BY Daily Dose
Brown University’s Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies and Sock & Buskin present Jean Racine’s 1677 play “Phaedra,” a radically modern tragedy. An anatomy of anxiety and desire, it is a masterpiece of the human mind on the edges of madness and the ruin of reason by uncontrollable and fragmenting passion.
In Phaedra’s world, the sleepless place that is the stage becomes a space for the exploration of prohibition, guilt, repression, surveillance, and the unending game of power. As philosopher Simon Critchley remarked, on this stage Phaedra is “the insomniac of the day.” Born to play the role of her life from which there is no escape, she is the great tragedian’s role in the history of drama. A role that can only be played to the point of exhaustion. French philosopher and literary critic Roland Barthes was not sure if it was still possible to act Racine today because it is seemingly so removed from the present social context. Engaging old and new resources of theatricality, Brown theatre’s production of Phaedra shows that this is indeed possible – or, perhaps, impossibly possible. And, in so doing, it will blow your mind.
Translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur and directed by Brown University Professor Spencer Golub.
February 28th to March 3rd/March 7th to March 10th/Thursday thru Saturday 8pm/Sunday 2pm.
Stuart Theatre, 77 Waterman Street, Brown Campus, (directions)