Thursday, October 06, 2016

A Play To Kick Our Asses

Photo by Erica Krauel

Not as eloquent as Aeschylus, perhaps, but one of the most seasoned members of the cast of Agamemnon uttered the unanimous sentiment: "This play is kicking all our asses!"

She meant it in a positive sense. A 40+ year professional actor who has done his share of classics says he found this more demanding of study time and his own technique than anything he's done, including many works by Shakespeare. Indeed, directing the piece, I have felt myself balled up in the Furies' tangled robes.

In retrospect, starting rehearsals at the beginning of August was too late. If we go on to produce The Libation Bearers, the next play in the Oresteia, I want to begin four months in advance. It's a big ask for volunteer actors but as the ensemble finds their footing during tech week, they seem up for a longer process next time around.

It will depend on the community's response to the play. By all reports, it has been decades since any of these ancient Greek plays have been performed here. There have been more modern plays inspired by Greek mythology but no performances of the translated plays of Aristophanes, Euripides, Sophocles, or Aeschylus. My performances of An Iliad - a modern play adapted from the Fagles translation of Homer - have gone over quite well in Las Cruces, and we have cautiously optimistic hopes for this production.

I was already feeling rather exhausted when the actor playing Aegisthus had to withdraw during tech week (due to a sequence of personal mishaps, not his fault), and I found myself taking over the role myself.

with Michelle Tomlinson, who plays Clytemnestra

But here we are. Tonight is our final dress and tomorrow night we open.

1 comment:

quid said...

By now it has opened, and I hope you fared well. Inspirational to be involved with something as classic as this play.... Q