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University Theatre's Electra Showcases Movement, Blood

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Blue, white and blood red show artwork for ElectraCertainly every family has its share of dysfunction – the ancient Greeks more so than others. Manipulated by both her mother and brother and too stubborn to see where her best interests lie, Electra trudges through intrigues, betrayals and sacrifices in Electra, the classic Greek drama by Sophocles opening Oct. 26 at the University Theatre. 

“You do not have to be a scholar of ancient Greek text to understand this tragedy. We can all relate to grieving and to being torn between polarized ideologies,” said director Nathan Bowman, who also adapted the Sophocles’ script. “While Electra might be seeking murder, I think we can all relate to, rightly or not, the feeling of wanting our opponents defeated.” 

This play is not only thought-provoking, but also cringe-provoking, at least it will be to some in the audience, Bowman said. Expect the use of fake blood at various times throughout the play, including its climax. “You’ll see the actors using their bodies in ways that a lot of people don’t see in theatre,” he said, adding that the physically demanding movements are based on techniques of the Suzuki and Viewpoints acting methods.

Electra will be performed in the William Inge Memorial Theatre at Murphy Hall, 1530 Naismith Ave., Oct. 26, 27, 28, 30 and 31 at 7:30pm and Oct. 28 at 2:30pm. 

headshot of Nathan BowmanBowman is a Native American theatre artist and musician from Kansas City, Mo. He has a Bachelor of Arts in both theatre and philosophy from Northwest Missouri State University, a Master of Arts in Religious Studies and is working on his PhD in Theatre at KU. Nathan is a co-founder and the Producing Artistic Director of Kansas City Public Theatre, a free-of-charge, non-profit theatre company. Nathan has worked professionally in the Kansas City area for over a decade and has trained at both the New York-based SITI Company and at Second City in Chicago. He’s worked for seven seasons at Kansas City Repertory Theatre. His recent directing work includes his own adaption of the Greek tragedy Medea: An American Tragedy at Kansas City Public Theatre and as Assistant Director for the Kansas City Repertory Theatre production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. 

Considered one of the most well-developed female characters in the classical canon of theatre, Electra leads us through her emotional and psychological deterioration on her quest for revenge. Jessica Myrick, Grayslake, Ill., freshmen theatre major, and Katherine Patz, a Tulsa, Okla., sophomore linguistics major, will each take turns rendering Electra. Myrick will perform Oct. 27, 28 at the matinee and 31. Patz will perform Oct. 26, 28 at night and 30.

The rest of the cast is comprised of Josh Philoon, Wilmette, Ill., senior theatre performance major, as Orestes; Aubrey McGettrick, Wichita freshman theatre and Spanish major, as Clytemnestra; Emily Gordon, Topeka freshman theatre major, as Chrysothemis; Leon Cambridge, Philadelphia, Pa., senior communications and theatre major, as Tutor/Aegisthus; and Josh McQuade, Lindenhurst, Ill., senior journalism major, as Pylades. Jill Branch, Houston, Texas, freshman theatre and creative writing major; Petricia Hall, Salina sophomore journalism and theatre major; Hollyanna Mathews, junior theatre performance major; Victoria Smith, Altamont sophomore theatre and English major; and Ayzia Underwood, a Greenwood Village, Co., senior theatre performance major, serve as the chorus. The creative team is made up of Lexey Jost, a MFA student in scenography, as lighting designer; Harlan Shoemaker, Tonganoxie senior visual arts and theatre design major, as costume designer; Renee Cyr, graduate student in religious studies, as dramaturg; and Tyla Palmer, Cape Town, South Africa, junior theatre major, as stage manager, in addition to staff member Dave Wanner as scenic designer.

Tickets for Electra are $20 for adults, $15 for senior citizens and KU faculty and staff, $15 for KU students at the door and $10 for children and KU students in advance. For tickets and more information, call 785-864-3982, visit the University Theatre Ticket Office in Murphy Hall, or go to our ticket sales web page.

The University Theatre is a production wing of the University of Kansas’ Department of Theatre & Dance, offering six public productions during the academic year. The University Theatre productions are funded in part by Student Senate fees, and supported by Truity Credit Union.

The department is one of three departments in the School of the Arts. As part of the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies. 

For more information on the University Theatre or to purchase tickets, stay on this site or you can call 785-864-3982. 

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