Aeschylus’ ‘Oresteia’ Takes the Stage in Hollywood

Aeschylus’ ‘Oresteia’ Takes the Stage in Hollywood

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Aeschylus’ “Oresteia,” a trilogy that tells the story of the house of Atreus, finds a home onstage in Hollywood this weekend.

Opening Friday, Dec. 7 and running through Sunday, Dec. 9, the play is translated and directed by Lucas Thanos. Thanos, who studied Theatre, Music, Dance and Philosophy in Athens, Rome and New York, has considerable experience in theater and dance, and has devoted years to studying Aeschylus.

In the first play of “Oresteia,” Agamemnon portrays the victorious return of that king from the Trojan War and his murder by his wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus. By the end, Clytemnestra and her lover rule Argos.

The second play details the revenge of Agamemnon’s daughter Electra and his son, Orestes. The siblings together invoke the aid of the dead Agamemnon in their plans. Orestes then slays Aegisthus and his mother and he flees, guilt-wracked, maddened, and pursued by the female incarnations of his mother’s curse, the Furies (Erinyes).

The third play, Eumenides, opens at the shrine of Apollo at Delphi where Orestes has taken sanctuary from the Furies. At the command of the Delphic oracle, Orestes journeys to Athens to stand trial for his matricide. There the goddess Athena organizes a trial with a jury of citizens. The Furies are his accusers, Apollo his advocate. The jury is evenly divided in its vote, and Athena casts the tie-breaking vote for Orestes acquittal. The Furies then turn their vengeful resentment against the city itself.

Here’s a glimpse of the performance when it played at the Municipal Theater of Patras:

Aeschylus’ “Oresteia” in Hollywood is being presented by The Hellenic Library. General admission is $30 and tickets are available at www.plays411.com/oresteia.

The Hudson Backstage Theater is located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. Performances are Dec. 7 & 8 @ 8pm, and Dec. 9 @ 3pm. For more information, call 310-735-7882, 562-869-5582 or 323-960-5521.

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