April 04, 2011

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Bucknell University Department of Theatre and Dance will present an original adaptation of the Greek classic, "The Bacchae," on April 8, 9, 10 and 11. Each performance begins at 8 p.m. in the Harvey M. Powers Theatre in Coleman Hall.

In the original play, Dionysus (the god of wine) has come home to free his mother's name of the lies that surround his divine conception. Together with his tribe of women warriors, he seeks his royal cousin Pentheus, who is too rational to accept the possibility that Dionysus is the son of Zeus. In return for this sacrilege, Dionysus unleashes the desires buried deep in the heart of the kingdom, and where order once reigned, chaos violently swarms.

"Bravely tackling Euripides' narrative as the source material for a devised theater performance, the cast and artistic team will create a landscape of movement, visions and words that will unearth the very core of the dark Greek tragedy: what moderation can save, extremity will inevitably destroy," said director Anjalee Hutchinson, assistant professor of theater and dance.

Perennial favorite
This is the third production of "The Bacchae" at Bucknell since 1974, when the original was performed. The second performance was in fall 1986 during Parents Weekend. Directed by 1974 Bucknell graduate Richard Humphrey, it was the first production staged in the Tustin Theatre and used a modern minimalist stage design by Elaine Williams.

This performance, also an original adaptation, features Balinese-influenced shadow puppetry. Bethany Collier, assistant professor of music at Bucknell, and Kushell visiting artist I Gusti Nyoman Darta, a renowned Balinese musician who specializes in music for shadow puppetry, consulted with the production's cast as they developed their puppetry concept. The shadow puppets were designed by Jenny Kenyon, visiting assistant professor of theater, and will be operated by the ensemble.

Bucknell Associate Professor of Dance Kelly Knox served as choreographer, and classics professors Kevin Daly and Stephanie Larson worked with the production to share their Greek knowledge and related research.

Tickets are $8, $6 for students and senior citizens, and available in advance through the Bucknell box office or by phone at 570-577-1000. Tickets also are available in person an hour before each performance.

Contact: Division of Communications


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