Poetry Is presents
The world premieres of
“Medea” by Catherine Theis
author of “The Fraud of Good Sleep”, winner of the Crashaw Prize in poetry
directed by Joshua Brewer
“Phaedra, Released.” by Robert Eric Shoemaker
author of “30 Days Dry”
directed by Cecilia Adams
Performances May 27, 28; June 3,4, 10, 11 @ 6-8 PM
Comfort Station 2579 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL
The Poetry Is Theatre festival brings together innovative poets and Chicago artistic teams to produce a theatrical event unlike any other- “a picnic under the stars.” Set with the backdrop of The Comfort Station, the festival on the lawn invites attendees to bring a blanket, a picnic basket, and their poetry ears to indulge in lingual decadence for an evening.
Set in the mountains of Montana, “MEDEA” is a twenty-first century retelling of the Euripidean tragedy. This innovative production includes sonorous soundscapes, voice dialogues sul telefono, as well as traditional scenes. But ultimately, language breaks down. It destroys us. When the Milky Way introduces herself as a vital character, we imagine her as a troupe of dancers, a true moving constellation. An amateur photographer, Medea’s photographs expose key moments from her life. The play’s final catastrophes—the poisoned fall of lovers, the flames—reach toward the inevitable harnessing of Fate’s invisible forces. Starlight will be needed on stage just as much as stage light. Remember “MEDEA” calls for Bach, a chorus of flames speaking in brightest voice, it calls to burn down its own theatre doors, it calls for a deranged refinement of the senses.
In the original play “PHAEDRA, RELEASED.” Shoemaker turns the myth of Phaedra, classical wife of Theseus and would-be-lover of Hippolytus, into a family portrait gone wrong. Having been imprisoned in her own castle keep with her family for months, Phaedra (rechristened Luce) is beginning to crack. Her daughter deserts her to take the crown; her husband is nowhere to be found; Max is starting to suspect her of more than maternal affection; and her nurse is pushing the boundaries of discretion. Through poetical voices and visceral action, PHAEDRA, RELEASED. returns to the roots of tragedy to find out what “love” really is: a wild animal, capable of infinite destruction, or a passion meant to be embraced with both arms. Luce and her band of misfits encounter themselves and one another in battle, at table, and in the rain in this not-to-be-missed retelling of the classic.