Sophokles’ Elektra starts previews

July 27, 2012…Elektra, the gripping Greek tragedy about a young woman’s determination to bring justice and vengeance down on those who murdered her father, starts previews at the Tom Patterson Theatre on July 29.

At the helm of the production is cutting-edge Athenian director Thomas Moschopoulos, one of Greece’s most internationally acclaimed theatre artists, and the creative mind behind the closing ceremonies’ artistic presentation at the 2004 summer Olympic Games in Athens.

“Thomas Moschopolous is an extraordinary director,” says Artistic Director Des McAnuff.  “I saw his production of Euripides’ Alceste at the ancient Epidaurus amphitheatre in Greece in 2010 and was blown away – so was the 14,000 seat audience, which consisted of mostly young people. His uniquely inspired vision attracts and thrills audiences of all ages. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what his limitless imagination has done with this powerful and tragic play.”

“It’s part of the Festival’s mission to produce work that spans the range of human endeavour and human writing. Producing this piece, which is one of the world’s greatest dramatic texts and is 2,400 years old, is a testament to that commitment,” says General Director Antoni Cimolino. “One of the original pieces of dramatic literature Elektra is still as compelling and riveting as it was all those centuries ago and is an important part of our 60th season celebration.”

Translated by Canadian poet and essayist Anne Carson, who is known for her visceral translations of Greek theatre, the production features Yanna McIntosh as Elektra and Seana McKenna as Clytemestra, withGraham Abbey as Aigisthos, Laura Condlln as Chrysothemis, Peter Hutt as the Old Man, and Ian Lake as Orestes.

The artistic team for this production includes Designer Ellie Papageorgakopoulou, Lighting Designer Itai Erdal, Composer Kornilios Selamsis, Choreographer Amalia
 and Stunt Coordinator Todd Campbell.

“In ancient Athens, tragedy was not just entertainment; it was a public event,” says Mr. Moschopoulos. “It offered a kind of academy where people could hear – and reflect upon – discussions of issues that were important to the state. The Athenians saw tragedy as a social way of thinking, an instrument of philosophy. Today, Greek tragedies are often treated as if they were melodramas, offering clear-cut moral distinctions between right and wrong. But in tragedy we do not know what is right and wrong; that is the whole point. We are not told what to think; we are merely given hints to help us in our search for truth.”

Production support generously provided by the M.E.H Foundation.

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s 2012 season runs until October 28, featuring Much Ado About Nothing;42nd Street, The Matchmaker; Henry V; You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown; The Pirates of Penzance; A Word or Two; Cymbeline; Wanderlust; ElektraThe Best Brothers; Hirsch and The War of 1812.

This year, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival celebrates its 60th season, with 14 productions presented from April 12 to October 28:  Much Ado About Nothing42nd StreetThe MatchmakerHenry VYou’re a Good Man, Charlie BrownThe Pirates of PenzanceA Word or TwoCymbelineWanderlustElektraThe Best BrothersHirsch; and The War of 1812. A 14th production, MacHomer, has concluded its run.


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