By Karelisa Hartigan
During the prior century, the translation given by means of a few of the administrators staging Greek drama has diversified, and the serious reception accorded the productions has additionally altered. whereas the texts of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides stay consistent, the meanings drawn from their performs don't. The director who comes to a decision to provide a Greek tragedy within the smooth American advertisement theater believes within the skill of the textual content to arrive the modern viewers, and the reviewers verify the good fortune of the enterprise: their phrases develop into a list of either a selected functionality and the time within which it performed. Hartigan explores how drama and society engage and witnesses the continuing energy of the Greek tragedy.
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Additional info for Greek Tragedy on the American Stage: Ancient Drama in the Commercial Theater, 1882-1994
Thus did he sum up Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus: The whole of Sophocles’ play is a line, splendidly held, modulated with superb emotion, balanced and ordered with due cause and effect, driven with the pressure of a fatal and splendid truth. . There is no play whose art is so taken out of the depth and not the tumult of the soul; . . no play that contrives to mount and 36 • Greek Tragedy on the American Stage descend with such security, discovering for its climax the greatest image in all drama.
Atkinson praised individual members of the cast, giving special attention to Paxinou’s powerful acting and A. Raftopoulou’s royal Clytemnestra. ” William Hawkins was equally impressed. ” Other theater critics found the acting powerful, but the language a difficult barrier. Thus John McClain of the New York Journal American (20 November 1952) warned that although this was a magnificently acted production it would have limited appeal. Robert Coleman of the Daily Mirror (20 November 1952) assured his audiences that Electra was worth seeing as the performance looked more interesting than it sounded.
Critics proclaimed that her enactments of these roles brought Greek dramas alive in the proper way. 2 She was equally acclaimed when she returned in the role some nine years later. ” So does Brooks Atkinson open his review3 of Anglin’s performance in Electra in May 1927. The show played to a packed house at the Metropolitan Opera House, but ran for only two nights. ” What interests us here is Atkinson’s declaration that Sophocles’ play was far better than others currently on Broadway. ” Atkinson found most of the production excellent.