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Fourth River opens with ‘The Bacchae’ June 21, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.

Two recent Kenyon College graduates are pursuing their love of theater and history by producing a classic Greek tragedy.

Tonight, O’Hara resident Jeffrey Gardner and David Flaherty, of Sewickley, will open Euripides’ classic Greek tragedy “The Bacchae” as the inaugural production of their newly formed Fourth River Theatre Ensemble. The production will have four performances.

In choosing a name for their company, Flaherty and Gardner wanted to include a Pittsburgh reference. While doing a history project, Flaherty learned about Pittsburgh’s “fourth river,” an aquifer that flows beneath the city. It was only after naming their company that its founders learned of the Three Rivers Arts Festival’s Fourth River Project, a separate undertaking which has no relationship with Fourth River Theatre Ensemble.

Gardner always had loved Greek history and Greek tragedies. For his junior honors project he had studied long past and recent productions of “The Bacchae” and researched how others had worked with its text.

First produced circa 405 B.C., Euripides’ “The Bacchae” focuses on the struggle between Thebes’ King Pentheus and the god Dionysus and his followers, The Bacchae, who seek to convert the citizens of Thebes to a new religion. The play’s central struggle is between traditional Greek religion and culture, and a new, potentially disruptive way of living.

The production will incorporate dance and music, and a contemporary, yet not period-specific setting that emphasizes its timelessness.

‘The Bacchae’, Produced by: Fourth River Theatre Ensemble
When: 8 p.m. today-Sunday
Admission: $12; $9 for students age 26 and younger, and age 60 and older
Where: The New Hazlett Theatre, 6 Allegheny Square, North Side.
Details: 412-716-3557 or www.fourthrivertheatre.home.comcast.net

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