2022 NY Euripides Summer Festival Productions of Ion and Orestes Available Online

NEW YORK — Virus concerns during pre-production have mandated another remote rendition of this year’s New York Euripides Summer Festival productions of Ion and Orestes. Ruled by Apollo and his instrumental role in both plays, Ion and Orestes are presented in the same double program. While Ion remains a real rarity, having not been professionally produced since 1984, Orestes, one of Euripides’ most sought-after dramas, is a perfect fit for this summer’s selections, named after male leads, unlike the number abounding in plays by the playwright named after women.

Being the last of his four tragicomedies, Euripides expresses skepticism in Ion, about received mythology and intentionally comments on anthropomorphic religion. As a political motive, the coin helps justify Athens’ claim of sovereignty over Ionia, making Ion, an illegitimate child, the future ruler of Ionia and his return to Athenian soil, where he was born. , before Hermes transports him to the Temple of Apollo. in Delphi when he was still a baby. Ion grows up serving Apollo, not knowing who his parents are, but divine foresight solves the mystery of his ancestry and grants him a prosperous future, making Ion a drama with a happy ending. It is photographed and directed by Stephen Diacrussi.

Stephen Diacrussi as Hermes in Ion at New York’s Euripides Summer Festival this year. Photo: Courtesy of American Theater Thymele

In Orestes, directed by Bradley Cordero, Apollo also controls the action of this favorite of Euripides. From its first production in 408 BCE through to contemporary times, it has influenced a plethora of other compositions, in all art forms and has served as a coveted instrument for world production. The deep relationship between Orestes, Pylades and Electra remains relevant, and the play’s dramatic use of three different stage elevations for the final scene exalts Euripides’ genius to this day. It is Apollo himself who organizes the murder of Clytemnestra and the one who ultimately justifies the murder.

In what has become the third consecutive summer season to present New York’s Euripides Summer Festival remotely, the diverse members of the ensemble company create memorable movie role characters, while using Zoom as a medium. to make movies. Stephen Diacrussi, a graduate of the Picker Film Institute and pioneer of this single-character remote filming format, mentioned that “there is great potential in this style” and that “the pandemic has proven to have a positive impact about approaching a variety of art forms. He further stated that “While platforms such as Zoom originated as media for reading and discussion, necessity has proven that, when used effectively, even cinematic miracles can be achieved, once mastered technique.

Theatrical screenings are included for this year’s festival. Also for the first time, gender casting is applied for a given role, that of the Messenger in Orestes (played by Samantha Biatch) and the main character in Ion and Orestes, played by the same actor (Jeric Gutierrez). The ensemble cast also includes Molly Gilman, Syd Strong, Joshua Biatch, John Calvanico, Ari Huber, Mari Hayes, Deirdre Donahue, Stephen Diacrussi, Giulia Cowie, Len Breslow and Hari Bhaskar.

Ahead of the premiere of the two films remotely on the American Thymele Theater YouTube channel on August 29 at 12 p.m. and 1:15 a.m., they screened August 26 and 27 at the Hellenic Cultural Center Theater, 27-09 Crescent Street, in the Astoria section of Queens in New York. As with all ATT productions, admission is free to the public. Presented by TELEPHILMS.

Deirdre Donahue as Athena in Ion at this year’s New York Euripides Summer Festival. Photo: Courtesy of American Theater Thymele

Diacrussi told the National Herald that “the digital productions of the New York Euripides Summer Festival took seven weeks to put together. Rehearsals began just after July 4, July 5, and Ion and Orestes were rehearsed and captured together. Post-production wrapped on August 22.

When asked how the pieces were selected, Diacrussi said, “The presence of Apollo in Ion and Orestes was a determining factor for the two selections this summer. Apollo is proven to be the father of Ion to Ion and it is Apollo whom Ion serves in his temple at Delphi, not knowing who his parents are. Apollo appears in Orestes as a character at the end of the play, claiming to be the one who made Orestes kill his mother, Clytemnestra. It is also Apollo who ends up proving the innocence of Orestes for matricide. It is therefore Apollo who controls the action of the two pieces.

“After this year’s screenings, both plays are still available on the American Thymele Theater YouTube channel,” Diacrussi told TNH.

The Festival trailer is available on YouTube: https://bit.ly/3BzdCLF.

Ion: https://bit.ly/3RBn8TX.

Orestes: https://bit.ly/3ByXVnC.

More information is available online: www.AmericanThymeleTheatre.yolasite.com.

Marjorie N. McClure