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ClassicsFest 2010: ‘The Helen Fragments’

As ClassicsFest 2010 unspools, we’ll be featuring insights from the project initiators about what inspired them to choose their plays and their experience of working on them.

The Helen Fragments
by Euripides/Homer/Ovid/Sappho

The idea to perform “fragments” of Euripides’ Helen came in a conversation with Jeanie Hackett. Twice, at her invitation, I have had the pleasure of moderating meetings of the Antaeus Academy where we have focused on Greek drama. These great classical plays are a challenge for any director or actor because they were a complete integration of poetry, language, song, music, dance, and gesture.

To imagine such a performance, we need to arrive at a vocabulary that defines the actor and director in very different terms from much of contemporary theater. For this reason, working on a Greek play is always a new beginning and a challenge to explore fundamental elements.

Like Shakespeare’s late plays, Helen is a romance – underlying its fairy tale structure is a psychologically acute study of love lost and love regained.

–    Michael Hackett, Director

The Helen Fragments plays as a “Workshop” on July 27th and July 28th at 8pm.

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