No Audience, No Actors, But This Show Makes Its Point

NOTE FROM LB: Found this on Facebook and immediately fell in love with the Swarthmore College Theater Department. Wonder if they have any faculty openings….


via TVWriter™ Press Service

THAT WHICH WILL REMAIN UNSEEN
SWARTHMORE COLLEGE DEPARTMENT OF THEATER PRESENTS:
SOPHOCLES
THE WOMEN OF TRACHIS
Directed by Michal Zadara

with Alex Kingsley ’20, Nadia Malaya ’22, Josephine Ross ’21, Cynthia Ruimin Shi ’23, and Ziv Stern ’20 (dramaturg)

In the middle of the pandemic, Swarthmore visiting Cornell professor and director, Micha? Zadara ’99, stages Sophocles’ The Women of Trachis.

Sophocles has his chorus of young women witness a non-public aspect of Heracles: his brutality toward women, animals, and societies. Today, theatres are closed and Sophocles’ truth must remain hidden.

Zadara and his students have developed a version of Sophocles’ tragedy that consists of objects and multimedia controlled by a computer. The theater will be empty, there will be no live performers.

No audience will discover what these women of Trachis saw. This knowledge will remain unheard and unseen.

Production co-sponsored by the Department of Classics and the Honors Program.

About 32 minutes, no intermission

NO ONE WILL BE ADMITTED – NO ONE WILL BE ON STAGE
DON’T CALL FOR RESERVATIONS
NO LIVE STREAMING

OPENS Friday, April 24, 2020, 8 PM, Frear Theatre of Swarthmore College

THEATRE WITHOUT WITNESSES
What is lost when the theatre is shut down?

In the end, tragedy is an encounter with everything that cannot be expressed through just words or images. In the theatre, what is not seen is more important than what is on stage. In this production of Sophocles’ play, nothing will be seen.

The crimes and amorality of Heracles will be hidden from view, seen only by the fictional Women of Trachis. Micha? Zadara stages a live performance which no one – not even the performers – will witness.

The performance is a result of Micha? Zadara’s class “Tragedy as Contemporary Theatre” (which was cross-listed in both Theater and Classics).

His students read and analyzed Greek tragedies and then chose The Women of Trachis to stage. Classes on campus were cancelled in March, but Zadara has continued his theatre work with the students online.

Swarthmore’s Lang Performing Arts Center (LPAC) is empty. In isolation, Zadara is connecting equipment, moving scenery, and testing the multimedia his students are sending him.

On April 24, 2020, a computer will start all the cues for the light, sound, and video, and the story of how Deianeira killed herself after killing her husband, Heracles, will be told.

The cast and crew are recorded and the audience is absent.

Swarthmore College’s Department of Theater continues to make live, collective work under these extreme and unique conditions. This performance will exist — and embody — absence as the social reality of this time.

Read what the Washington Post had to say about this fascinating event