Iphigenia in Aulis

The Theatre Company of Saugus presented Iphigenia in Aulis, the ancient but timely Greek tragedy by Euripides. Although its subject is ancient history, the play deals with issues pertinent to today’s events.

Just how far will a leader go in order to secure a military victory for his country?

The Greek fleet assembled in the bay of Aulis in preparation to launching its attack on Troy, but the wind stopped blowing and the ships stood idle. The commander-in-chief, King Agamemnon, had the power, however, to change all that. In exchange for fair winds that would carry his troops across the sea to Troy, all he needed to do was one thing: sacrifice his eldest daughter to the goddess Artemis.

We watched as King Agamemnon waged an even greater battle than that at Troy over the internal conflict he faced. We witnessed the despair of his wife, Queen Clytemnestra, as she pleaded for her daughter’s life. And we met Iphigenia herself, a girl with strength and passion, who had to choose between fighting or succumbing to her fate. It was a rare opportunity to see a stunning debate and its shocking outcome.

The Theatre Company of Saugus production used the acclaimed English translation by Charles R. Walker, and was directed by one if its veteran players, Larry Segel. The cast included: Paul D’Onofrio as King Agamemnon, Laura Schrader as Queen Clytemnestra, Brian Dion as King Agamemnon’s brother Menelaus, Eric Balas as the heroic soldier Achilles, Alan Barbacoff as Agamemnon’s Old Servant, and Jacqui DiGenio as Iphigenia. Commentary and elaboration on the action was provided by the Chorus, consisting of: Meaghen Cronin, Renee Glowacki, Kathy Rapino, Ann Valencia Roman, and Keith Swiniarski. The producer was Carolina Lanney. The stage manager was Lisa Scopa.

Iphigenia in Aulis played in Saugus for two weekends in February 2006. The performance venue was the Little Theatre at St. John’s Episcopal Church.