The lost daughter of the House of Atreus is starving for love, affection and peace.
She seeks nourishment for her damaged and divided family through cooking - but will food be enough to transform and nurture the most dysfunctional family in history?
Commissioned exclusively for the 2020 graduating class, Chrysothemis is the winner of the 2020 Alberta Playwriting Competition, and was written by Meg Braem during her time as the UAlberta Lee Playwright in Residence.
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conversation with the Director!
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"Dig Deeper" section!
Meet BFA Acting grad Kaeley Jade Wiebe who takes us behind the scenes of Studio Theatre’s Chrysothemis.
What surprised you about the play?
Describe a moment in the production that stood out to you, and why?
If you could serve anything at a feast for the people you love the most, what would absolutely have to be on the menu, and why?
For all in-person tickets and digital viewing options, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Performances start at 7:30 p.m. Preview: December 3, 2020 Matinee: December 5, 2020 at 12:30 p.m.
Chrysothemis, a new work by Meg Braem, was originally scheduled to premiere in March 2020 as part of the 2019-20 Studio Theatre season. Sadly, it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of Drama is thrilled to announce Chrysothemis will finally get its world premiere this December. With a limited run and reduced seating, audiences may experience Chrysothemis in person, or view it online.
"A dramaturg is a member of the artistic team of a theatre production who is a specialist in the transformation of a dramatic script into a meaningful living performance."
(5) Michael Mark Chemers, Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy, Southern Illinois University Press, 2010.
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Midwifery in Ancient Greece
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Ancient Greek Views on War
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The Significance of Blood
to the Greeks
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Wedding and Funeral Rites
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Notes from the Playwright
Meg Braem on Chrysothemis
There is no shortage of war stories which recount the heroism and glory of the battlefield, but war stories can also tell us of valour of a different kind. While monuments of stone and bronze tell us of the ultimate sacrifice of soldiers, there are few statues commemorating their parallel pains: that of family members, often women, who suffered distance and separation, unknowing at home.
Chrysothemis, daughter to the warrior king Agamemnon and his vengeful spouse Clytemnestra, sister to Iphigenia, Orestes and Electra is forgotten like those left longing and wondering. She is known, if known at all, as the invisible sister. The fragments of her story betray her unwillingness to fight alongside the others. Because she does not participate in a retaliative, violent act, she is cast as passive and forgettable. I would argue that the choice not to fight, while not fitting into our visceral war fantasies or solemn remembrance, is no less brave.
For those that listen, soldiers have long returned telling a different war story. When the bloody glory of war is washed away, war wounds, guilts, and memories remain unhealed. Conflict continues long after the battle is over. Wars waged in other countries are dragged home and nightmare battles are fought between family members, often to tragic ends. In the past decades, these war stories have seen more light, but what feels new is actually a story as ancient as war itself. It is our ability to listen to those who didn’t have a voice that makes an old story contemporary…and perhaps gives those telling their story a chance to heal.
It has been a great pleasure and honor to work with the BFA class and student artists on Chrysothemis. Their dedication and courage are deeply woven into this piece. I look forward to future collaborations with these smart, creative emerging artists. I would also like to thank the faculty for creating an environment that encourages risk, respect and play.
November 2020 Update: The production of Chrysothemis was cancelled less than a week after I wrote these playwright’s notes. Everything just... stopped. Jan Selman describes how strange it was to go back into the rehearsal hall after eight months, the tape was still on the floor, the design renderings still pinned to the wall… everything just as we left it. I would like to say that it was done on purpose, that we knew we would be back but that would undermine the levels of uncertainty the world has faced over the past year. “If,” because we are still living under “if” qualifying every future minute, day, week, month and now year, if you are sitting in the theatre waiting for the production to start, it is because of the work and determination of many people who came together to see this through.
When writing Chrysothemis, dramaturg and dear friend Kate Weiss would ask me, “What is it about?” For a long time I danced around themes and ideas pretending to have greater clarity than I actually had. I know now though. The story is about hope and the story of telling this story is about hope… that hope in the face of adversity is the bravest thing in the world.
- Meg Braem