Elizabeth Gunto, staff writer
On April 23-27 at 8 p.m. in the outdoor Kittredge Amphitheatre, the Warren Wilson Theatre will perform The Bacchae by Greek playwright Euripides. Director Rachel Thomas-Levy, sound designer James Bethune, actor Asa Jean and costume designer Giny Speaks are working together on the production as their Advanced Senior Project or Capstone for qualified English/Theatre majors. Juniors Ella Patrick and Jack Pullman designed the props.
The cast and crew have given The Bacchae some modern revamping. Butoh instructor and dancer Julie Gillum helped choreograph the dance for the ceremonious movements of the Bacchants, the play’s chorus. Butoh is a contemporary expressionist dance form that originated in postwar Japan. Asa Jean’s movements will draw from those of modern dance. Dionysus and the Bacchants’ costumes are hand-sown with all natural fabrics and dyes, and designed to create space for actors to dance and move. The music for The Bacchae will reflect the motion of the actors, both with subtle sound and electric guitars. The props are made of recycled or natural materials.
In The Bacchae, the Greek god of wine, Dionysus, tries to establish his divinity and rituals in the town of Themes wher his mother, Semele, lives. The town of Themes denies Dionysus his divinity and as a result, its citizens experience severe consequences.
Seating for the performances is limited and reservations are recommended. There are no scheduled rain dates and individual performances will be canceled for severe weather only, so bring an umbrella.