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Court Theatre Continues Thought Series With THE BACCHAE + CONTEMPORARY ADAPTATIONS

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The series takes place online October 7, 14, 21, and 28 at 7pm.

Court Theatre Continues Thought Series With THE BACCHAE + CONTEMPORARY ADAPTATIONS

Court Theatre, under the continuing leadership of Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, and Executive Director Angel Ysaguirre, continues its Theatre & Thought series with Euripides' The Bacchae + Contemporary Adaptations. Series highlights include Sarah Nooter, renowned author and faculty member of the Department of Classics and the College, with insights about the dramatic elements that make Euripides' tragedy ripe for adaptation. Director Monty Cole will lead a reading of Nicholas Rudall's translation of The Bacchae, featuring cast members Adia Alli, Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Atra Asdou, McKenzie Chinn, Stephanie Diaz, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Jennifer Latimore, Karissa Murrell Myers, and MJ D. Rawls.

Court's Theatre & Thought series connects audiences to expert insights from University of Chicago faculty about the historical context, thematic relevance, and artistic possibilities surrounding classic works. Each Theatre & Thought topic will feature a different play and include virtual meetings with University scholars to discuss the ideas underpinning these classic texts.

Court's remote, digital experiences are produced in partnership with the University of Chicago Graham School's Arts@Graham series.


Dates: Online October 7, 14, 21, 28 at 7pm

Euripides' Bacchae: Sight and Blindness; Self and Other

October 7, 2020 | Featuring Dr. Sarah Nooter and Dr. Christopher Faraone
In this session, Dr. Nooter and Dr. Faraone will discuss the religious background of The Bacchae, including issues of divine recognition, belief, madness, mystery rites, and the role of gods and worship in ancient Greece. Participants will learn how these issues come into contact with tragic questions of knowing oneself and encountering the "other" within. Along the way, we will cover the question of how the self and the society relate to one another and what it means to relinquish free will. Our discussion will make use of Sophocles' Oedipus the King as a point of comparison.

The Bacchae and Adaptation: Identity, History, and Change

October 14, 2020 | Featuring Dr. Sarah Nooter and Dr. Clifford Ando
In this session, Dr. Nooter and Dr. Ando will look at the Bacchae and its afterlife in the Gospel of John and Wole Soyinka's adaptation from 1973 called The Bacchae of Euripides: A Communion Rite. Here we will look at the structure of the play as one of recognition in different versions, emphasizing themes of knowledge and allegory, and showing how the language and imagery of these works reveal and invert reality. We will also see how the play reverberates through Christian culture and evokes questions of social upheaval and division, examining issues of identity, history, and change. Participants will be asked to read excerpts from The Gospel of John and Soyinka's Bacchae.

Digital Reading: Euripides' The Bacchae

October 21, 2020 | Translated by Nicholas Rudall
Directed by Monty Cole | Assistant Directed by Monet Felton

Featuring Adia Alli, Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Atra Asdou, McKenzie Chinn, Stephanie Diaz, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Jennifer Latimore, Karissa Murrell Myers, and MJ D. Rawls!
The inventive Chicago-based director Monty Cole will lead a reading of The Bacchae translated by Court's Founding Artistic Director, Nicholas Rudall, a premier translator of Greek texts. Together, with assistant director Monet Felton and a cast of female-identifying actors, Cole brings Euripides' words to life in this digital reading, its themes reverberating with uncanny resonance in 2020.

The Bacchae in Performance: Gender, Identity, and Self-Knowledge

October 28, 2020 | Featuring Dr. Sarah Nooter and Monty Cole
In this session, Dr. Nooter and Director Monty Cole will discuss the previous session's staged reading of The Bacchae and how its directorial choices reflect fundamental questions of gender, identity, and self-knowledge. We will aim to revisit some of the themes and questions covered in previous sessions in light of the insights gained through performance.


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