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Pitt State Theatre hosting “The Bacchae”

This semester looks a lot different than previous semester. With the presence of a global pandemic, sports, events, and most things in between were either postponed or cancelled all together. However, PSU Theatre is still putting on performances. 

Pitt State Theatre has decided to proceed with the production of “The Bacchae,” an ancient Greek tragedy by Euripides. The cast and crew have been rehearsing since early September according to director Liden Little.  

“…It (the play) tells the story of king Pentheus and the god Dionysus,” Little said. “Pentheus refuses to worship Dionysus… So, it’s all about not honoring the gods and not respecting tradition.”  

There will be some changes to the play, mainly the delivery method, due to the pandemic. One such change is that rather than having performances with live audiences, Pitt State Theatre is partnering with the department of communication media production students to record the play and post it online for viewing from Thursday, Oct. 22 to Sunday, Oct. 25 at Vimeo.com/pittstate.  

“Well… we’re excited about it because we’re partnering with (the department of communication media production students),” Little said. “…So, we’re excited about that. It is the first time we’ve done it so there is a learning curve to learning how to film live productions.” 

One scene that Little really likes is a scene between characters Tiresias and Cadmus.  

“…They’re two older gentlemen… that will honor Dionysus and they get made fun of for being old guys but they’re wise in their wisdom to honor the god Dionysus,” Little said. “So, they try and warn Pentheus and that’s a great scene. It has a little bit of comic relief to it, because they’re kind of like the old Muppets in the balcony trying to convince people to do what they should. So, that’s a really fun scene.” 

Many changes have been made to the production process in order to abide by social distancing guidelines.  

“…Well, we’re rehearsing with social distancing and isolation,” Little said. “It’s also a stage reading so the cast will actually have scripts in hand. So, that helps with the heightened language because it is a tragedy (and) it’s written in verse… That gives them a leg up to tackle the difficulty of the language… We’ve been lucky, we’ve only had a few have to quarantine. But the stage reading helps with that too because they can just plug right in and pick up where they left off. So, that had been a part of it. Also, the scenery (is different). The way that the scenery is constructed everyone has a chair and they’re social distanced… Social distancing during the production to try and maintain safety for everyone. Safety was our number one concern doing this. A lot of other programs have cancelled their events entirely and we wanted to try and provide an opportunity to our students, but we wanted to do that in as safe a manner as possible.” 

Tickets for the play can be purchased at the PSU Ticket Office which is in room 137 of the Garfield Weede Building and are six dollars for the public. Tickets are free to students, faculty, and staff with a valid PSU photo ID. Patrons will be given a log-in code in lieu of a ticket.  

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