Iphigenia in Aulis
Ivanna Cullinan (L) and Laura Hartle (R)
Photo: Richard Termine
Title: Iphigenia in Aulis
Translation/Adaptation: Edward Einhorn
Director: Edward Einhorn
Choreographer: Patrice Miller
Composer: Aldo Perez
Venue: La MaMa, New York, NY
Producer(s): Untitled Theater Company #61, La MaMa
Cast: Amy Melissa Bentley, Lynn Berg*, Michael Bertolini*, Ivanna Cullinan*, Giselle Chatelain, Laura Hartle*, Paul Murillo, Eric Emil Oleson*, Jenny Lee Mitchell*, Sandy York*, Emily Clare Zempel*
Synopsis: Featuring music of downtown indie rocker Aldo Perez (from the band The Renaldo The Ensemble) and the work of graphic novelist Eric Shanower (author of the award-winning Age of Bronze series), Edward Einhorn’s new adaptation reexamines Euripides’ play about democracy versus ochlocracy (mob rule) and the role of religion in popular uprisings, subjects made particularly relevant by Arab Spring.
Masks by Jane Stein are both worn and “puppeteered” as a second self, separating the characters from their classic archetypes and revealing more basic human emotions beneath. Deliberately anachronistic, the production mixes the contemporary with the classical and uses pop iconography of comics to examine the timeless, philosophical elements of the myth.
Cool Fact: Some form of mask work is found in theater and/or religious practices all over the world.
More: Read an excerpt of Edward Einhorn's translation and more at www.untitledtheater.com
“The actors trust the story and the words, skillfully bringing out all the pathos and human drama..Hartle offers a splendid rainbow of reaction, from desperate begging to acceptance to noble idealism.. Exquisite mask-topped implements represent the public faces of the main characters and hark back to the masked performances Euripides's audiences would have seen. The visuals succeed all around, in fact – not just the masks and the sets (Jane Stein) but the unprepossessingly perfect costumes (Carla Gant), the subtle lighting (Jeff Nash), and the graphic art contributions from Eric Shanower. ”
Jon Sobel, blogcritics
" ... the commenting chorus is transformed into a punky pair of power trios on instruments and collective vocals (composer Aldo Perez plus Matthew Brundrett and Mike Strauss as the band, and Jenny Lee Mitchell, Sandy York and Emily Clare Zempel to sing the unspeakable).
The latter, thought jarring by some viewers, is as disruptive as rock was once meant to be, and is perhaps the feature of the production most in tune with the combative rabble our “civilization”’s founding figures of legend really were ..."
Adam McGovern, Fanchild
"There are several modern influences to this interpretation of the play, most notably with the Greek Chorus ... Director/ Adaptor, Edward Einhorn imagines his chorus as a trio of female rock stars. Between scenes, these three perform hard-rockin’ routines accompanied by a live band. It’s a jarring transition from the classical speech in the rest of the play, but it helps hammer in a sense of youthful female rebellion..."
Charles Battersby, Theater for Nerds
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