Goodman Theatre Presents Rouw Siert Electra (Mourning Becomes Electra) Feb. 25 - 28

For four performances only February 25 - 28, Goodman Theatre welcomes the world renowned and "refreshingly daring" (The New York Times) Toneelgroep Amsterdam and their contemporary adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's Rouw Siert Electra (Mourning Becomes Electra). Using a unique fusion of video, television and live performance, acclaimed director Ivo van Hove "brings new meaning to the term ‘in your face'" (Variety). Presented in Dutch with English supertitles, performances of Rouw Siert Electra (Mourning Becomes Electra) are scheduled February 25 - 28 in the Goodman's Owen Bruner Theatre. Tickets are $18 - $25; a full calendar, including dates, times, ticket prices and information about the free special event, appears at the end of the release.

"For our Exploration I felt it important to look at European companies that are passionate about the works of O'Neill," says Artistic Director Robert Falls. "Even after studying O'Neill for twenty years, I learn a great deal about him by experiencing Ivo's interpretation of his work. He is a brilliant director and I am thrilled to bring one of the most imaginative theater companies in Europe to Chicago."

Ivo van Hove, who most recently experienced critical and popular success on American soil with his production of Opening Night at Brooklyn Academy of Music, began his career as a theater director in 1981 directing his own texts (Ziektekiemen, Geruchten, Wilde Heren). He served successively as artistic director of AKT, Akt-Vertikaal and De Tijd. From 1990 to 2000 he directed Zuidelijk Toneel. Since 2001 van Hove has been general director of Toneelgroep Amsterdam. Last season (2006/2007) van Hove directed a trilogy of Coriolanus, Julius Caesar and Anthony & Cleopatra by William Shakespeare with Toneelgroep Amsterdam. In 2006 he directed the entire Der Ring des Nibelungen by Wagner with The Flemish Opera, followed by The Misanthrope by Molière with the New York Theatre Workshop; Angels in America by Tony Kushner with Toneelgroep Amsterdam; and Kameliendame by Alexandre Dumas with Schauspielhaus Hamburg in 2007/2008.

Van Hove's produtions have appeared at the Edinburgh International Festival, the Biennale in Venice, the Holland Festival and in cities such as Lisbon, Paris, Verona, Hanover, Porto and Rome. He has directed Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg, Staatstheater Stuttgart and New York Theatre Workshop ensembles; he directed the television drama Thuisfront for NPS and staged operas at The Flemish Opera in Antwerp and De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam. He directed the musical Rent for Joop van den Ende.

Patrons are invited to join Robert Falls and Ivo van Hove for a free discussion about Eugene O'Neill in the 21st Century on Wednesday, February 25 at 5pm at Goodman Theatre. Tickets are free but reservations are required; please call the Goodman's Box Office at 312.443.3800.First produced in 1931 at the Guild Theatre in New York, Mourning Becomes Electra is O'Neill's retelling of Aeschylus' trilogy The Oresteia, in which a brother and sister, Orestes and Electra, avenge the murder of their father Agamemnon by plotting to kill Clytemnestra, their mother and the agent of Agamemnon's death. Originally written in three acts (mirroring Aeschylus' threeplay structure), O'Neill's play follows a similar plot: Ezra Mannon (O'Neill's Agamemnon) returns from military duties abroad to discover that his wife Christine has taken a lover; Christine in turn murders Ezra to escape her unhappy marriage and their two children wreak vengeance by committing matricide. Critical response to the initial production was rhapsodic; The New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson called the play "a universal tragedy of tremendous stature-deep, dark, solid, uncompromising and grim" and noted that O'Neill "has never commanded his theme in all its variety and adumbrations with such superb strength, coolness, and coherence."

About Toneelgroep Amsterdam

Toneelgroep Amsterdam is the Netherland's prime theater company and the official municipal theater ensemble of Amsterdam, based in the capital's Stadsschouwburg theater. With an annual average of five new productions and a total of 300 performances, the company plays to audiences of more than 90,000 yearly. Toneelgroep Amsterdam operates on an international level, working with guest directors such as RoBert Woodruff (United States), Krzysztof Warlikowski (Poland), Johan Simons (Netherlands), Thomas Ostermeier (Germany) and performs outside the Netherlands on stages in Germany, the United States, France, Austria and Belgium. The company has been invited by festivals such as RuhrTriennale (Germany), Wiener Festwochen (Austria) and Festival d'Avignon (France). The award-winning repertory of Toneelgroep Amsterdam includes Shakespeare's Roman Tragedies and The Taming of the Shrew, Tony Kushner's Angels in America, Ingmar Bergman's Scenes From a Marriage and John Cassavetes' Opening Night.

Free Special Program!

A Conversation with Ivo van Hove and Robert Falls

Wednesday, February 25 at 5pm

Goodman Theatre

*Reservations are required: 312.443.3800 or GoodmanTheatre.org

The innovative and provocative productions of Toneelgroep Amsterdam have captivated audiences in New York and across Europe. Goodman Theatre's Artistic Director Robert Falls speaks with Ivo van Hove about his bold reinterpretations of classic works such as Mourning Becomes Electra.

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