Guthrie Theater Presents SITI Company's Spellbinding Production Of THE BACCHAE

By: Feb. 05, 2020

Guthrie Theater Presents SITI Company's Spellbinding Production Of THE BACCHAE

The Guthrie Theater (Joseph Haj, artistic director) today announced Siti Company's cast and creative team for the riveting ancient tale The Bacchae, written by Euripides, translated by Aaron Poochigian and directed by celebrated Siti Company co-founder Anne Bogart. The globally renowned acting company's debut on the Guthrie's mainstage offers a rare opportunity for local theatergoers to experience this influential Greek tragedy through a contemporary lens.

The Bacchae will run February 29 - April 5, 2020, on the McGuire Proscenium Stage. Single tickets start at $15 for preview performances (February 29 - March 5) and regular tickets start at $25. Tickets are on sale now through the Box Office at 612.377.2224, 1.877.44.STAGE (toll-free) or online at Post-play discussions and access services (ASL-interpreted, audio-described and open-captioned performances) are available on select dates and by request.

In Euripides' tale of hubris and tyranny, a disguised Dionysus descends on the city of Thebes to prove Zeus is his father and settle a score with his mortal adversary King Pentheus. His attempts to tear the people's loyalties away from the king cause a frenzy of emotion that lands Dionysus in prison. But Pentheus' misguided attempt to suppress the god's influence tests his leadership and threatens to bring his family to ruin. With striking visuals and bewitching beauty, Bogart gives this ancient tale a modern, razor-sharp edge.

For more than three decades, Siti Company has redefined and revitalized contemporary theater through its collaborative, groundbreaking work. Artistic Director Joseph Haj was a member of The Acting Company early in his career and recently shared this reflection: "The importance of Anne Bogart in the theater landscape cannot be overstated. The practice that she developed has become training methodology for actors across the country. Watching where Anne and Siti Company were with their work all those years ago and seeing what they have become today is stupendous. Our opportunity to bring their irreverent and smart production of The Bacchae to the Guthrie is a tremendous gift."

This Siti Company adaptation of The Bacchae was commissioned by the J. Paul Getty Museum and first performed at the Getty Villa in September 2018 before playing Brooklyn Academy Of Music's New Wave Festival the following month. This presentation of Siti Company's bold and innovative work marks its Guthrie debut. The Guthrie previously produced The Bacchae in 1987 under the direction of former artistic director Liviu Ciulei.

Critics have praised Bogart's ability to make The Bacchae's ancient themes resonate with modern audiences. The New York Times wrote that its "back-burnered anxieties about women and power feel very front-burnered and very now." To prepare for the production, Bogart spent 18 months studying The Bacchae with a classicist at Columbia University. Siti Company then hosted a four-week workshop with 60 theater artists in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Euripides was the youngest of the three great Greek tragedians and considered highly innovative in his storytelling. His depictions of heroes and gods frequently allowed for humanity and fallibility, and his works often revealed the dark side of human nature. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Bogart said, "I think every great play also asks a great question at its heart. With the Greek plays, and certainly including The Bacchae, the essential question is about hubris. [Euripides] sent us a message in a bottle, and we are able to see an ancient artifact through the lens of our own time."

The cast of The Bacchae includes Akiko Aizawa (Guthrie: debut) as Agave, J. Ed Araiza (Guthrie: debut) as Soldier, Will Bond (Guthrie: debut) as Second Messenger, Leon Ingulsrud (Guthrie: debut) as First Messenger, Ellen Lauren (Guthrie: debut) as Dionysus, Barney O'Hanlon (Guthrie: debut) as Tiresias, Roshni Shukla (Guthrie: debut) as Chorus, Donnell E. Smith (Guthrie: debut) as Pentheus, Samuel Stricklen (Guthrie: debut) as Chorus and Stephen Duff Webber (Guthrie: debut) as Cadmus.

The creative team for The Bacchae includes Anne Bogart (director), Aaron Poochigian (translator), Brian H Scott (scenic and lighting designer), Lena Sands (costume designer), Darron L West (sound designer), Erik Sanko (composer), Ellen M. Lavaia (company manager), Alyssa Escalante (production stage manager), Nana Dakin (assistant director), Addie Gorlin (Guthrie assistant director), Joey Guthman (assistant scenic and lighting designer), Helene Foley (dramaturg), Norman Frisch (dramaturg), Kelly Maurer (choral consultant), Gian Murray Gianino (rehearsal director), Michelle Preston (executive director) and Megan E Carter (producing director).

Anne Bogart (director) is one of the three co-artistic directors of Siti Company, which she founded with Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki in 1992. She is a professor at Columbia University where she runs the graduate directing program. Works with Siti Company include Falling & Loving; The Bacchae; Chess Match No. 5; Lost in the Stars; Persians; Steel Hammer; A Rite; Cafe Variations; Trojan Women (After Euripides); American Document; Antigone; Under Construction; Freshwater; Who Do You Think You Are; Radio Macbeth; Hotel Cassiopeia; Death and the Ploughman; La Dispute; Score; bobrauschenbergamerica; Room; War of the Worlds - The Radio Play; Cabin Pressure; Alice's Adventures; Culture of Desire; Bob; Going, Going, Gone; Small Lives/Big Dreams; The Medium; Noël Coward's Hay Fever and Private Lives; August Strindberg's Miss Julie; and Charles L. Mee's Orestes.

Recent operas include The Handmaid's Tale, George Frideric Handel's Alcina, Antonín Dvořák's Dimitrij, Giuseppe Verdi's Macbeth, Vincenzo Bellini's Norma and Georges Bizet's Carmen. She is the author of five books: A Director Prepares; The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition; And Then, You Act: Making Art in an Unpredictable World; Conversations With Anne; and What's the Story: Essays About Art, Theater and Storytelling.

BroadwayWorld Awards Voting

RELATED STORIES - Minneapolis / St. Paul

HAPPY HOLI-DANE! TAKE FOUR Comes to History Theatre Photo
HAPPY HOLI-DANE! TAKE FOUR Comes to History Theatre

History Theatre has announced the return of an annual classic, Happy Holi-Dane! Back by popular demand, this ever-changing Holiday Hullabaloo is a warm and wonderful night for the whole family! Tickets on sale now!

Cast and Creative Team Set For THE CARP WHO WOULD NOT QUIT AND OTHER ANIMAL STORIES at Children's Theatre Company

Children’s Theatre Company has announced the cast and creative team for The Carp Who Would Not Quit and Other Animal Stories by Reiko Ho and the Honolulu Theatre for Youth Ensemble.

Interview: Sarah Santee, Nila Cooper, Cale Bergerson of FIND YOUR HERO - DISNEY ON ICE at  Photo
Interview: Sarah Santee, Nila Cooper, Cale Bergerson of FIND YOUR HERO - DISNEY ON ICE at Xcel Energy Center

Get ready to discover the hero inside us all when Disney On Ice returns to St. Paul with a magical adventure for the whole family! Audiences will discover what it truly means to be a hero as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and friends from around the Disney Kingdom come together to take families on a journey through timeless tales when Disney On Ice presents Find Your Hero skates into St. Paul from December 7–10, 2023 at Xcel Energy Center.

Latest Standings Announced For The 2023 BroadwayWorld Minneapolis / St. Paul Awards; MURDE Photo
Latest Standings Announced For The 2023 BroadwayWorld Minneapolis / St. Paul Awards; MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS Leads Best Play!

Happy Holidays! The latest wave of standings have been announced as of Monday, November 27th for the 2023 BroadwayWorld Minneapolis / St. Paul Awards! Don't miss out on making sure that your favorite theatres, stars, and shows get the recognition they deserve!

More Hot Stories For You


Peter Pan in Minneapolis / St. Paul Peter Pan
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (12/06-12/31)Tracker
Hairspray in Minneapolis / St. Paul Hairspray
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (3/12-3/17)
Mamma Mia! in Minneapolis / St. Paul Mamma Mia!
Orpheum Theatre (2/06-2/11)
The Dandelion Seed in Minneapolis / St. Paul The Dandelion Seed
Stages Theatre Company (8/07-8/25)
Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! in Minneapolis / St. Paul Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Children's Theatre Company (11/07-1/07)
Back Home for the Holidays  in Minneapolis / St. Paul Back Home for the Holidays
Crooners Supper Club (12/06-12/06)
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas in Minneapolis / St. Paul Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
Orpheum Theatre (12/15-12/15)
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in Minneapolis / St. Paul Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Northrop (1/25-1/25)
Ashley Gavin in Minneapolis / St. Paul Ashley Gavin
Pantages Theatre (12/01-12/01)
The New Standards Holiday Show in Minneapolis / St. Paul The New Standards Holiday Show
State Theatre (12/01-12/02)

Recommended For You