February 29, 2020 - April 5, 2020
Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, MN

Packed with striking scenes, frenzied emotion and choral songs of great power and beauty, The Bacchae is considered to be one of Euripides’s greatest surviving works. Dionysus, the god of wine, ritual madness, fertility and theater, returns in disguise to his birthplace in Greece. As revenge for a personal slight, Dionysus plans to spread his cult among the people of Thebes. His adversary King Pentheus, fearing the spreading disorder of the cult, imprisons Dionysus in order to suppress his influence. This misguided attempt to thwart the will of a god leads to catastrophe for Pentheus and his entire family.

The bacchants referred to Dionysus as “the god of letting go,” reminding us that if we do not respect the wildness that is part and parcel of being human, we may fall prey to the tyranny of excessive order or the frenzy of collective passion. Today the play resonates with our current social and political situation. We must learn to curb our hubris and our fear of the irrational, the unknown and the foreign.

This adaptation was commissioned by The J. Paul Getty Museum and first performed at the Getty Villa on September 5, 2018.

SITI Company’s flashy The Bacchae, directed by Anne Bogart at BAM Harvey, makes the play’s back-burnered anxieties about women and power feel very front-burnered and very now.”
-Alexis Soloski, The New York Times

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