Theater + Dance

Q Artistry: Grendel

When: Fri., Feb. 1, 8 p.m., Feb. 8-9, 8 p.m. and Feb. 15-16, 8 p.m. 2013

Grendel — the most formidable opponent Beowulf faces in an Old English epic poem you probably had to read in, say, 10th grade — is said to be descended from Cain, and like with Cain (or any other Biblical character for that matter), one can spend an awful lot of time and effort in filling in the blanks of the story, with greater or lesser fidelity to the original, offering creative glosses, interpretations, illustrations and whatnot. It's impossible to say what Grendel was even supposed to look like, according to the original text — was it a dragon that walked like a human? or a Berserker, the Norse equivalent of a PCP-addled maniac? In John Gardner's 1971 retelling of the legend, "Grendel," the titular character becomes a misunderstood creature coping with the big questions of the world and finding his fellow creatures — including his mute mother (of Grendel's mother fame) and a pernicious, nihilistic dragon — of very little help. Q Artistry's "Grendel" is based on a script by local playwright Joanna Winston (who has also adapted another foundational legend, Gilgamesh), which was in turn based on Gardner's novel. Jonah D. Winston will play Grendel.

Price: Tickets $17 general admission, $15 senior and student.

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