Court Theatre opened
its 2002-03 season of classic drama with an adaptation of an adaptation of Racine's
Phèdre - itself a 17th-century version of Euripides's tragedy about
a queen's mad passion for her husband's son. Working from Paul Schmidt's English
adaptation, director JoAnne Akalaitis, AB'60, set the Greek myth in an island
spa, "a place where rich, important people vacation. It's the kind of place
where nothing bad could ever happen...."
Phèdre as "an iconographic story," Akalaitis punctuated
the production with ritualistic gestures, actors striking poses at any mention
of the underworld or the king of Athens.
Chicago Tribune called the Court show "highly charged and exactingly
brave," praising Jenny Bacon (left) as Phèdre, the scenic design,
lighting, costumes, and the "brilliantly" conceived sound design-the
last by Andre Pluess, AB'96, and Ben Sussmann, SB'94.
- Mary Ruth Yoe