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An Oresteia

The Swarthmore College Department of Theater presents:

An Oresteia
Fri, February 26, 2010 at 8pm
Sat, February 27, 2010 at 8pm
Sun, February 28, 2010 at 3pm
Frear Ensemble Theatre
Lang Performing Arts Center


The Honors Directing Thesis of Louis Jargow ’10, An Oresteia is a pop, punk- rock re-telling of the ancient Greek tragedy: the story of Electra and Orestes’ revenge on their mother, Clytemnestra, for murdering their father, Agamemnon. An Oresteia combines bold characters, dynamic and playful performance aesthetic, and pop imagery to create a loud, provocative, and richly entertaining play. In An Oresteia, King Agamemnon’s empire is boldly re-imagined as a media empire; Apollo is reframed as the god of wealth and communication, in a media-saturated world where myth still truly exists; and the chorus is a troupe of shape-shifting outsiders. This performance engages the pervasiveness of media, the ‘truth’ it claims to disseminate, and the voices silenced by its power. The script is a Lynchian mash-up of Ann Carson, Charles Mee, Louise Glück and the Greeks. Source material for the text includes Anne Carson’s An Oresteia (new translations of Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, Sophocles’ Elektra and Euripides’ Orestes), Charles Mee’s Orestes 2.0, Louise Glück’s Averno, and Slavoj Zizek’s In Defense of Lost Causes, along with text created in rehearsal.

Anne Carson is a renowned poet, playwright, classicist, and translator. Her awards and honors include the Lannan Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Griffin Trust Award for Excellence in Poetry, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the MacArthur "Genius" Award. New York’s Classic Stage Company produced three of Carson’s An Oresteia, in repertory, in their 2008/2009 Season. Louise Glück is an American poet of German heritage who was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2003. Charles Mee is a playwright whose work is primarily culled or inspired by other texts. Mee often re-writes Greek mythology. An Oresteia was inspired by Charles Mee’s method of adapting and collaging text, and brings together both classically lyrical poems and familiar contemporary speech.

Louis Jargow ’10 conceived and developed this production in collaboration with guest dramaturg, Rebecca Wright and the cast. The design team includes: Tara Nova Webb ’94 (Set), Jessica Bear ’09 (Lighting), Claire Sumaydeng-Bryan ’10 (Costumes), Daniel Perelstein ’09 (Sound) and Logan Tiberi-Warner ’11 (Hair and Makeup). The ensemble features Eva Amesse '11, Ben Camp ’05, Jessica Cannizzaro '12, Selmaan Chettih '10, Michael Edmiston '12, Sol Hilfinger-Pardo '12, Eric Holzhauer '10, Amelia Kidd '11, Chris Klaniecki '10, Isa St. Clair '11, and Suzanne Winter '10. The faculty advisor is Allen Kuharski.


The performances are free and open to the public without advanced reservation. For further information about the production, contact Liza Henty-Clark at (610) 328-8260 or

Isa St. Clair ’11 (Cassandra) and Eric Holzhauer ’10 (Apollo). Photo by Steve Weinik.

Jessica Cannizzaro ’12 (Clytemnestra) and Christopher Klaniecki ’10 (Aegisthus). Photo by Steve Weinik.

Suzanne Winter ’10 (Electra). Photo by Steve Weinik.

Michael Edmiston ’12 (Orestes) and Ben Camp ’05 (Menelaus). Photo by Steve Weinik.

Michael Edmiston ’12 (Orestes) and Suzanne Winter ’10 (Electra). Photo by Steve Weinik.

Isa St. Clair ’11 (Cassandra) and Eric Holzhauer ’10 (Apollo). Photo by Steve Weinik.

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