Spring 2022 Theatre Production Announced: ‘Electra’ Tells Story from the Ancient Past

Published 4:15 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Asbury University Theatre boldly charges into Spring by performing Sophocles’ “Electra,” adapted by Frank McGuinness.

Play opened Tuesday and with performances taking place this weekend in the Greathouse Theatre.
Directed by Adjunct Professor Catherine Gaffney and innovatively staged, the production takes a newly relevant look at an ancient classic.

“This ancient story of shared grief and a family wrecked by divergent perspectives on a political act of violence feels like it could be ripped from today’s headlines,” says Gaffney. “Electra provokes us to question how loss and loneliness can turn into retribution and hate. Will we ever find a way to reverse the corrosive nature of revenge?” says Gaffney.

Frank McGuiness’s adaptation retains Sophocles’ verse structure while using language accessible to modern audiences.

“Where better to stage this than on a campus that studies ancient languages, ethics, English, history, psychology, epic stories, art, music, and more?” says Gaffney.

Contemporary questions of loss, blame, and contention were the catalysts for producing “Electra” at Asbury this season and purposefully staging the play with the audience in opposite sections of seats facing each other with the actors in the center.

“This alley or traverse staging is often compared to a tennis court. By experiencing the story of the characters from opposite vantage points, we can put ourselves in their shoes by literally taking sides in their conflict,” says Gaffney. “Provocative lines such as, ‘Are you so sure of the ground you stand on?’ or ‘Sometimes being right is wrong’ gain a fresh hearing, allowing the audience to enter into what the ancient Greeks intended as cathartic revelation and understanding.”

Due to unforeseen circumstances, performance dates for Electra are limited. Purchase tickets as soon as possible to ensure a place. Make plans for performances that will take place in Asbury’s Greathouse Theater:

• Tuesday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m.

• Wednesday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m.*

• Thursday and Friday, March 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m.

• Saturday, March 5 at 2:30 p.m.** and 7:30 p.m.

• In addition to the unique staging of the play, Electra will also be live-streamed as it performed for a live audience during the Wednesday, March 2nd, 7:30 p.m. performance.

• The audience will be asked to wear masks during the Saturday 2:30 p.m. matinee performances to accommodate guests with health restrictions. Tickets are available on the production’s website (www.asbury.edu/theatre/tickets) and are $7 for all faculty, staff, senior citizens, and students; and $12 for general admission. Group rates are also available by contacting Theatre Program Director Kris Dietrich.