Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Video: Olympia Dukakis and Carey Perloff on the Making of “Elektra”

“I will not participate in that patriarchy!” That was Olympia Dukakis’s reaction, almost 25 years ago, when director Carey Perloff approached her about starring as Clytemnestra in Ezra Pound’s translation of Elektra. Today’s production—with a text by acclaimed female  playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker—stars Dukakis as the Chorus, a role designed for her “fierce” talent by Wertenbaker.

In this video, Dukakis and Perloff discuss their long working relationship, the dramatic tensions in the Chorus’s role, Wertenbaker’s innovative translation, and the question the play asks about rebellion: Is it a noble quest for justice, or a personal indulgence? (at 5:08).

The video wraps (at 7:45) with an electrifying discussion of a great irony of Greek drama: that this male-dominated form is so rich in towering, demanding, exhilarating roles for women.

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      ROSE

      This milky pink boomed into popularity because of a marketing ploy, a mistress, and its ambiguous origins.

      In an effort to compete with the renowned Meissen porcelain factory, the French Sèvres manufactory recruited the glamorous Madame de Pompadour (mistress to King Louis XV). Like a smart sponsorship deal, Sèvres gave her all the porcelain she requested. 

      Introduced in 1757, this rich pink exploded on the scene thanks to favoritism by Madame Pompadour herself. 

      The glaze itself had a weird history. To the Europeans it looked Chinese, and to the Chinese it was European. It was made based on a secret 17th-century glassmaker’s technique, involving mixing glass with flecks of gold.

      For more on colors and their often surprising histories, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      12/19/14

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