Samantha’s handsome neighbor “Dante” inspires her to think she’s going to Hell just for looking at him.
“The beginnings of the story are familiar: a man disillusioned with his life enters a wood in search of something. What follows however, is all new, equal parts horror, humor and hope. Through the course of the play we follow Dante and Virgil out of the wood and through history as Dante struggles to find his voice and the story of his life in order to save it.
Following the concept of the play is its construction; Reinhard interweaves text from historical speeches and quotes from such notables as Malcolm X, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Margaret Thatcher, Sojourner Truth, and Martin Luther King, Jr. into her original script. The result is an accurate and heartbreaking look at America’s past struggles and an equally hopeful look at its future.” —Theater Online
Contributed by Aisha Woodward (Bowdoin, ’08)
“. . .One popular genre consists of scenarios of hell. An entire wall of the exhibition is devoted to a play called ‘The Twice-Visited Netherworld,’ a sort of Dante’s Inferno in which a scholar receives a special tour of the torturous ‘Yellow Springs’ described in Chinese folk religion. One startlingly vivid set piece shows a skeletal figure being boiled in oil (the punishment for blackmail and slander); in another, pierced and bloody bodies languish on Knife Mountain (home to those who have killed people or animals). As the legend of Emperor Wu of Han suggests, shadow theater has always had a powerful connection to the afterlife.” [. . .] –Karen Rosenberg, The New York Times, February 8, 2008
Studio Dante (retrieved on January 30, 2008)
“Next season, Mr. Jurowski will return to Lincoln Center with the London Philharmonic, bearing Mozart, Mahler, Strauss, a full evening of Rachmaninoff and the American premiere of Vladimir Martynov’s opera Vita Nuova, after Dante’s neo-Platonic treatise on love in verse and prose.” –Matthew Gurewitsch, New York Times, January 27, 2008 (retrieved January 27, 2008)
See also: “Love Poems With Musical Annotation” by Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, March 1, 2009