For Capital Fringe this year, I have adapted The Bacchae by Euripides. I am true to the source material, except for a surprise in the beginning and the end, where I bring in the work of another famous playwright.
I can’t say any more than that, but I hope to delight the audience. My approach to this show and to any show as a director and actor is to go for the unexpected.
Classical has always been my favorite style. The idea for this show came to me last year during a conversation with Sally, one of my actors in this show. I told her I wanted to direct The Bacchae but with a twist. And a few days later she texted me with a great idea, which is what you will see in this show.
I like to challenge myself as a writer and as an actor, too. I think Greek tragedies are very challenging. There are three concepts in a Greek play. You have the chorus/ensemble, the messenger speech, and the scene. And also no stage direction. It is not easy to direct a Greek play. The chorus in Greek play is the hardest element to figure out and make sense of. I’ve always been fascinated by The Bacchae. The messengers in particular and the character of Agave are so exciting to me. We also don’t see enough Greek tragedies done.
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My question for the audience is: if someone did you wrong, is it okay for you to get back at them? I also want the audience to feel for each character, put themselves in each character’s shoes. I want them to wonder, “What would I have done if I were in their situation?” I also hope that my audience leaves with an open mind about the relevance of classical theatre.
I am so thankful to this wonderful group of actors who believed in my vision and helped me to bring this idea to life. And also my mum who is my number one supporter.
I am also directing another play in the festival this year, Veneer of Beauty. I encourage people to see both shows. They are different in terms of writing and acting style and time period, but I love both plays and it’s been so satisfying to work on them both.
Mediombo Singo Fofana is a writer and actor in Washington, DC. He directed three plays in last year’s Capital Fringe Festival – Vengeance in My Heart, Sobriety of Fear, and Lesbians and the Men Who Love Them.
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