The Bacchae to come to MSU’s Pasant Theatre
The MSU Department of Theatre is pleased to present The Bacchae by Euripides, via Paul Woodruff’s translation, at the Pasant Theatre from April 12-21. Directed by David Furumoto, this production explores ancient Greek tragedy fused with classical Asian theater aesthetics.
According to production dramaturg Dan Smith, “The Bacchae tells a story of Dionysus, the god of wine, also known as Bacchus. Supported by a Chorus of his followers (the Bacchae), Dionysus takes revenge on his mortal relatives in the city of Thebes.” The play was first performed in 405 B.C. at the City Dionysia, a festival honoring Dionysus. “So in a way,” says Smith, “the first spectators of this play were also Bacchae because they had gathered to worship Dionysus. For audiences today, I think the play encourages us to reflect on balancing order and chaos.
The design and style of the production is inspired by Japanese Noh and kabuki theater, as well as traditional Chinese and Indian theater forms. Director David Furumoto brings a lifetime of expertise in Asian theater practice, which he initially studied at the University of Hawaii. Local audiences may even recall his production of The Trojan Women at MSU in 2009. Furumoto expresses his vision for the production as follows: “I have asked everyone to take a great leap of faith in creating a new imagining of Bacchae.It is my hope that with the blending of Asian theater techniques and this classic Greek play, we can bring to our audience an exciting, thought-provoking production. This fusion of Asian and Western theater forms requires everyone working on the production to reimagine what theater is and can be.”
The play’s run-time is approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes, with no intermission. Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. , April 12-13, 19 and 20. 7:30 p.m. performances are shcheduled for April 16-18, and 2 p.m. matinee performances are scheduled for April 14, 20-21. There will be a pre-show discussion at 1:15 p.m., April 14, and a post-show discussion on April 12.
Tickets are available from the Wharton Center Box Office, 1.800.WHARTON, whartoncenter.com.