Chrysothemis Poster Online UPDATE (Lo Re

Chrysothemis

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.

Click "Learn More" to read a

conversation with the Director!

 

Discover.

Discuss.

Engage.

Share your thoughts on the production and see what other people have to say.

Learn more in our

"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?

  • Chrysothemis Talk-Back
    Chrysothemis Talk-Back
    Online
    Dec. 06, 2020, 2:00 p.m. MST
    Online
    Come join us as we discuss staging Chrysothemis. We'll have a conversation about staging new work, working in the times of Covid 19, and anything else you want to bring to the table. We welcome your questions and participation!

Meetups

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For all in-person tickets and digital viewing options, please contact: uastudio@ualberta.ca.

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.

 
 

Dig Deeper

"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.

Curse of the House of Atreus. By Václav

The Curse of the House of Atreus and the Family Tree

Whichever of the two brothers could produce a Golden Fleece would become King...

Tiepolo, Giovanni Domenico- The Processi

The Trojan War:

a Brief Overview

The Trojan war was started when Paris (from Troy) stole the most beautiful woman in the world...

Cassandra By Evelyn De Morgan - Flickr,

Cassandra in Mythology

When Apollo laid eyes on her, he immediately fell in love with her beauty and bestowed the gift of prophecy upon her to win her affections. Cassandra accepted the gift; however...

See page for author, CC BY 4.0 <https://

Midwifery in Ancient Greece

There is evidence that midwives came from a variety of social classes, from slaves on up to high-born women, and were held in high regard, and deeply respected in their communities.

War_ Siege de l_Acropoles By Georg Perlb

Ancient Greek Views on War 

The Greeks were one of the earliest known cultures (along with the Chinese), to develop deep philosophical opinions on war and peace. Peace was ultimately the goal; however

DaphneBreemen, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://cre

The Significance of Blood

to the Greeks

As far as we know, ancient Greeks were the first to consider blood through a scientific lens. There is evidence of blood playing a major role in the Greek understanding of life: it was synonymous with life.

Food-Pomegranate.jpg

Food in

Ancient Greece

The ancient Greeks ate a balanced diet of grains, fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy. What is less familiar to us in western culture is the consumption of insects...

Wedding preparation.jpg

Ancient Greek

Wedding and Funeral Rites

Wedding and funeral rites were considered to be the domain of women, both included a journey taken at night in a cart, both include great feasts, and both involved choral song...

 

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

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Featuring...

 
 

A Conversation with Director Jan Selman & Kathleen Weiss, dramaturg.

The role of the dramaturg is to work directly with the playwright as the script develops. Kate has been working with Meg through what has been a luxurious process since the start of her residency. Jan came into the process a year and a half ago as director of the project.

Kate:

Jan, how do you see the relationship between the director, the playwright and the dramaturg?

Jan:

I believe it is a wonderful pattern. It creates a 3 way conversation between myself, the playwright, and the dramaturg which is especially rich. It allows me to focus on the staging of the play and the work with the actors, knowing that the playwright has support from you.

Kate:

And from the point of view of the dramaturg, I have supported Meg in envisioning the play and thinking of the possibilities, and then you as director join the process and begin to actualize all these ideas into concrete theatrical realities. And that is so exciting.

Jan, do you approach directing a new play differently than a script that has been produced many times.

Jan:

Yes, with a new play, you need to make it transparent. The production needs to show us the play in its purest  form. We strive to give back to the playwright what she has written.

  "It is not about a director’s “brilliant” handling of the piece, but allowing the script to show itself."

Kate:

I understand that. It is not about a director’s “brilliant” handling of the piece, but allowing the script to show itself.

Jan:

It can easily happen with a new script that when we hit a block in rehearsal, the immediate assumption is that there is an issue with the writing. With an established play, the assumption is that we as actors and director have not found the key. But I start from a 100% belief in the script with a new play. We do not blame the play, but delve the mysteries of the script, believing in it as we go. However, also the rehearsal process also feeds the knowledge of the script and leads to useful questions for the playwright that will help to further the development of the script. 

Kate:

In many ways, a first rehearsal of a new play is the final workshop, right?

Jan:

Yes, it gives the playwright the opportunity to listen intently to the script, and to understand the play as live theatre, not as a literary work. The word meets the other arts of the theatre. In this process we have sought theatrical solutions for the playwright’s fascinating vision, silent actions that support character transformations, and because Meg could work closely with us, she has responded to our discoveries with delicate revisions.

the Playbill

THE CAST

Iphigenia - Beverley Rockwell

Ancient - Braden Butler

Middle  -  Christina Nguyen

Cassandra, Shopper -  Emily Anne Corcoran

Electra - Holly Wandler

Aegisthus, Vendor - Jackson Card

Young Soldier - Jezec Sanders

Young Man (Orestes) - Kael Wynn

Chrysothemis -  Kaeley Jade Wiebe

Clytemnestra - Meegan Sweet

Youngest - Priya Narine

Understudy - Melanie Bahniuk

Images by Even Gilchrist

Content compiled by Collette Slevinsky, Amy DeFelice, and Xavia Publius

CREATIVE TEAM

Playwright - Meg Braem

Director - Jan Selman

Movement Coach - Lin Snelling

Fight Director - J.P. Fournier

Set Design - Camille Paris

Costume Design - Even Gilchrist

Lighting Design - Feng Yi Jiang

Sound Design - Jacob Fulton w/ Matthew Skopyk

STAGE MANAGEMENT

Stage Manager - Krystal Johnson

Props Assistant Stage Manager - Hayley Craft

Wardrobe Assistant Stage Manager - Stacy Vanden Dool

Replacement Stage Manager - Hanna Loh

Replacement Stage Manager - John Raymond

DRAMATURGY

Script Dramaturg - Kate Weiss 

Production Dramaturg - Liz Hobbs, Yaw Baayim

LIVE STREAM PRODUCTION CREW

Elijah Lindenberger - Technical Coordinator

Nick Shostak - Audio Lead

Stephen Strand - Camera Operator

Bob L'Heureux - Camera Lead Operator

Nick Rose - Camera Operator

PRODUCTION TEAM

Production Manager - Gerry van Hezewyk 

Technical Director - Larry Clark 

Assistant Technical Director - Anthony Hunchak 

Head of Lights - Rachel Bos 

Running Crew - Kenzie Bowes 

Lighting Operator - Charlotte Braid 

Scenic Carpenter - Darrell Cooksey 

Property Master - Jane Kline 

Wardrobe Manager - Joanna Johnston 

Cutter - Julie Davie 

Lighting Supervisor - Jeff Osterlin 

Sound Supervisor - Matt Skopyk

ADVISORS

Stage Management Advisor - John Raymond

ADMINISTRATION

Department Chair/Artistic Director - Melanie Dreyer-Lude 

Administrative Chair - Julie Brown 

Theatre Administrator - David Prestley 

Box Office Coordinator - Candice Stollery 

Producing Coordinator - Amanda Bergen 

Office Coordinator/Admin Assistant - Helen Baggaley

Communications Associate - Erik Einsiedel

Marketing and Communications Advisor - Pamela Osborne

The production of Chrysothemis was cut off in March 2020, before its intended opening. While many of the production team are back with this rebooted adaptation, some are not. Nevertheless they contributed to its realization. We would like to thank Doug Mertz, and Yaw Baayim (co-dramaturg) for their efforts, as well as previous cast members Caitlin Kelly and Sheldon Stockdale.

Gallery

Check out our video interviews with Chrysothemis director Jan Selman and dramaturg Liz Hobbs.