The Mines Little Theater held a production of the Greek play, Agamemnon, this past weekend at the Clear Creek Hay Barn.
Agamemnon, written by Aeschylus and performed for the first time in 458 BC, is a play that even today can be well showcased by fellow Mines students. Agamemnon’s plot is fairly rudimentary, but the cultural relevance to modern times easily explains why this play has lived on and been performed on countless occasions.
The play is set after Greece’s victory over Troy, and follows the story of Agamemnon, King of Argos, and his wife, Clytemnestra. The queen vows to take revenge on Agamemnon after he sacrificed their daughter to save his army from a sea storm. The play ends when the queen murders her husband and claims his throne.
Viewers will agree that the ending of the play creates many questions about cultural perceptions of culpability and the remedies that are acceptable for wrongdoings.
“In the eyes of an ancient Greek audience, the queen was considered completely evil,” Richard Sebastian-Coleman, Director of Agamemnon and President of Mines Little Theatre, said. “In the days when this play would have premiered, ancient Greek ideals on morality and injustice were quite different than they are today.”
Historically, people believed kings were inherently divine, and that the murder of one, regardless of what he had done, was still reprehensible. Today, of course, viewers are more likely to sympathize with the queen’s desire for revenge and grief at the loss of her daughter. These violent emotions were well portrayed by Jordan Brothers, who took the stage as Queen Clytemnestra. Her role was complemented by the Chorus of Elders, played by Josh Hoffman, Eric Schalch, Kenzie Parimuha, and Shantel Bree, and by the dynamic prophetess, Cassandra, brought to life exquisitely by Claire Mahoney. Agamemnon’s title role was performed by Brock Morrison.
Mines Little Theater’s choice of Agamemnon as a September production, according to Sebastian-Coleman, had several advantages.
“This is the first time in Mines’ history that a play has been performed this early in the school year,” he said. “The early date was great for outdoor performances in the Clear Creek Hay Barn, and it gave us a chance to advertise and encourage new members to join.”
But such an early performance was no easy task. The cast of Agamemnon rehearsed, built sets, and secured the location entirely over the summer. Some cast members had mere weeks to practice after accommodating to summer internship schedules. This is a great testament to Mines Little Theater’s quality and dedication to their performance in the face of constraints that summer break imposed. As a result of their hard work, the play was lively, intimate, and enjoyable.
This fall, more productions are to come. If interested, Mines students can audition for parts in the two productions lined up for the end of 2015. Auditions will be held September 11 and 12 from 4-7 pm in Ballrooms D and E.