To say King Agamemnon has a tough decision in front of him is quite the understatement. As leader of the Greek coalition during the Trojan War, he must either sacrifice his beloved daughter Iphigeneia to appease the goddess Artemis and allow his troops to set sail to preserve their honor in battle against Troy, or do nothing and let his army and country meet a dismal fate.
Lights Out Theatre Company’s 90-minute, intimate adaptation of Euripides’ tragedy draws you in with clear storytelling and powerful, taut emotion. Adapted and directed by Josh Altman, Iphigeneia at Aulis features top-flight acting and brave theatricality.
To be blunt: I was blown away by this production, and that’s mainly due to three performances: Kipp Moorman as Agamemnon, Barbara Figgins as Clytemnestra (wife to Agamemnon) and Anne Leone as Iphigeneia. So, essentially the three main players in this family tragedy are giving equally compelling performances.
This is greek tragedy at its finest, filled with deception, rage, spite and guilt, so big emotions are called for, and boy: does this trio of actors deliver. Pay particular attention to Moorman’s grim, guilt-stricken face as he greets a glowing and unknowing Iphigenia. Watch Figgins’ eyes brim with tears and her body go stiff with with rage as she confronts her husband Agememnon when she learns of his intent to sacrifice their daughter. And note Leone’s remarkable transformation from spit-spewing bitterness to sobering clarity as she realizes her sacrifice is her legacy.
To add to the already remarkable evening, original music, played by Ben Chang on violin and Michael Hamilton on drums (who also does well in his role as Agememnon’s brother, Menelaos) elevates the tension, particularly in the penultimate scene.
Bravo, Lights Out Theatre Company!
”Iphigeneia at Aulis” plays through June 3 at the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Avenue. More info here >