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New company aims to challenge

Betrayal is one of Harold Pinter's most intriguing plays. It's about a romantic triangle, proceeding backward in time in nine scenes, from two years after the affair is over to its beginning, at the end of the play.

Sarasota's Banyan Theater Company has chosen Pinter's puzzler to launch its first season, with a group of actors who are familiar to fans of the Asolo Theatre and other area companies. The Banyan ensemble includes, from left, Tessie Hogan, V. Craig Heidenreich, David Breitbarth and Bradford Wallace, all Asolo veterans.

The Banyan mission is to produce "a more challenging and thought-provoking form of theater" in the summer, executive director Jerry Finn says. Productions are in the Sainer Pavilion at the New College of Florida, adjacent to the Ringling Museum. The season also includes George Bernard Shaw's Don Juan in Hell on Aug. 14-25.

Betrayal opens Wednesday and runs through Aug. 11. Show times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $25 or $37.50 for a two-play package. (941) 358-5330.

_ JOHN FLEMING, Times performing arts critic