Galatea is a rock musical adaptation of Ovid’s classic myth Pygmalion, which tells the chilling tale of an obsessed sculptor whose statue comes to life.
“Pygmalion, loathing their lascivious life, Abhorred all womankind, but most a wife: So single chose to live, and shunned to wed…
In sculpture exercised his happy skill; And carved in ivory such a maid, so fair, As Nature could not with his art compare…
Art hid with art, so well perform’d the cheat, It caught the carver with his own deceit: He knows ’tis madness, yet he must adore, And still the more he knows it, loves the more…
To think it ivory, was a thought too mean: So would believe she kiss’d, and courting more, Again embraced her naked body o’er; And straining hard the statue, was afraid His hands had made a dint, and hurt his maid: Explored her limb by limb, and feared to find so rude a gripe had left a livid mark behind…”
— Ovid, The Story of Pygmalion and the Statue from Metamorphosis
Galatea re-imagines what would happen if a statue actually came to life. Straddling this world and another, she exists in a liminal place of human and god, woman and monster, child and mother.
This new work — flanked by a live band on stage — features an original rock score drawing on the aural roots of Tommy by The Who, David Bowie, and Hedwig and The Angry Inch.
Galatea echoes classic “artist as God” stories like Frankenstein, Pinocchio, and My Fair Lady, as well as modern cinematic interpretations like Ex Machina and Ruby Sparks. The show surfaces a complex dialogue around race, fate, gender, personhood, sexual violence, bodily autonomy, and what it means to create—and control—your art.
Beginning as a graphic novel penned and photographed by Katie Tandy, Galatea was developed into a workshop last spring with Musical Cafe, a musical theatre development and education program for writers and composers in Berkeley.
Book // Lyrics: Katie Tandy
Direction // Dramaturgy: Lauren Rosenfield
Music: Geoff Cotter
Choreography: Katerina Wong
Fight Choreography: Chris Steele
Stage Management: Jacqueline Bulger
Lighting Design: Isaiah Tweed
Set Design: Veronique Adam
Alison Sacha Ross
Geoff Cotter / Guitar
Andrew MacIver / Keyboard
Jeff Larson / Drums
Robert Wong / Bass