’s production is directed by one of the company’s managing Partners, Joey Infinito. Infinito said about the play; “McCarthy’s novels are sparse and beautiful, pure imagery and poetry. This play perfectly captures that sense in dramatic form.” This production will star Ratio veteran, Ken Hamm of Morehead City as White and Vanceboro resident Guy Whimper as Black. “These two actors truly breathe these roles. It’s going to be a powerful and entertaining production.” says the director.

Synopsis: On a subway platform in New York City, an ex-con from the South saves the life of an intellectual atheist who wasn’t looking for salvation. Now, the reformed murderer-turned-savior ventures to offer salvation of another kind, bringing the failed suicide victim back to his Harlem apartment for an articulate and moving debate about truth, fiction and belief. The two men are named Black and White, as indeed they are. White is disillusioned and disenchanted by the modern world. Black had an epiphany after a nasty knife fight in the penitentiary and discovered a faith that he now wants to share with others, or at least with White. Is Black a guardian angel or just a sinner looking for redemption? Was White really saved, or is he stuck in a kind of purgatory? McCarthy’s philosophical drama poses more questions than answers. It is thought provoking while entertaining.

Submitted by: Andrea Owens, Ratio Theatre Company, 252-670-7736