Academic journal article TheatreForum

IPHIGENIA CRASH LAND FALLS ON THE NEON SHELL THAT WAS ONCE HER HEART: (A Rave Fable)

Academic journal article TheatreForum

IPHIGENIA CRASH LAND FALLS ON THE NEON SHELL THAT WAS ONCE HER HEART: (A Rave Fable)

Article excerpt

inspired by Euripides' Iphigenia in Aulis

Characters:

IPHIGENIA, a spinning girl of privileged means, slightly feral, she's used to being in the public eye, she's breaking down.

ACHILLES, an androgynous rock star, beautiful and damaged (on video and live);Also (may) play FRESA GIRL 3, chorus.*

ADOLFO, Iphigenia's father, a contained and ambitious general (on video and live); Also plays VIRTUAL MC, an obscene, liquid, techno-triphop vision (on video); GENERAL'S ASS, a mask from the satyr play, part commedia role, part Burroughs-like dream; SOLDIER X, a mercenary, who has no passion left; And FRESA GIRL 1, chorus.

CAMILA, Iphigenia's mother, a narcotized prop wife possessed of a fierce hauteur (on video and live); Also plays VIOLETA IMPERIAL, an ageless apparition, a messenger and prophet, earth-bound; And HERMAPHRODITE PRINCE, a mask from the satyr play, a little lost and seriously messed up.

ORESTES, Iphigenia's baby brother, an addicted, spewing child with an adult voice (on video); Also plays NEWS ANCHOR, a plastic icon on the TV (on video and live); VIRGIN PUTA, a mask from the satyr play, who is Iphigenia's other twin.GLASS-EYED MAN (on video), a specter; And FRESA GIRL 2, chorus.

*The Fresa Girls should be played by men. If Achilles is not doubled, then Fresa Girl 3 should be played by an additional actor.

Time:

The present. An unnamed country in the Americas during a time of unrest.

Setting:

The frame of an aircraft hangar. Dust, dirt, and a stained party dress nailed to a battered wall. Oddly dyed carnations on the ground. The wall is jagged and impossibly high. A bank of surveillance cameras to one side: the silent, red eye.

Notes:

There are Spanish words and phrases incorporated in the text, which are either translated directly by a character or can be determined from context. No "Hispanic" accents should be used. Melodies to original songs may be obtained by contacting the author, or the lyrics may be re-set by another composer.

7 Stages Theatre was founded by Del Hamilton and Faye Alien in 1979 in a storefront shop in Atlanta's Little Five Points neighborhood as a home for emerging artists seeking to create innovative, intellectually stimulating theatre. 25 years later, 7 Stages remains a vital ficture of the city's cultural landscape, pursing its unwavering mission to engage artists and audiences by focusing on the social, spiritual, and artistic values of contemporary culture. The primary emphasis is on the support and development of new plays, new playwrights, and new methods of collaboration.

Historical highlights include Warren (1984), one of the first plays in the nation to treate the AIDS epidemic; Bang Bang Über Alles (1986) by June Jordan and Adrienne Torf, which prompted the first Ku Klux Klan protest rally in Atlanta's city limits in 30 years. When the World Was Green (1996) was a collaboration between Joseph Chaikin and Sam Shepard. Chaikin was an associate artist at 7 Stages until his death, and his final play, Broken Glass, ran in 2003.

7 Stages has also nurtured collaborative relationships with theatre artists around the world. This work has brought playwrights, directors, and designers from Germany, France, Holland, Yugoslavia, Mexico, Albania, and South Africa to share their styles, techniques, and perspectives. In return, the 7 Stages company has traveled throughout Europe and to South America, South Africa, and China to present plays and create new work with other artists.

CURTAIN SPEECH

As the music lightens up, the voice of the Virtual MC is heard.

VIRTUAL MC: Listen up, children, or you will lose your way in this neopsychedelic maze.

There are rules here, you see. Even in this grand party of electro-tragic proportions

We have to submit to authority. Are you willing to submit yourself to me? Say you will, say you will, lovers and freaks,

Cause if you don't, you'll never please me, and I like to be pleased; Don't we all like pleasure in this regulated state of supreme ecstasy? …

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