GREEK PLAY COMING IN 2017
In September of 2017 the Classical Greek Theater will mount and tour a production of
Euripides’ tragicomedy ION, a play rarely read and seldom seen in performance. Though
formally a tragedy the play, with its mistaken identities, domesticity and happy ending, might
well be termed the first comedy (in the modern sense) in the Western tradition.
“Kreousa, queen of Athens, and Xouthos, her foreign husband, arrive at Delphi to ask Apollo’s
help in ending their childlessness. The god, however, had long ago raped her and left her with a
son whom she bore in secret and abandoned. Unknown to her, Apollo brought the boy to Delphi
and raised it to become a temple servant. Now, when the boy is entering manhood, Apollo
bestows him on Xouthos as the latter’s child. Kreousa, who does not know the truth, reacts to
her husband’s good fortune by trying to kill -as an interloper- the very son she has despaired of
finding. The attempt providentially fails, but it is only after the boy in turn threatens Kreousa with
death that the Pythia at last reveals the birth tokens that permit the mother to recognize her son.
The child of Kreousa and Apollo will now shoulder Athenian destiny, and Xouthos will be left
content that the boy, whom he named Ion, is really his own.” Peter Burian
Next September Andra Harbold will direct a production of Euripides’ ION, using a recent
translation as acting script. The play will open at Westminster College in the Courage Theater
Sept. 7-9 and 14-16 at 7:30 pm, then tour the state with performances ay BYU in Provo Sept. 25
at 5:00pm, UCCC in West Valley City Sept. 22 at 7:30pm, and WSU in Ogden TBA. An
orientation lecture will precede each performance 30 mins. before the show starts.