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The Oresteia


Afghanistan. Iraq. Syria. Israel. Palestine. Somalia. Libya. Darfur. Kashmir. Turkey. Myanmar. Ukraine. Tibet. Korea. Across the globe, conflicts rage in endless cycles of violence—an eye for an eye. These aggressions are reactionary, each slaughter justified by the slaughter before.

The thought may be horrifying, but is there something fundamentally human about the inability to let go of violence? Is it possible for justice to be truly rational, when it is attempting to control, punish or prevent the truly irrational? Could it be that there is something dangerously natural in the desire for vengeance?


The Oresteia chronicles a society’s struggle to break the cycle of sacrifice, revenge, bloodshed, and punishment that plagues them. One of the canonical tragedies ever written, it takes us to a journey of maturation of a society, in search for the way to deal with moral and social questions of Justice – questions that are still relevant today as they were 2,500 years ago. 

Yale School of Drama, Thesis Production, 2015 

The Opening sequence of the show

Orestes' Trial


     "Eliraz’s directing of his cast—most of whom play in the Chorus as well as taking specific roles—is truly masterful [...] The design and staging for the show is nothing short of brilliant [... The production] makes pointed use of its cast, making their voices and movements expressive devices that convey a variety of emotions and moods, almost always reacting rather than taking action [...] 

One of the best aspects of this version of The Oresteia is that it makes us experience some of the mystery of myth, even as we realize that the great myths are meaningful because their interrogation of necessity, justice, obligation and mercy is both ancient and contemporary and never merely academic." 

Donald Brown, "New Haven Review"


Play by: Aeschylus

Based on translation by: Ted Hughes

Adaptation and Directing: Yagil Eliraz

Composer: Matthew Suttor

Dramaturgy: Davina Moss

Scenic Designer: Fufan Zhang

Costume Designer: Annie Dauber

Projection Designer: Michael Commendatore

Lighting Designer: Elizabeth Green

Sound Designer: Pornchanok (Nok) Kanchanabanca

Stage Manager: Helen Irene Muller

Percussionist: Doug Perry


Actors (in alphabetical order):

Sebastian Arboleda, Andrew Burnap, Anna Crivelli, Ricardo Davila, Edmund Donovan, Melanie Field, Jonathan Higginbotham, Annelise Lawson, Sydney Lemmon, Jonathan Majors, Elizabeth Stahlmann, Remsen Welsh 

Photos: T. Charles Erickson

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