Meredith Ensemble Theatre to Present New Take on Elektra

Meredith Ensemble Theatre’s final spring 2013 production will be a new take on “Elektra,” written and directed by Chip Rodgers. “Elektra” will be performed April 9-13 at 8 p.m. and April 14 at 3 p.m. in the Studio Theatre of Jones Hall.

This production recalls and refracts original texts by Sophocles, Euripides, Homer, O’Neill and Sartre to examine the tragedy of what it means to grow up inside your own head, justifying every decision with millions of stupid, mundane and self-destructive reasons for things that don’t matter.

Rodgers, a New York-based writer and director, said this production reunites him with Chicago actor Julian Hester for their first collaboration since growing up together in Raleigh.

“Nostalgic for the time when we were kids, this production blends our own childhood memories with the ancient myth, seeking to find relevance to this timeless story,” Rodgers explained. “Inspired by cell phones and skin cells, campfire chats and kimonos, this B-rated horror movie romps through Elektra's psyche in unexpected and unsettling ways.”

This is a brand new adaptation that was commissioned by the Obie Award-winning Bushwick Starr Reading Series in Brooklyn in 2012. It received a reading in February of this year at The Bushwick Starr, featuring Eliza Bent in the title role, with live original music by Gavin Price of Black Elk Speaks.

This workshop performance at Meredith fully realizes the production before it debuts in New York, blending contemporary dance-theater styles, nostalgia for the ’90s, horror movie kitsch, and stuffed animals, along with ancient and new narrative to create a dreamscape like the audience has never seen.

There are two special opportunities related to the production of "Elektra."

• Talk Back After the Show: After the April 11 performance, stay and discuss the production process with the writer, director, cast and crew.

• Adapting the Myth for Contemporary Theatre: At 7 p.m. on April 13, attend a panel discussion before the "Elektra" performance. Moderated by Jenny Wales of Playmaker Theatre, the discussion will feature Meredith Ensemble Theatre and Haymaker Theatre, which have both produced the piece.

Tickets:Tickets are free for Meredith faculty, staff and students. Public tickets are $10 general admission, $5 non-Meredith students/seniors. Call 919-760-2840 to reserve tickets.

Photo shows theatre major Mahamantra Das, '13, as Elektra.

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