Tuesday, March 29, 2011

mar 22 - apr 2 | bacchae | twu

Pop Icons & Techno-Fads Invade the TWU Stage

Move over, Justin Bieber. Fame is as instant as technology, and theiconic “Diona” has achieved godlike status overnight.

Or so goes the retelling of ancient Greek legend by Langley playwright Aaron Caleb. In a revamped The Bacchae at Trinity Western University, Dionysus has become Diona and there is something eerily familiar about the near cult-like sensation created by her music, philosophy, and techno-gadgets.

The Bacchae, running March 22 – April 2, projects a hypnotic, hyper-contemporary world of glittering enchantment. The sensational superstar and activist Diona offers “pleasure divine” – title of one of the production’s original pop numbers by local composer Jef Gibbons. But when she and her entourage roll into the quiet town of Canton, home to Diona’s troubled past, her concert plans unearth a culture clash that threatens to get ugly. Is Diona’s revolutionary message the key to Canton’s freedom? Or is she about to start a war?

With its contemporary yet highly stylized and surreal setting, Caleb’s adaptation has updated more than the language—all of the spectacle is inspired by the language of entertainment today. “The contemporary lens has informedeverything,” explains Caleb, who is also directing. “From start to finish the show is fast-paced and highly visual, it’s a feast for the senses. The original music runs the gamut from upbeat and poppy to techno todarker, edgier styles. And underneath it all, there’s this ribbon of suspense. As Diona’s devotees discover, this is one rave you won’t want to tweet about.”

Starring Julie Casselman, Julia Church, Megan Couch, Mark Fleming, Brittany Gainer, Karyn Guenther, Jon Hollis, Lyndon Johnson, Shayna Jones, Daniele Neve, Thomas Nelson, Nicola Prigge, Sarah Ruth, Chris Simons, Danielle Spampinato, and Mackenzie West. Set design by Katrina Grabowski, lighting by Lauchlin Johnston, costumes by Barbara Gregusova, and original compositions by Jef Gibbons.

Evening performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8pm, March 22 – April 2 with Saturday matinees at 2pm. Special post-show panel discussion in honour of World Theatre Day on March 24. For more information and tickets, visit www.twu.ca/theatre or email theatre@twu.ca.

Photo Credit: Michael Rathjen

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