Alcestis
Uffish Theatre

"Poet Ted Hughes's translation is responsible for most of the taboo breaking in this production of one of Euripides' lesser tragedies, about a queen who sacrifices her life for her husband. But the moment of absolute, unqualified genius in Uffish Theater Company's staging belongs to director Lauren A. Miller" - Chicago Reader


7/6/00 - 7/23/00


"Poet Ted Hughes's translation is responsible for most of the taboo breaking in this production of one of Euripides' lesser tragedies, about a queen who sacrifices her life for her husband. But the moment of absolute, unqualified genius in Uffish Theater Company's staging belongs to director Lauren A. Miller. Halfway through the play, the three bowler-clad members of her chorus sit down next to grieving widower Admetos and pull out cigarettes and coffee cups for an informal bull session. Beautiful in its simplicity, it represents an alternative to wrongheaded modern productions of classical dramas: instead of giving undue emphasis to the words, they should concern themselves with basic human interactions.
Absurd and uneven as some of the design elements may be (especially the attempt at a multimedia opening), this Alcestis is never obtuse. Miller's staging always gives audience members something to relate to, whether it's lunkheaded Heracles' childish bravado in reenacting his 12 labors or Admetos's struggle to come to terms with his lover's death. A few cartoonish, larger-than-life turns suggest that some cast members have taken this brazenly anachronistic, loopy, irreverent staging too far--at times it borders on parody. But Miller's Alcestis is always accessible, and in that sense truer to Euripides' intent than the most stolidly faithful production.” Nick Green, Chicago Reader July 14, 2000

“Opening Friday in a translation by the late poet Ted Hughes, here's a new version of Euripides' reversed tragedy, which begins in tears and ends in celebration. Dreading his imminent death, good King Admetos seeks a substitute. His devoted wife, Alcestis, will sacrifice her life for her husband. But, though Ademetos' patron deity Apollo cannot forestall death, the demigod Heracles agrees to wrestle Death for the soul of Alcestis. Lauren Miller directs a cast of 19.” Lawrence Bommer, Chicago Tribune Jul 7, 2000

Author
Eurypides

Director
Laurem A. Miller

Performers
Holly Thomas, Joe Roche, Thomas Roche, David Divita, Dave Belden, Michael Stricker, Harry Eddleman, Kellie Halihan, Carolyn Defrin, Catherine Dughi, Mark Stephen, Brendan Farley, Eric Graves, Nickolai Todorov, Heather Saliny, Jessica Hudson, Ann Votaw, Barbara Andrews, Elizabethe Mazur, Leslie Shiers

Production
Joe Gerrits, Alison Siple, Jason Geistweidt, Tracy Otwell, Michelle Habeck U.S.A.A., Scott Compton, Jenifer Marshal, Joe Schneider, Nate Doud

Tags: Theater, American, 2000