The production is a mash up of Greek Tragedy and Kabuki Theatre — very stylized and powerful — and also confusing if you’re not familiar with the myths and gods of Euripides’s day (405 B.C.) Dan Smith’s dramaturg note is helpful, but not enough for me to completely follow the plot. Let’s just say Dionysus is pretty good at revenge and the promised tragedy is artistically delivered, with the help of a well crafted prop.
Director David Furimoto is an expert in Asian theatre forms and techniques. This was an empowering acting exercise for the students, as some testified in the talk-back that followed. All were committed to the intensity of this disciplined presentation. Beautifully painted turning panels set the Asian scene and the costumes were elegant and stylized. Traditional music and drumming also enhanced the production. The performance runs about an hour and 45 minutes with no intermission.
I've just been alerted to a complete plot summary on MSU's website that will be a good preparation read for future audiences. http://theatre.msu.edu/files/9015/5509/8192/Bacchae_Plot_Summary_and_Explanations.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2Q5vgkTNzXKxcElYJrGC_Znn3A4auanJxy5Hw9aICpOFPLUgdymgvOFck
The Bacchae continues through April 21