THE ELECTRA PROJECT Brings an International Cast Together for a Music and Cultural Experimentation


IRVINE, Calif. (February 19, 2015) – UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA) Drama Department presents THE ELECTRA PROJECT, March 7 – 15, 2015. The production, which is the fifth installment in the department’s LOVE, LUST & GREED season, is written and directed by Mihai Maniutiu Distinguished Professor of Drama, native of Romania and Artistic and Executive Director of the National Theatre in Cluj, Romania. The production reimagines the classical Electra story in a new way, incorporating Romanian folk music (performed by renowned guest artists Ioan Pop and Iza Group, from the Maramures region of Romania) to drive and synergize the dramatic action. 

Drama Chair/Season Artistic Director Daniel Gary Busby sat down with Dr. Maniutiu recently to discuss his framing of this classic story as a musical tragedy. “The fact that Greek tragedy was a musical performance is has now fallen into oblivion,” Maniutiu explained. “Bringing to life ‘musical tragedy’ allows us to experience different kinds of musical structures and sources that revue the spirit of the unique Greek tragedies that have shaped Western culture and influenced its subsequent spiritual and artistic development.”

The interplay between actors and musicians in ELECTRA, all of whom are onstage for the approximately 90 minute production, is fascinating. “The musicians are members of the [classical Greek] Chorus,” Dr. Maniutiu said, “acting and playing as one single body, one single character.” The production’s Chorus is additionally comprised of a band of post-apocalyptic looking homeless warriors, bent on exacting Electra’s revenge. “The Chorus is, in fact, a dramatic amplification of the character Electra—a multifaceted character—acting as a single body…In a way they are Electra’s shadows, Electra’s resonators, and they are living as she does with the obsession of revenge.”

THE ELECTRA PROJECT will be presented in the Claire Trevor Theatre. Performance dates and times are March 7, 12, 13, 14 at 8:00 pm. March 11 at 7:30 pm. Matinees are March 8, 14, 15 at 2:00 pm. Tickets range from $11 - $15 and are available through the Box office at (949) 824-2787 or online at www.arts.uci/tickets. Ticketholders are invited to a post-performance TalkBack with the creative team and cast on March 8.

Times Higher Education ranked UC Irvine first among U.S. universities under 50 years old and fifth worldwide. Since its founding in 1965 as one of UC Irvine’s original schools, the School of the Arts (renamed for actress Claire Trevor in 2000) has become one of the nation’s leading educators in visual and performing arts. Awarded "Best Arts Organization" in Orange County by the Coast Community Awards, the School offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Art, Dance, Drama and Music, a minor in Digital Arts, and one of the few university doctoral programs in Drama.  The Claire Trevor School of the Arts is located at 4000 Mesa Road, Irvine, CA  92617. For more information, please visit us at For maps, driving directions and parking information go to