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  • Sam Baldwin

Agamemnon!


I'm pleased to announce the play that our writer, Anya Pearson, will be adapting!

Agamemnon, by Aeschylus.

Here's what Anya says about her selection:

I’m obsessed with history. My favorite thing to read is historical fiction because it combines my love of a good story with my absolute fascination with history. I’ll read a good book of historical fiction and then I’ll research the actual person it was based on so that I can fact-check the liberties the author has taken. This way my newfound knowledge of the person is accurate. It is all part of my quest to learn about the history of the entire world. I find it incredibly fascinating that these real people altered the course of history and that their decisions and actions, for better or worse, effect the way we live our lives today. That life can be as monumental or as fragile as the decisions of real people. To know that Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides were real people who actually shaped the foundation of drama, as we know it today, is to me, mind-blowing.

Greek drama is the genesis of theatre. And there are so many wonderful stories in Greek Mythology. When I was lucky enough to receive the commission, I was drawn to both Agamemnon and Medea. Of all the plays in the canon of Greek tragedy, those two spoke to me the loudest. And both of them, in their own way, spoke to me from the perspective of the original text as well as what I would do with the adaptation. So it was initially hard for me to choose which direction to go because I had two good ideas for two very different stories. I went to Powell’s and bought several translations of each play and committed to dating each play, really spending time to choose which one felt right. I started with Agamemnon first (whether subconsciously I knew already or not, I don’t know). But I went to New York for a few meetings and I took it with me.

In my downtime in New York, things began to really fall into place. The characters began to introduce themselves to me. I began to see the shape of the play. I am really struck by the story of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. Because even though the play is called Agamemnon, it’s really Clytemnestra’s story. Part of my aesthetic is to tell complex stories about African-American life. I’m interested in telling stories about the rich and multi-faceted nature of black life and that is how I am approaching this adaptation. Without giving too much away, it will be a modern retelling of Agamemnon told through the black lens focused on Clytemnestra’s journey.

Well, I'm excited!


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