posted September 18, 2003

Hope Theatre Season Opens Sept. 26

Hope College Theatre's first production for the 2003-04 school year, "Iphigenia and Other Daughters," a contemporary adaptation of classic characters from Greek tragedy, will run Friday-Saturday. Sept. 26-27, and Wednesday-Saturday, Oct. 1-4.

Curtain time is at 8 p.m. All performances will be in the DeWitt Center main theatre.

Ellen McLaughlin, author of "Iphigenia and Other Daughters," creates a twisting murderous plot through the eyes of the women involved, utilizing the basic storyline from Euripides' "Iphigenia in Aulis," Sophocles' "Electra," and Euripides' "Iphigenia in Tauris." She emphasizes the role of women in Greek society and how, as her character Chrysothemis states, "everything of importance has happened and happened long ago, elsewhere and without us. We are not part of history. Women."

McLaughlin's script also satirizes the sorrows of tragedy, and, rather than becoming desensitized, the audience receives the full effects of violence and will, as her Clytemnestra voices, "...see how the inevitable holds us in her hands." As the characters become swept up in a wave of merciless actions and thoughts, the audience will witness the impending realities of a fate consisting of revenge.

The production has obvious roots in classical Greece but makes other connections to history and to the modern world. Michelle Bombe, director of theatre and associate professor of theatre, notes, "This production will engage a modern audience with its visual and aural imagery. Your experience with the play will be richer and deeper if you are familiar with the classic Greek myths--but it is not essential in taking meaning from the play." The sound design features a range of music, from Ravel to cabaret singer Ute Lemper to contemporary Greek singer Irene Papas.

Cast members include: sophomore Sharon Kwon of Ann Arbor as Iphigenia; senior Ann Mathias of Jackson as Clytemnestra; junior Meggie Elliot of Pinkney as Electra; junior Grace Pollert of Ada as Chrysothemis; and senior Patrick Kearney of Clinton Township as Orestes.

The chorus for "Iphigenia and Other Daughters" will be played by: sophomore Emily Casey of Wheaton, Ill.; freshman Kate Goetzinger of Indianapolis, Ind.; sophomore Kendra Stock of St. Charles, Ill.; senior Jessica Trakimas of Caramel, Ind.; and junior Lisa Warmus of Rochester, N.Y.

Directing the production is Daina Robins, associate professor of theatre and chairperson of the department. Theatre faculty member Richard L. Smith is creating the scenic and properties designs; and the costumes, makeup and hair are designed by Bombe. Lighting and sound design is by faculty member Perry Landes, and Paul K. Anderson of the Hope staff is technical director. The show's stage manager is junior Eva Spiece of Whitehall with freshmen Nicole Hartley of Ada and Steve Horeni of Downers Grove, Ill., serving as assistant stage managers.

Tickets for "Iphigenia and Other Daughters" are $7 for regular admission, $5 for members of the college's faculty and staff, and $4 for senior citizens and students, and are available in the theatre lobby box office in the DeWitt Center. The box office is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on weekday performance nights until 8 p.m.; and on Saturday, Sept. 27, and Sunday, Oct. 4, from noon to 8 p.m. The box office may be called at (616) 395-7890.The DeWitt Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.