|Te Vegas: Illustration by Spent Pencils Toronto|
The Chicago Production of ISMENE will be something very special. This will be our fourth time bringing ISMENE to Chicago, and each time we explore new interpretations and dive deeper into this mythos of this fascinating play. ISMENE is the show that started all of my Greek re-imaginings and has always been at the center of their universe. Every play that further expanded on the new rules of our Greek Theatre had to answer one simple question, "Does this stay in the context of ISMENE?" And yet, after producing the new ANTIGONE, MEDEA, THE AGON TRILOGY (AGAMEMNON, ELECTRA and ORESTES) and MEDEA (there is a new MEDEA also on the horizon, but we'll talk about that later) Ismene's world has been completely fleshed out. The rules of this universe are now set in stone.
We (and our Audience who has taken this long journey with us) have walked along so many of these characters. We've stood on the black beach with Medea, we've walked on water and into the ship of death of Agamemnon and Cassandra, we've stood covered in blood, hair and dust in the ruins of Thebes with Antigone, we've crawled into the chorus filled swamp with Electra, and we have even gone to the dead center of Hell and witnessed the very end of everyone and everything...
Although ISMENE was the first play written, to me it has always been the true ending to this long story. And for the first time, we are going to bring our Audience the full realization of that ending. From the earthquake till the final confrontation with fate, we hope that you will leave the theatre truly satisfied with the story's conclusion. I am so happy to bring this show to you.
This time - we are going for our most raw production yet. The Dream Theatre style has changed so much from ISMENE'S now archaic beginning back in 2004. As such a young company it was very clear from the start that we truly didn't know just what the Hell we were doing and what we had discovered. It would take several years before the ISMENE would be realized, and that discovery would open the door to the Dream Theatre style. And so, dear audience, with fresh eyes and years of laboratory style training, we are going to explore the school of Arktoi in all of its shadows and deepest secrets like never before. And you will be right there with us. What should you expect? (Wicked smile.) Trust us. How exactly are we accomplishing this? It's much better if I don't divulge any more. Just know that this is the perfect play to throw open the doors of the New Dream Theatre. From its shaky start to its short lived triumph as part of the ANTIGONE PROJECT (almost 3 years ago now), I promise that this will be our definitive production of ISMENE.
And I for one, can't wait.
About The Ismene Project...
7 cities -- Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, Dublin (Ireland), St. John's (Newfoundland, Canada), Toronto (Ontario, Canada).
8 women directors -- Liz Bragg, Heather Chamberlain, Amy Flood, Sharon King-Campbell, Megan Murphy, Aislinn Ní Uallacháin, Ruth Pe Palileo and Anna Weiler.
1 play -- "Ismene" by Jeremy Menekseouglu of Dream Theatre Company.
1 goal -- Raise awareness and funds to support the heroines who battle breast cancer every day.
The play "Ismene" will open in May 2011 in cities all over the world.