Telling stories of women and cults who have challenged the patriarchal status quo throughout history, an all female & non-binary cast of both professional actors and current MUST emerging performers will explore the Bacchae myths, steeped in ritual and rebellion at La Mama Courthouse Theatre from 10 July 2019.
This fierce retelling, inspired by Richard Schechner’s Dionysus in ‘69 weaves in classic and pop culture references from Greek gods to Pussy Riot – this is far from the original Euripides! The Bacchae takes the women out of the mountains and onto centre stage – now they finally tell their own story.
Robert Reid gives their ancient tale new life, exploring rebellion across culture and time, from eighteenth century France to the Vietnam War. By using Schechner’s rehearsal room as an anchor, The Bacchae finds itself at home in 1960s America. The politics, fears, and hopes of the time are interwoven with iconic musical selections of the era.
The large, multi-generation ensemble moves seamlessly through song, speech, and physical theatre. Together they create a collective voice of resistance that spans a four-hour experience delivered in two parts across two weeks or the complete cycle on the weekends. From Aeschylus to The Manson Family, The Bacchae truly is a modern epic.
Featuring a dynamic cast of 40 women and non-binary actors including: Freya Pragt, Melanie Beddie, Sharon Kershaw, Jess Gonsalvez, Carissa Lee, Felicity Steele, Eleanor Howlett, Kerith Manderson-Galvin, Casey Bohan, Peita Collard, Tess Luminati, Shamita Sivabalan, Kathryn Yates, Ellen Grimshaw, Yoni Prior, Amanda Dhammanarachchi, Gillian Lee, Chelsea Rabl, Aileen Lau, Zainab Abdul, Alice Stewart, Celina Mack, Baria Khan, Jessica Hayden, Tijen Lrmak, Bianca Montagner, Roxana Paun-Trifan, Xanthe Sefton, Ellen Ma, Audrey Li, Elena Fanaritis, Caitlin Harry, Georgina Bright, Mia Fine, Madeleine Brown, Gemma Livingstone, Agata Dmochowska, G. Ulrich & Kelly Wilson.
Robert Reid is a freelance playwright, director, game designer and academic. He was Artistic Director and founder of the independent theatre company Theatre in Decay and the Australian live games company Pop Up Playground. He is currently co-editor and founder of witnessperformance.com
He has had plays produced by MTC and has been shortlisted for a number of awards including the Kit Denton Fellowship in 2009, the Wal Cherry Award & the Griffin Award. He was also awarded the R.E. Ross Trust Playwright Development Award, the Best Independent Theatre Company Prize, the Best Overall Performance Prize at Short and Sweet Melbourne in 2005 & the St Martins Playwright of the Year Award in 2000.
Monash Uni Student Theatre (MUST), an “impressive breeding ground for talent in recent years” (The Music) is a department of the Monash Student Association led by professional theatre makers. They create vibrant, innovative performances by and with Monash students, for everybody.
Works are diverse, ranging from devised pieces to bold adaptations, from large-scale immersive work and festivals to intimate experiments. They’ve staged works at the Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe, winning the Melbourne Fringe Live Art Award, and collaborated with Theatre Works, fortyfivedownstairs and La Mama.
Writer and Director: Robert Reid Assistant Director and Musical Direction: Kelly Wilson Assistant Director and Movement: Sarah Macky Producer: Georgia Kate Bell
La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton
Season: 10 – 21 July 2019
Information and Bookings: www.lamama.com.au
Image: The Bacchae – photo by Julia Kaddatz