Levels will perform Oscar Wilde’s classic tale The Picture of Dorian Gray on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14, 15 and 16 at 8:00 p.m. in The Levels Teen Center on the lower level of the Great Neck Library’s Main Building, 159 Bayview Avenue in Great Neck.
Levels, the Library’s cultural center for teenagers established in 1974, gives teenagers the opportunity to create large projects in the arts with guidance from a staff of adult working artists. They present several fully-staged theatrical productions a year, all directed, produced, designed and performed by students in seventh grade through college-age.
Oscar Wilde’s only novel tells the strange tale of Dorian Gray, a young and handsome man who poses for a portrait painted by his friend, the artist Basil Hallward. Through Basil, Dorian has met the devilish, decadent Lord Henry Wotton, who convinces him that beauty and pleasure are the only things worth pursuing. Frightened that his own beauty will someday fade, Dorian expresses the desire to sell his soul, to ensure that his portrait will grow old instead of him.
The wish is granted, and Dorian leads a wicked life, staying young and handsome while everyone around him grows older; but his portrait, hidden away, ages and grows monstrous, recording every sin he commits and every life he ruins, always reminding Dorian what he really is inside.
Wilde’s themes of youth and decay, innocence and corruption, art and reality are even more relevant in the 21st century than they were when the novel was published in 1890. This stage adaptation, by Merlin Holland (Wilde’s grandson) and John O’Connor, incorporates material that Wilde was forced to remove from his original manuscript.
The all-student production staff includes director Julian Malater (recently seen as the Rabbi in Levels’ summer musical Fiddler on the Roof) and producer Kate Smolens. Costume design is by Samantha Durham and lighting design by Tyler Brechner. Tyler Hakimian serves as head of construction.
The cast of high school and middle school students includes Tyler Brechner, Jack Brenner, Sara Chitsaz, Sara Fiala, Aliza Fine, Simona Fine, Allison Fuller, Rebecca Hirschhorn, Ava Hoffman, Sara Rafaeil, Kevin Wang and Brenner Yellis.
Admission is free and open to the public. Tickets are intended to guarantee seating as space is limited, and can be requested at the Circulation desks of all Great Neck Library facilities. Doors open 45 minutes before showtime for ticketholders and 15 minutes for non-ticketholders. For more information, contact Levels at (516) 466-8055 ext. 216 or email [email protected]