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  The Oresteia at Sidney Harman Hall

The Oresteia

Sidney Harman Hall
610 F Street NW Washington

Called the father of tragedy, Greek playwright Aeschylus wrote more than 70 plays in his lifetime. Of those, only seven have survived. Lucky for us, among those seven lies his greatest work, The Oresteia, a trilogy of Greek tragedies that brilliantly explores themes of vengeance, justice and the influence of the gods. Through 10 years of war, grief and rage, Queen Clytemnestra lies in wait for her husband Agamemnon's return, determined to avenge one child, only to doom the others. The Oresteia chronicles a violence that can only be stopped when society peers into its own soul and sees the depths of its complicity. Playwright Ellen McLaughlin, whom Tony Kushner has called "a dramatist of courage, intelligence, wit and lyricism," has written a new version of the classic, weaving together the works of Aeschylus with stunning poetry and emotional heft. Experience this timeless classic live at Sidney Harman Hall in D.C.

Thru - Jun 2, 2019

Tuesdays: 7:30pm
Wednesdays: 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 2:00pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:00pm

Sidney Harman Hall Seating Chart

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  The Oresteia Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

BroadwayWorld - Highly Recommended

"...Shakespeare Theater Company's production of The Oresteia is decidedly more contemporary than the original, but loses none of the impact. The epic trilogy written by Aeschylus so long ago has been condensed by playwright Ellen McLaughlin into single evening of theater, but maintains the drama, tragedy, and emotion that makes the play so compelling. Her updated and wonderfully pointed language (I particularly liked the evolution of the commentary around Agamemnon as "a man who could do anything") also has the additional impact of making the play feel more immediate, but preserves the themes beautifully."
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Rachael Goldberg

DC Metro Theater Arts - Recommended

"...For those who consider revenge an outmoded notion, consider the countless television series from America to Turkey to Mexico that revolve around revenge. The original Oresteia was a production about how easily society fractures and how it must adapt to allow people to survive with one another. The Shakespeare Theatre Company's Oresteia is a consummate illustration of society's ongoing fractures and efforts at adaptation."
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Barbara Mackay

MD Theatre Guide - Highly Recommended

"...Shockingly relevant and powerfully dramatic, Michael Kahn's final production with the Shakespeare Theatre Company is packed with moment after moment of intense action and heightened emotions, revealing the hidden impact within the world of Greek tragedy."
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Kristen Waagner

Theatre Bloom - Highly Recommended

"...Everything feels as if it has just happened. Ellen McLaughlin's The Oresteia, freely adapted from the trilogy by Aeschylus that is nearly 2,500 years old, feels as if it is happening. And what must happen does. Boldly closing the 2018/2019 season at Shakespeare Theatre Company in their prestigious Sidney Harman Hall under the Direction of STC legend Michael Kahn, The Oresteia is modernized yet timeless, prescient yet ancient; McLaughlin's work is loaded with socio-political commentary and she has effectively layered it into an ancient Greek tragedy with a present-day relatability that is striking, stirring, and evocative."
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Amanda N. Gunther

DCTheatreScene - Highly Recommended

"...This magnificent production is soaked in blood and familial discord, but ends with a glint of hope. The trial in the second act suggests it is up to us, a future where human will can triumph over the old school oppression of destiny. In the world that Aeschylus, McLaughlin and Kahn lay out, the gods are fickle and inscrutable, the ruling class is either enslaved by divine loyalty or the fate of bloodlines. People have the power to break the cycle of violence by rising up, reaching out and above all, listening to the still voice of their finer selves."
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Jayne Blanchard

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