Iphigenia and Other Daughters Amplifies Female Voices

Posted on February 18th, 2019 by

Serena Schreifels '19 plays Clytemnestra in Gustavus Adolphus College's Production of Iphigenia and Other Daughters. Photo Credit: Lillian Kline, '22

Many Greek plays focus solely on male voices, and the female ones are pushed to the edges. But in Gustavus Adolphus College’s latest theatre production opening February 21, Iphigenia and Other Daughters by Ellen McLaughlin, the classic story of the House of Atreus has been refocused around the women.

Directed by Matt Trucano, this play focuses on one family and the seemingly unending violence between them as they seek revenge. Agamemnon must sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia to the gods in order to go to war. His wife Clytemnestra kills him in retaliation when he returns from the war. From there, the vicious cycle continues, and the family must must determine whether they will continue to perpetuate the cycle of vengeance, or if they can choose to end it.

The cycle in this story seems impossible to break, and Trucano compares this to the current political climate. “Everything feels like it’s, ‘You did this to me, so I’m going to do this to you,’” he says. “It’s really a complicated question of how do we actually stop? How do we wake up to the fact that this cycle of revenge and counter-revenge is never going to get us anywhere?“ Trucano says audiences might see themselves reflected in the mistakes the characters make. “[The Greeks] were writing about things that kept them up at night, but it’s still the same things that keep us up at night.”

The actors spent the January Interim not only rehearsing the play, but also learning the Suzuki and Viewpoints methods of acting. These methods combine Japanese martial arts and classic ballet training to increase purpose of movement. They also focused on the power of the voice, and how each one is unique. “I treated them like a company of professional actors for that month,” Trucano says.

This show also includes surprise advanced technical effects never before done on the Gustavus stage, as well as student-designed sets and costumes by Nicole Meyer ’20 and Julia Kugler ’19.

Iphigenia and Other Daughters performances are February 21-23 at 8 p.m. and February 24 at 2 p.m. in Anderson Theatre. Tickets can be purchased at www.gustavusticketing.com or by calling 507-933-7590.

 

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