Charles L. Mee imagined his play, “Night (Thyestes 2.0),” as a dance theatre piece with some text and a lot of physical performance. The piece evolved from and contains sections of the classic tale “Thyestes” by Seneca. Says Mee, “It is all nightmare and despair and darkness.” Such is the typical fare of ancients, but in a whirlwind of vivid scenes, Mee bridges the torture, murder and cannibalism dogging illfated
Tantalus to modern plagues frightening and banal, from war crimes to YouTube vapidity. In this world premiere, The New Stage Theatre Company brings a bold mix of choreography, video projection, costuming, lighting and sound to Mee’s rhapsodic vision, resulting in a night of wonderfully disorienting theatre. Movement choreography is by director Ildiko Nemeth in collaboration with the actors.
Mee is known for his work with SITI Company, for which he wrote “Orestes,” “bobrauschenbergamerica,” “Hotel Cassiopeia,” “Under Construction” and “soot and spit (the musical).” He was Signature Theater’s PlaywrightinResidence in 20072008 and collaborated with Witness Relocation on “Eterniday” at La MaMa in 2013 and “Daily Life Everlasting” at La MaMa in 2015. “Thyestes” is a tragedy by the Roman playwright Seneca the Younger, probably written late in his career, around 62 CE. One of the few of Seneca’s plays not obviously following a Greek original, and often considered his masterpiece, it tells the story of the rivalry between the twin brothers, Atreus and Thyestes, over the throne of the city of Mycenae, and its culmination when Atreus kills Thyestes’ two young sons and tricks him into eating them.
The productions of New Stage Theatre Company are distinguished by their elaborate costuming, inventive choreography, striking visual images and gorgeous visual design. Director Ildiko Nemeth has
cultivated a distinctive style that is particular to its choice of plays and aesthetic framework. She writes, “As a director, I strive to present productions wherein acting, stage design, costumes, language, music
and choreography play pivotal roles. I create movementbased performances, often utilizing the entirety of available theater space and even spreading into the audience to fuse actors and observers in a moment of visceral reaction. For me visual elements are not just accessories but part of the content, powerfully conveying subconscious dimensions of the action.” The creative team of “Night (Thyestes 2.0)” includes: Director: Ildiko Nemeth; Lighting Design: Federico Restrepo; Projection Design: Laia Cabrera, Isabelle Duverger, and Ildiko Nemeth; Costume Design: Egle Paulauskaite. The cast includes Beth Dodye Bass, Dana Boll, Adam Boncz, Kaylin Lee Clinton, Sofia O.C., Catherine Correa, Geraldine Dulex, Markus Hirnigel, Brian Linden, Galway McCullough, Brandon Olson, Jeanne Lauren Smith and Chris Tanner.
Innovative Theatre Awards 2015:
Outstanding Performance Art Production (nomination)
Outstanding Director (nomination)