Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Iphigenia In Tauris


314 West 54th Street

New York, NY 10019

212 581 3044

American Theatre of Actors presents Euripides’ tale of human sacrifice in a family setting. The title character of Iphigenia in Tauris is required to sacrifice all foreigners who enter the kingdom. What will she do when her brother and brother-in-law—searching for a magic idol—are found in her temple?

The play will be performed on August 26, 27, 28, 29, September 2, 3, 4, 5 at 8 PM (Wednesdays through Saturdays), with a special matinee on Sunday, August 30th at 3 PM, in the Outdoor Theatre at the American Theatre of Actors at 314 West 54th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues. It is easily accessible by the 1, A, B, C, D trains at Columbus Circle—59th Street, and the N, Q, R trains at 57th Street.

Admission: $15.00.

Ticket info: Call 212.581.3044

Featured as Iphigenia is Morgan Nevans, with Jason Resnikoff as her brother, Orestes. Others in the cast are Samantha Cole, Dennis Demitry, Quincy Ellis, Adam Griffith, Leslie Kelly, Claire Nasuti, Michael Swartz, and Nikole Williams. The production is directed by Jeff Dailey.

Written in the early years of the 5th Century BC, Iphigenia in Tauris raises issues still current today about religion, family, and murder.

various historical images

Before the story begins:

The Greek king Agamemnon killed a deer in a forest sacred to the goddess Artemis, and boasted he was the better hunter. In retaliation, Artemis calmed the winds at the port of Aulis, where the Greek navy gathered to depart for Troy, where they intended to avenge the abduction of Helen (who was married to Menelaus, Agamemnon’s brother) by the Trojan prince Paris. The soothsayer Calchis advised Agamemnon that the only solution would be to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia. During the sacrificial rite, Artemis magically substituted a deer in Iphigenia’s place, and transported her to Tauris (now called Crimea), where she became a priestess in the Temple of Artemis. Among her responsibilities there, she assists in the sacrifice of foreigners who venture into Tauris, which is ruled by King Thoas.

While Agamemnon was at war, his wife, Clytemnestra, was seduced by Aegisthus. When Agamemnon returned, his wife and her lover killed him. They then ruled Athens together until Agamemnon’s son, Orestes, returned and killed his mother and her lover, assisted by his sister Electra.

Orestes is then pursued by the Furies, whose duty is to punish any who disrupt familial piety. They drive him mad, even though he insists he did what the god Apollo ordered. At last the goddess Athena receives him in the acropolis of Athens and arranges a formal trial of the case before twelve Attic judges. The Furies demand their victim; he pleads the orders of Apollo; the votes of the judges are equally divided, and Athena gives her casting vote for acquittal. The furies continue to pursue him, and Apollo tells him to go to Tauris, where he must find a magical statue of Artemis that fell from the sky, and bring it back to Athens. He sets off with his friend Pylades on this quest.

And the play begins.....



The Play


The Cast

Morgan Nevans (Iphigenia) graduated from AMDA and The
New School University and is thrilled to have the opportunity
to perform classical theater again. She worked with director
Jeff Dailey previously in the title role of Dido, Queen of Carth-
age in this same courtyard theater. She would like to thank
her soon-to-be-husband for his support and encouragement
to push herself down new paths.

Jason Resnikoff (Orestes) graduated from Columbia College,
Columbia University in 2008 where he studied history. He was
a member of the King's Crown Shakespeare Troupe, appeari-
ng as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Macduff in Macbeth,
and King Lear in King Lear. He wrote for the sketch comedy
troupe Chowdah, and performed in several department prod-
uctions under the direction of Diane Paulus and Amit Gazit.
Recently he played Caliban in Bird-on-a-Cliff's production of
The Tempest. His hero is Beethoven.

Quincy Ellis (Pylades) was most recently seen in King Lear
(Gloucester) and Wanderlust (Character D). Other credits
include Romeo & Juliet (Nurse/Gregory); The Rubik's Cube
(Caveman); and What of the Night? (Ray). Off the stage,
Quincy enjoys both directing and figure skating, which has
led to his own productions S.A.L.I.G.I.A. and Balloon Heaven;
the latter of which became a finalist at the Network One Act
Festival earlier this year.

Samantha Cole (Maiden) is making her New York City debut
in Iphigenia in Tauris. She recently moved here from Seattle
where she got her MFA in acting from the University of Wash-
ington. Originally a California girl, she studied anthropology
and theatre as an undergraduate at Berkeley. Some of her
favorite roles have been Ruth in Blithe Spirit, Pam in Hunter
Gatherers, Pinky in Our Lady of 121st Street and Olivia in
Twelfth Night. Samantha has also written and performed two
one-woman shows, one of which is an ethnographic account
of life in one of Seattle's tent cities called Nickelsville.

Leslie Kelly (Maiden) most recently appeared in On The
Brink, a workshop/production with BMCC Tribeca Performing
Arts Center. Past favorites include Hamm & Clov Stage
Company’s Anam Cara, Collective Company's Heer Ranhja,
Atlanta's Alliance Theatre production of Project Collision and
all her performances at UGA. Leslie trained at T.Schreiber
Studio and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of
Georgia. Much love and thanks to my friends and family.

Claire Nasuti (Maiden) is a (semi) recent graduate of Trinity
College in Hartford, CT. When not making your lattes or
tutoring your kids for their SAT, she can be seen performing
with the Festival of Fools Theater Troupe and the Lesbian
Overtones. Recent credits include Dr. Faustus, The Father of
Songs (Schapiro Theater), In Heat (West End Theater) and
X-Mas (LaMama ETC). Thanks and love to family and friends know who you are.

Michael Swartz (Herdsman) is making his ATA debut. NY
credits: Measure for Measure (Planet Connections Festivity);
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Flux Theatre Ensemble); The
Tamer Tamed (Misfit Toys Rep.); The Merchant of Venice
(Hudson Shakespeare Co.); and more. Michael was trained
in a corn-field in Pennsylvania (DeSales University), where
he worked with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival: As
You Like It; Henry IV, Part I; Hamlet; My Fair Lady. As a
member of the New York Choral Society, Michael recently
made his Carnegie Hall debut, and sang with Andre Bocelli
at Madison Square Garden.

Dennis Demitry (Thoas) recently appeared as Carlo in the
independent crime film Behind the Eyes of a Hit Man. He also
appeared in the title role of Shostakovich in New York at the
Nicholas Roerich Museum and as Claudius in the HB Theatre
production of Hamlet, directed by George Bartenieff. He stud-
ied at ACDA, also with Gene Frankel, and at HB Studios.

Adam Griffith (Soldier) is a recent graduate of William Esper
Studios where he studied under both Bill and Suzanne Esper.
Previous credits include: Closer (Redd Tale Pro.); Spoon River
Anthology (Adam Roebuck Pro.); and The Reading (Dir. Paula
J. Riley). In September Adam will be in his first Shakespeare
production as Nym and Salisbury in Henry V at the Queens
Players, and, in October, he will play Ben in Seascape with
Sharks and Dancer (Dir. Jules Helm).

Nikole Williams constantly seeks interesting acting projects and diverse roles. Her acting experience includes productions such as Color Struck and Woyzeck, which she performed at her alma mater, Barnard College, as well as The Merchant of Venice, Arabian Nights, The Adventures of Perseus, Oh Freedom, and Shakespeare Saturdays Sings. She has enjoyed working with the good-natured cast and crew of Iphigenia in Tauris and thanks her family and friends for their support!

Jeff Dailey (Director) has a PhD in theatre from New York
University. At the American Theatre of Actors he has directed the world premieres of Jim Barden's The Good Life and Peter Spiro's The Way Rain Likes Grass, as well as four plays by Christopher Marlowe--Tamburlaine the Great, Parts I and II; Dido, Queen of Carthage; and Edward II. He has published works on medieval theatre, Eugene O'Neill, Christopher Marlowe, Beowulf, and Gilbert and Sullivan. His book on Sullivan’s Ivanhoe (Sir Arthur Sullivan’s Grand Opera Ivanhoe and Its Musical Precursors: Adaptations of Sir Walter Scott’s Novel for the Stage, 1819-1891), published by Mellen Press in 2008, is the standard reference work on the subject. Dr. Dailey studied directing at NYU, with Mike Nichols at the New Actors Workshop, and with José Quintero at the Provincetown Playhouse.

Terry Prideaux (Stage Manager) is very excited to be working
with the talented cast of ATA’s production of Iphigenia in Tauris. Terry is a graduate of The Art Institute of Seattle with an Associates Degree in Visual Communications (2001). His previous performing arts technical experience includes tours with Disney on Ice and Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus. Currently he is enrolled at The Art Institute of NYC pursuing a degree in web design. He is published photographer and a freelance graphic designer.

This production will use the translation published in 1915 by Witter Bynner.