Director Annie Loui Explores Cultural Alienation and Illuminates Great Literature                                                                              

IRVINE, Calif. (September 29, 2016) – UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts Department of Drama presents its first offering of the 2016 – 2017 season, The Iliad: Menin (Rage) opening October 13, 2016, with five performances at Winifred Smith Hall. Based on Homer’s classic poem as translated by Stephen Mitchell, The Iliad explores interpersonal and cultural alienation as it culminates ultimately in the physical manifestation of war.

Directed by Drama Professor Annie Loui, this dramatic movement piece is constructed in the style of Loui’s CounterBalance Theatre, in which actors play multiple characters, as well as animals, elements, and architecture. “It’s great fun for the actor embodying Zeus to become an old Greek warrior, or a chair, or a horse pulling a chariot in the next moment,” Loui says. “I love the way we can tell stories ignoring conventions of time and place on stage, by just ‘becoming’ characters or animals or forces of nature. I find the medium really liberating as a means of illuminating great literature.” What we now call classical poetry was, after all, the “action adventure” genre of its day.

Loui also points out that, though Homer’s Iliad is a complex classical work, this adaptation (based on Books 1 – 8) is sometimes very funny and quite relatable, exposing many of the human foibles and challenges we still face today. She notes that even the gods are not exempt, “intervening behind each other’s backs, and using their superhuman powers at cross-purposes. And the mortals are just as caught up in proving themselves, complaining, being lustful or fearful or prideful, as is any 21st century person.” She hopes that heightening the accessibility of this material in a visceral way will allow audiences to experience the exhilarating power of this timeless (and ever relevant) story.

Performances and Ticket Information
Winifred Smith Hall, UC Irvine
Parking: Mesa Parking Structure, 4000 Mesa Road, Irvine 92617
Evenings: Oct. 13, 14, 15 @ 8 p.m.
Matinees: Oct. 15, 16 @ 2 p.m.
General Admission $15 / Seniors & Groups 10+ $14 / UCI Students & Children under 17 $11. Box Office at (949) 824-2787 or www.arts.uci.edu/tickets.

UCI Illuminations, the Chancellor’s Arts and Culture Initiative, will host two After-Panels with scholars from the School of Humanities and the artistic team to discuss the impact of Homer’s Iliad and the aims of the production. The first will be on Saturday, October 15 after the 2 p.m. matinee featuring Prof. Oren Izenberg and Director Annie Loui; plus the cast and artistic team. The second will take place on the same day after the 8 p.m. performance and features Prof. Zina Giannopoulou on Greek context and Prof. Andrew Zizzos on epic responses; plus Loui, cast, and artistic team. The UCI Drama production team will also host a post-performance TalkBack on October 16 after the 2 p.m. matinee with the creative team and cast.

UCI Drama presents seven diverse and stimulating productions in the 2016 – 2017 season: The Iliad, Parade, Our Class, Coriolanus, Clown Aliens, I Dream of Chang and Eng, and Avenue Q. Thematically entitled THEM!, the season features productions that reveal and explore society’s xenophobic tendencies and the human impulse to scapegoat and cast blame on “the other.” The productions creative teams concentrate on presenting the thoughtful journeys of these characters through the character’s voices and experiences.

Posted Date: 
September 29, 2016
Image icon THE ILIAD: MENIN (RAGE) - Poster1.67 MB
Contact Information: 

Jaime DeJong