Brandeis State of the Arts, Spring 2019

Page 22


the bacchae with new lyrics for the brandeis production, stephanie fleischmann ignites the ancient greek text


Yair Koas ’19


production of “The Bacchae” in April is a complex and innovative artistic collaboration. A new translation of the 2,400-year-old play by Joel Christensen ’01, associate professor of classical studies, provides a road map for director Dmitry Troyanovsky, associate professor of theater arts, and scenic designer Cameron Anderson, assistant professor of theater arts. Through the ancient Greek story of Dionysus, whose arrival in Thebes inspires frenzied worship and upends the ordered city-state, the production takes a contemporary look at political tyranny, gender, religious ecstasy and mass violence. New songs written for the production illuminate the story’s emotional heart. Stephanie Fleischmann (lyrics) and Daniel Kluger (music) have worked together around the world, most recently at New York’s Public Theater. Fleischmann has been called a “neo Emily Dickinson” (Backstage) and “a writer who can conjure something between a dreamy road movie and a theatrical comingof-age tale” (Chicago Sun Times). Kluger produces genre-defying scores for stage and film, including the much-praised new orchestrations for “Oklahoma!” STEPHANIE FLEISCHMANN

20  state of the arts | brandeis university

Yair Koas ’19 spoke with Fleischmann about her role in creating the world of “The Bacchae.”

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