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The Greek Plays

por Ellen McLaughlin

Outros autores: Tony Kushner

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311634,287 (5)Nenhum(a)
From The Persians "Defeat is impossible Defeat is unthinkable We have always been the favorites of fate. Fortune has cupped us In her golden palms. It has only been a matter Of choosing our desire. Which fruit To pick from the nodding tree." This chilling passage is from Ellen McLaughlin's new adaptation of The Persians by Aeschylus, the earliest surviving play in Western literature, an elegy for a fallen civi-lization and a warning to its new conqueror. As Margo Jefferson wrote in the New York Times, "The play is a true classic: we see the present and the future right there, inside the past. And when writers give us a 'new version' (a translation or adaptation) of a classic, they both serve and use it. They serve the playwright's gifts by refusing to simplify. But they can't just imitate. Every age has its own rhythms and drives. The classic must make us feel the new acutely. Ellen McLaughlin serves and uses The Persians with true power and grace." Also included in this volume: Iphigenia and Other Daughters (from Euripides and Sophocles); The Trojan Women (Euripides); Helen (Euripides); and Lysistrata (Aristophanes), all powerfully realized and as relevant today as when they were first performed. Ellen McLaughlin's plays include Days and Nights Within, A Narrow Bed, Infinity's House and Tongue of a Bird, which have been widely produced. She is a past finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and was the co-winner of the Great American Play Contest. Also an accomplished actor, Ms. McLaughlin is most known for having originated the part of the Angel in Tony Kushner's Angels in America, appearing in every U.S. production through its Broadway run.… (mais)
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I really enjoyed these versions. McLaughlin has adapted rather than translated the plays, and she does so in a very accessible way. These are not scholarly works, but plays that can actually be performed, that leap off the page in song and light and speech. "Iphigenia and other Daughters" is raw, horrible, full of truth and darkness. Finally Chrysothemis has a voice, a role, between her power-bound mother and mad sister. And Iphigenia, sweet child, virgin statue. Beautiful. "The Trojan Women" is a harrowing play no matter how it’s retold. But this one was made for refugee women, for Serbs and Croats who fled from fallen cities. Their pain is here writ large; their own loss and fear and their very personal burning Troy. "Helen" is an odd play, even in the original version. It’s bleak somehow, playing with the revelation that the war has been fought for nothing. This version expands on that thought, makes Helen a victim of not just her beauty, but her expectations of what that means, of how she should be. Watching her slowly break free of that world is revelatory. "Lysistrata" is, unsurprisingly, pretty low-brow. It's the only one of these plays I didn't enjoy. I think I’ll stick with the tragedies. "The Persians" is a powerful play. This is the first version I’ve read, so I’m not sure how many liberties the author’s taken with the original, but it’s certainly quite effective. Most interesting because I’ve recently read a history of the Greco-Persian wars, so I have a good grounding in the back story. Lastly, "Oedipus" is a study on the terrible indifference of the Greek Gods. Cursed from birth, for nothing he's done, and made to live with the horror forced on him by Fate. ( )
  NKarman | Mar 10, 2018 |
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From The Persians "Defeat is impossible Defeat is unthinkable We have always been the favorites of fate. Fortune has cupped us In her golden palms. It has only been a matter Of choosing our desire. Which fruit To pick from the nodding tree." This chilling passage is from Ellen McLaughlin's new adaptation of The Persians by Aeschylus, the earliest surviving play in Western literature, an elegy for a fallen civi-lization and a warning to its new conqueror. As Margo Jefferson wrote in the New York Times, "The play is a true classic: we see the present and the future right there, inside the past. And when writers give us a 'new version' (a translation or adaptation) of a classic, they both serve and use it. They serve the playwright's gifts by refusing to simplify. But they can't just imitate. Every age has its own rhythms and drives. The classic must make us feel the new acutely. Ellen McLaughlin serves and uses The Persians with true power and grace." Also included in this volume: Iphigenia and Other Daughters (from Euripides and Sophocles); The Trojan Women (Euripides); Helen (Euripides); and Lysistrata (Aristophanes), all powerfully realized and as relevant today as when they were first performed. Ellen McLaughlin's plays include Days and Nights Within, A Narrow Bed, Infinity's House and Tongue of a Bird, which have been widely produced. She is a past finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and was the co-winner of the Great American Play Contest. Also an accomplished actor, Ms. McLaughlin is most known for having originated the part of the Angel in Tony Kushner's Angels in America, appearing in every U.S. production through its Broadway run.

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