The Electra Project
The Electra Project
March 7 – 15, 2015
Mihai Maniutiu, Creator/Director
The Electra Project (Mihai Maniutiu, 2012). This anthropological project aims to be a practical artistic experiment, as well as a meditation on the cross-cultural approaches that ancient Greek tragedy is generating when performed in our time. Maniutiu has written The Electra Project based on both Sophocles’ and Euripides’ tragedies entitled Electra. That Greek tragedy was a musical performance is a fact that has fallen into oblivion. Thus, bringing theatre and music together within the context of an ancient Greek tragedy is an artistic challenge that does not intend to revive the lost original score. (Even if this score existed today, it would be a lifeless exhibit in a theatre-museum.) Bringing to life “musical tragedy” allows us to experience different kinds of musical structures and sources that revive the spirit of unique works of art (Greek tragedies) that have shaped Western culture and influenced its subsequent development. The Electra Project aims at bringing together three cultures with individualistic forms of expression: 1. The ancient Greek culture with its myths and rules. 2. Ancient Romanian Folk Musical Culture. This music has survived in Maramures, a remote region of North-Western Romania that has seen ancient traditions and rituals preserved, due to its isolation. (These rituals are surprisingly similar to those of the ancient Greek culture.) 3. The current American theatrical musical culture which has reinvented a new form of musical theatre and contemporary opera. The archaic laws of the ancient Greek polis (cities), and those still at work in the rural communities of Maramures, present very powerful similarities: the belief in destiny, the role of traditions and unwritten laws, the sense of fatality, and the idea of honor and revenge. American musical theatre is unique because its actors/singers are among the best trained performers in the world; certainly, the Drama Department’s music theater training program is notable for this training.This mixture of cultures is meant to question the means of theatrical and musical art, intending at the same time to prove the extent to which music is essential to theatre.
The music will be played by five musicians and singers of the Iza Group (Grupul Iza, led by Ioan Pop) which features ancient Romanian folk music. This genre assimilates Ukrainian and Jewish folk music in a unique way, drawing from the populations with whom they were sharing land for centuries. This mixture of cultures demonstrates the impact of diversity, and makes us aware that various cultures share the same human values despite their apparently different means of expressions.
Claire Trevor Theatre
Evenings: Mar. 7, 12, 13, 14 8:00 pm
Evening: Mar. 11 7:30 pm
Matinees: Mar. 8, 14, 15 2:00 pm
General $15 / Seniors, Groups 10+, UCI Faculty & Staff $14 / UCI Students & Children under 17 $11
Complimentary shuttle service is provided for our disabled guests or those with mobility issue from the Mesa Parking Structure to the shows scheduled above.
Shuttle services will begin one hour before showtime and will meet patrons on Level Two (Mesa Road street level) of the Mesa Parking Structure, by the elevator. Advance notice is appreciated, but not required. For additional information, please call the Arts Box Office (949) 824-2787 or firstname.lastname@example.org. (Schedules are subject to change. See posted schedule at http://www.arts.uci.edu/shuttle)
The cast of The Electra Project in rehearsal.
Photo credits: Paul R. Kennedy