Ophelia’s Jump Performs 33 Variations

The Inland Empire theater troupe Ophelia’s Jump performed Moises Kaufman’s 33 Variations at Pomona College’s Allen Theatre Sept. 5 to Sept. 14. The play, spawned by the music of Ludwig von Beethoven, debuted on
Broadway in 2009 and tells the
journey of a musicologist in failing health due to her debilitating ALS. She travels to Bonn, Germany, to examine Beethoven archives and ultimately ends up
writing thirty-three variations on a single, obscure theme. The play also explores the relationship dynamic between the main character and her daughter as it is affected by distance and the ultimate fatality of ALS, transcending time periods to evoke the musicologist’s experience. For Ophelia’s Jump, a troupe moving into their third season of production, the play provided an opportunity to transform traditional theater in creative ways. “We like doing theater that’s challenging, that starts conversations,” Ophelia’s Jump Co-Founder and Marketing Manager Randy Lopez said. The play’s timely focus on ALS, given the recent Ice Bucket Challenge, inspired the company to encourage donations for ALS research and complete the infamous challenge as a troupe. 33 Variations drew a wide range of attendees, from L.A. to Orange County and beyond, and the company hopes to continue such expansive reach. “The school has been a huge support,” Lopez said. “We’ve been able to bring a lot of people into the college theaters to experience them for the first time.” 

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