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Ancient Greek tragedy to raise curtain on MC theatre season

10/15/2012
Monmouth College students GeGe Carr of Chicago (standing) and Jordan Boland of Brimfield rehearse a scene from the ancient Greek tragedy “The Bacchae.” The 2,400-year-old play by Euripedes will be performed at MC’s Wells Theater Oct. 25 – 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 28 at 2 p.m.
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Monmouth College’s Crimson Masque will present Euripides’ “The Bacchae” Oct. 25 – 28.
 
Performances in the college’s Wells Theater will be Oct. 25 – Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 28 at 2 p.m.
 
“‘The Bacchae’ is not for the faint of heart, but it will be interesting, intense and certainly worth the price of admission,” said director Bill Wallace, chair of the theatre department. 
 
Dionysius, the Greek god of wine (played by junior Nick Dadds) has returned to his homeland of Thebes. There he finds that the new king, Pentheus (played by senior Patrick Le Blanc), has decreed anyone caught worshipping Dionysius is to be put in chains and imprisoned. Dionysius’ anger leads to the killing of Pentheus by his mother Agave (played by sophomore Jordan Boland), the exile of Cadmus, the old King of Thebes, (played by freshman Bill Armonda) and the general destruction of the Theban community.
 
Dionysius returns to Thebes bringing with him a group of worshippers. This chorus of Bacchae includes sophomore Gege Carr as the chorus leader, and freshman Kelsi Ford, sophomore Emilie Therrien, juniors Ashley Corbin and Joy Meyer and seniors Mary Bohlander, Kelly Klikas, Alexis Fulkerson, Shelby Courtois, and Ariel Guerrero.
 
As is often the case in ancient Greek tragedy, there are those who try to be the voice of reason, only to be disregarded. In “The Bacchae,” these roles are filled by the prophet Tiresias, (played by junior T.J. Hill) and the messengers, played by freshman Zach Platt and sophomore Anthony Occhipinti.
 
Serving as soldiers and attendants to Pentheus are freshmen Adam Duffield, Ruben Lima and Wade Ewalt, along with sophomores Nick Daniels and Kyle Dickson.
 
Set and lighting designer is theatre professor Doug Rankin. Hair and make-up design is by senior Michael Carioto, who also serves as stage manager for the production. Theatre costume shop supervisor Patricia Andresen is the costume designer, and senior Michael Miller has created a complex sound design. Sophomore Anthony Occhipinti is creating video work for the show and junior Ashley Corbin provides choreography for the Greek chorus. Rounding out the production team is senior Melissa O’Shea, who serves as the dramaturge, and sophomore Rachel Whitlock, who is the assistant stage manager.
 
There will be two special events in conjunction with the opening night of the show. At 5 p.m. in the Private Dining Room of Stockdale Center, a dinner and pre-show talk will be offered. Reservations for the meal, which is open to the public, may be made by contacting Wallace at 309-457-2104 or theater@monm.edu. After the meal, classics department chair Tom Sienkewicz will present an illustrated talk on what it would have been like to attend the first performance of “The Bacchae” in 404 B.C. After the opening night performance, assistant professor of classics Nick Dobson will lead a Q&A session with the audience and the cast.
 
Tickets are $6 for adults; $5 for other students and senior citizens; and $4 for MC students, faculty and staff. They may be reserved by calling 309-457-2104 or by e-mailing theater@monm.edu. New this year, patrons may reserve seats online by going to department.monm.edu/theatre/tickets.htm.
 
Due to mature subject matter and graphic presentation of human remains, “The Bacchae” is not suitable for viewers under the age of 13.