Tuesday, August 28, 2007

iphigenia 2.0

The playwright Chuck Mee, who makes all his work publicly available on his website, has kicked off a season of his own with the the Signature Theater Company with his adaption of an original Euripides text, Iphigenia 2.0. the show is directed by Tina Landau, member of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

In a blurb on his website, Mee says of this play:

The play by Euripides, set in the world today, in which a great imperial power steps into the world to go to war--taking an action so wrong that it sets the empire on the road to complete self-destruction. Proving, as Agamemnon himself says on the brink of the Trojan war, "we see from the histories of empires that none will last forever and all are brought down finally not by others but by themselves."

In Hilton Als' review for the New Yorker, he gives a nice, condensed understanding of Mee's work:
But one can tell that Mee is equally excited by the works of the director Elizabeth LeCompte and the Wooster Group and of the German choreographer Pina Bausch. Like them, he adapts historical texts to reflect the world as it is now: a fragmented place, torn apart by war, by the disintegration of the family, and by politicians who offer a canned performance of authority while disavowing all responsibility.

With the recent media attention Nina Berman's show Purple Hearts has been getting (which has now been extended at the jB gallery until September 8th), the Signature Theater's production of Mee's play has arrived at the most opportune time for a discussion on the present-day war in Iraq.

Iphigenia 2.0 will run until September 30th. Another of Mee's play, Hotel Cassiopeia presented by the SITI Company, will be on view at BAM for a few brief days in October.

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