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Greek Theatre


In September of 2018, The Classical Greek Theater Festival of Westminster College will mount and tour a new production of Sophocles’ tragic masterpiece Women of Trachis, a play rarely read and infrequently seen in performance. Here is a brief synopsis of the play’s plot action:
Because of her beauty, Deianira, the wife of Herakles,had been sought by many suitors. One of these, the centaur Nessos, was killed by Herakles, who then claimed her as his bride. Years later she and her children are exiles in Trachis because of an act of violence by Herakles. Alone now for over a year, she wonders what has become of Herakles and sends her son Hyllos to find out. News arrives that he has conquered the city of king Eurytas in Euboia, and captives arrive from that sack, including Iole the king’s daughter. Deianeira learns from Lichas the Herakles has sacked the city, not because he had been insulted, but because he wanted the king’s daughter. In jealous despair, she send Herakles a robe anointed with blood from the centaur’s wound, which turns out not to be the love charm she thought but an incurable poison. Hyllos brings news of what thew robe has done to Herakles, and Deianeira kills herself with a sword. Herakles is brought onstage in great pain, cursing his wife and asking Hyllos to marry Iole and then to light the funeral pyre that will put him our of his agony. —Storey & Allen
Next September Javen Tanner will direct a production of Women of Trachis featuring an American translation by the poet CK Williams and classicist Greg Dickerson. Spencer Brown will create the set design with costumes by Andrea Davenport. The production will use character and neutral masks to inform the movement of the piece, and medieval-inspired costumes and music will further set the tone. The production will open at Westminster College on September 6-8 and 13-15 with performances at 7:30 p.m., then tour the state of Utah with venues in the UCCC Amphitheater in West Valley City on September 29 at 7:30 p.m., in Provo at BYU’s de Jong Concert Hall on September 24 at 5:00 p.m. and in Ogden at WSU in the Wildcat Theater on September 19 at 7:30 p.m., An orientation lecture by dramaturge Jim Svendsen will precede every show thirty minutes before each performance.