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Posts Tagged ‘Phaedra’s Love’

2018 Festival Spotlight: Shows from the Theater Canon

Posted August 28th, 2018

This year’s Fringe artists have looked to the past and taken inspiration from great playwrights and authors of the past. Check out these shows that create new work based on the theater canon. (There’s a noticeable absence: we covered Shakespeare in last week’s Festival Spotlight.) 

Samuel Beckett

accountant

The Accountant // Trey Lyford
In the forgotten office of an aging clerk, the tedium of everyday life transforms into a comical and haunting world of futility, remembrance and regret. The Accountant is a visual theater piece inspired by Samuel Beckett’s raw rumination on impermanence, Krapp’s Last Tape, and the disorientation that death can bring into our lives.
More info and tickets here

Company // EgoPo Classic Theater
Bring your blanket and pillow for a Beckett slumber party. EgoPo remounts their 2009 Fringe hit, which sold out in five cities. An immersive sensory experience, you are blindfolded on your back in the dark, the haunting text of modernist master Samuel Beckett’s short story “Company” whispered in your ear.
More info and tickets here

Sarah Kane

Phaedra’s Love // Svaha Theatre Collective
Phaedra is sexually obsessed with Hippolytus, her son. Hippolytus hates everyone and everything. The crown is burning and everybody is waiting for any excuse to rip the royal family to shreds. Literally. A riot erupts in gruesome hilarity because that’s just human nature, am I right? After producing Crave in 2016, Svaha returns with Phaedra’s Love by Sarah Kane, poete maudit of contemporary theater.
More info and tickets here

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A Love Affair with Sarah Kane

Posted August 24th, 2018

In the mid-1990s, a young playwright took London theater by storm, producing five intense, provocative, controversial plays before she committed suicide in 1999 aged just 28. Sarah Kane divided critics and audiences, works such as Blasted and Crave dropping like powder kegs on the a complacent theater world. By the mid-200s, she was the most produced new playwright in the world. She’s only received a handful of production in Philadelphia, but Svaha Theatre Collective is trying to change that. After producing Kane’s Crave in 2016, the group return to the Fringe Festival with two works, an adaptation of a Shakespeare work and Kane’s Phaedra’s Love. With charged with, this contemporary adaptation of the Greek play focuses the audience’s attention on the cruelty which underlies human relationships.

Director Elise D’Avella writes about her love affair with Sarah Kane and what she finds appealing about her work:

My first encounter with Sarah Kane was at a production of Phaedra’s Love during the early days of my undergraduate career at the University of Pittsburgh when I was still flirting with theater as a mere acquaintance. It was love at first slice . . . I mean sight! I had never experienced anything like that before. I remember just sitting in my chair long after it had ended; short of breath, a little nauseous, nerves shot, and full to the brim with life. Which sounds cheesy, but I’m not sure how else to describe it. Sarah Kane’s plays have a way of stabbing you in the throat, gut, and groin until you are painfully, viscerally aware of your own humanity. It’s a hell of a trip and I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since.

As a director, I’m very interested in theater that generates a visceral response over a cerebral one. Although I believe theater should ask questions and produce possibilities, I think the danger of theater that is overly cerebral is that it begins to highlight and deepen divisions between opinions, political allegiances, and identity. Theater that attacks the senses and cuts through the surface to our very roots and what drives us as humans to survive can allow us to approach divisions from a place of understanding, empathy, and recognition.

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