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JoAnne Akalaitis: Off-B'way at the Skirball

Let me tell you about Medea in JoAnne Akalaitis: BAD NEWS! I WAS THERE currently running off-broadway at NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts! Runs through 9/8. Tickets here.

Read the NYTimes review!

Katie Lee Hill off-broadway in BAD NEWS! I WAS THERE. photo by Richard Termine.

From Skirball's website:

" Theatrical legend JoAnne Akalaitis creates a site-specific processional performance exploring the monumental impact of the messenger character from classic drama.

Audiences are split into four groups, each led on a unique a journey through NYU Skirball’s lobby, hallways, and out-of-the-way spaces where some of history’s most memorable messengers bring them tidings of bad news — and they do not spare the gory details. Taken from the works of Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles, Racine, and Brecht, tragic monologues are spoken and sung in a harmonious chorus of English, interwoven with Greek, Latin, German, and French, with movement influenced by the Indian Kathakali tradition. All paths lead to the empty stage where the performers tell the battle story from The Persians by Aeschylus, the oldest surviving play in Western Literature.

Created in the spirit of the Greek polis — where audiences came together to witness tragedies that called into question the rationality of mortals and the justice of the gods — Akalaitis draws a parallel between this ancient theatrical device and contemporary media coverage of horrifying events, where eyewitnesses often repeat a heartbreaking refrain of “I was there.”

This piece is a NY premiere with an original score by Bruce Odland, visual design by Julie Archer and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. Performed by Rachel Christopher, Kelley Curran, Katie Lee Hill, Jenny Ikeda, Henry Jenkins, Howard Overshown, Jasai Chase Owens, and Rocco Sisto. BAD NEWS! i was there… is presented in cooperation with the Guthrie Theater and is supported through the generosity of the Gallatin Fund for Classics and the Contemporary.

“Engaging … invigorating … movingly poetic” — The Star Tribune"

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