As a NON-student of Greek mythology, I would have liked to have seen a little more info in the program as background. Luckily director/actor Jeff Croff's wife, Sadonna, clued me in: Distance to the Son by O.G. Ueberroth was inspired by Phaeton; A Tantalizing Menu by Sarah Hauck was inspired by Tantalus; Empty by Brad Rutledge was inspired by Ixion; and Icarus Flying by A.S. Freeman was (of course) based on Icarus — even I got that one. It wouldn't be a bad idea to Google those for a brush-up on what you may have snoozed through back in high school English before attending these interesting interpretations — each of which offers a new twist on the relevant myth.
That said, these plays DO stand on their own as portraits of humanity with its petty failings, conflicts, competitions... And they were all well acted, with props/costumes/furniture creating a "non-set" set in the interesting, brick-walled open room that is REO Town's Art Alley.
The director's note does talk about "hubris" as "disgrace or transgression." I thought it was excessive pride that made people presumptuous in defiance of the gods. I guess such pride could inspire disgraceful acts.
The whole cast did a good job. It was especially nice to see Bruce Rico Wade, Paige Dunckel and Jeff Croff onstage; it's been awhile, and they're very good. The rest of the solid cast included Joseph Mull, Angharad McGaughey, Michael Stornant, Cassie Little, Rickki Perez, and Kris Vitols.
An added "garnish" were some interesting songs written by O.G. Ueberroth and performed beautifully by Marian Wilson at her keyboard. I wish we'd had the lyrics in the program, too. They made their own commentary on the plays - but it was all too much for me to connect "in the moment." Still, Marian has a soulful voice, and you will enjoy it whether you can figure out what it all means or not.
The Four Disgracers continues through May 24:Art Alley, 1133 S. Washington, Lansing, MI. reservations 517-775-4246May 15-17 8 pm, May 22 at 8 pm and May 24 at 4 and 8 pm (no Friday show that weekend.)
Tickets are $15.http://www.ixiontheatre.com does not have much info; they seem to be using Facebook more.www.facebook.com/IxionTheatre