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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      chivalry-project:

      The Chivalry Project in Person

      Join us Friday and Saturday, July 25 and 26, for the first two installments of our free manuscript-making workshops with artist Becca Lofchie at the Getty Center. Create and illustrate your own rule of chivalry, be it newly invented or tried and true! Handmade rules will be featured here on The Chivalry Project tumblr.

      11am to 3:30pm both days.

      Also to see: Chivalry in the Middle Ages, which inspired the project.

      The Fourth Trumpet (detail), about 1255. (Text 2014.) The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig III 1, fol. 12v

      07/24/14

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