Domestic violence has lingering, tragic effects in a military family, when a mother winds up killing the father after he comes back home from war. So you tell me: Is Elektra a tale for our time?
Akiva Fox, Emily Hill and Dan VanHoozer have been staging a series of unique "draft performances" as they've approached the work in their performance collective, Haymaker. Each has looked at different aspects of the ancient Greek drama. In January, the focus was on how violence is taught, and how close the audience could be placed to that violence. In tonight and tomorrow night's draft, they're zeroing in on the relationship between the title character and her mother, Clytemnestra.
"It's rare that an adaptation gets it right," Fox says. "They seem like enemies and they scream a lot, but they fight only as people who love each other can. Love and hate absolutely go together in this family; they're bound up in one. It's important for us to come up with a mother and daughter people can actually recognize, despite the extreme circumstances."
UNC Process Series hosts the work in progress, which asks how violence is integrated into a family—and what happens after. Admission is free, but reservations are required, at the website below. The full work, featuring Lost in the Trees composer/violinist Jenavieve Varga, will be assembled sometime next year. —Byron Woods