Henry Akona | Director and Composer

Reviews: The Lathe of Heaven

With admirable simplicity, Edward Einhorn, artistic director of Untitled Theater Company No. 61, has translated Ursula K. Le Guin's thematically complex 1971 sci-fi novel The Lathe of Heaven into a striking theater piece …. Upstage right, a stalwart singer (John Gallop III) has been delivering, in pure, strong tones, the haunting plainsong of Henry Akona’s score, accompanied by piano and cello …. Le Guin wove a simple Taoist message into her intricate cautionary tale, and it's beautifully delivered here, by means of enchantment, rather than didacticism.

Sandy MacDonald

[A] beautiful tapestry of music, video and emotion that evokes the provocative ideas of this enduring novel …. Henry Akona composes a delightfully gloomy score for just a cello and a piano. Cellist Michael Midlarsky and pianist Melissa Elledge play with warmth and impact that mirrors the action. Singer John Gallop III’s voice soars into play with lyrics inspired by the Tao Te Ching. The music is incredible …. It is well conceived and the acting, music, video and script come together to create high production value. I highly recommend checking this one out. The concepts are thought-provoking and may cause you to think about the reality you occupy in a different way.

Richard Hinojosa ·

“All four actors turn in crackling performances. As Orr, Robert Honeywell finds the anguished human being trapped inside an extraordinary hero. Carolin Samaan's Heather is a person first and a love interest second. As Dr. Haber, Eric Oleson gives us both a ruthless mad scientist and a genuine seeker of truth. John Gallop's sweet-natured, shambling alien is irresistible...Jane Stein's bare set provides a lot of open space for the actors to fill with human presence, a must for a show in which projections are omnipresent. Fortunately, Kate Freer and David Tennent provide flowing, poetic video that serves the plot and eschews flashiness for its own sake.”

Clifford Lee Johnson III