—Limited Engagement! April 10–13, 2014, Opening Night: April 10—
Princeton, NJ, March 3, 2014– Princeton Theological Seminary’s Department of Speech Communication in Ministry will present Aeschylus’s The Oresteia on Thursday through Saturday, April 10 through 12 at 8:00 p.m., and on Sunday, April 13 at 3:00 p.m. The performance will be in the Gambrell Room of Scheide Hall on the Seminary campus at 64 Mercer Street in Princeton.
One of the three still-performed ancient Greek tragedians, Aeschylus (525–456 B.C.) was born and grew up in Eleusis, a city dedicated to Demeter, matriarchal goddess of fertility. As a teenager he was accused of sneaking in to watch the women’s Eleusinian rites, forbidden to men. He began work as a boy in vineyards and legend has it he dreamed of Dionysus, god of wine and theater, telling him to write plays. Aeschylus produced more than seventy plays, only seven of which survive.
Greek tragedies were performed as trilogies; three plays performed successively on a single day. According to director Robert Lanchester, The Oresteia is the only complete trilogy “that we have, and [it] demonstrates the need for humanity to evolve from tribalism to a larger awareness of a divine order. On stage, Aeschylus shows us gods, Apollo and Athena, who are humanized to some extent, while Zeus, ‘that Great Third,’ remains distant and all-powerful. The play depicts archetypal family dynamics and domestic violence morphing into a larger world of justice with mercy and redemption.”
The drama has been adapted for the stage by Lanchester, the Seminary’s assistant in speech. Seminary students make up the cast. The production is open to the public and free of charge, but seats are limited and must be reserved in advance. For reservations and/or information, contact Marija DiViaio at 609.497.7963.
Princeton Theological Seminary, founded in 1812, is the first seminary established by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. Its mission is to educate leaders for the church of Jesus Christ worldwide, and its more than 500 students and 11,000 graduates from all fifty states and many nations around the world serve Christ in churches, schools and universities, healthcare institutions, nonprofit agencies, initiatives for social justice, mission agencies, and the emerging ministries of the church in the twenty-first century.