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LEFTERIS PANTAZIS Comes to Detroit on Friday 11/16/18, at The International Banquet & Conference Center in Greektown Detroit, with special guests Vasiliki Ntanta and Master Tempo, presented by Titan Productions!  Tickets on sale at DCGreeks.com. Click here for details!
Byzantio Greek Dance & Cultural Arts Program invites you to a Greek Dance Workshop featuring Kyriakos Moisidis direct from Greece on Saturday, 9/29/18, at St. Katherine's Greek Orthodox Church in Falls Church, VA. Tickets are on sale at DCGreeks.com! Click here for details!
Philoxenia House Presents Legendary Recording Artist LEFTERIS PANTAZIS Live in Baltimore on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday 11/21/18, at Greektown Square, with special guests Vasiliki Ntanta and Master Tempo!  Tickets on sale at DCGreeks.com. Click here for details!
DCGreeks.com, in association with local and national Hellenic organizations, invites Greek-American young adults from across the country to our Nation's Capital from November 1-4, 2018 for Pan-Hellenism Weekend 2018, featuring two Happy Hours, a Friday Greek Night, Saturday Late Night Bouzoukia, and Sunday afternoon event.  Click here for details!
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09/22Byzantio Greek Dance & Cultural Arts Program invites you to a Greek Dance Workshop featuring Kyriakos Moisidis direct from Greece on Saturday, 9/29/18, at St. Katherine's Greek Orthodox Church in Falls Church, VA. Tickets are on sale!
09/18Titan Productions Presents Lefteris Pantazis in Detroit on Saturday 11/16/18, with special guests Vasiliki Ntanta and Master Tempo! Tickets now on sale!
09/11Philoxenia House Presents Legendary Recording Artist Lefteris Pantazis Live in Baltimore on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday 11/21/18, at Greektown Square, with special guests Vasiliki Ntanta and Master Tempo! Tickets on sale!
09/09
PHW 2018 Update: Ticket Packages now on sale! Save up to $53 off the price at the door (when factoring in discounts and two free drinks)!  Prices go up 0 to 75 cents a day starting 9/16/18!  PHW Quick Ticket Purchase Form (for single event purchases, individuals or in bulk) now online too!
09/03
DCGreeks.com Pan-Hellenism Weekend 2018 Update: $109/night Hotel block at The Wink Hotel now open! Details on Saturday Late Night Bouzoukia at The National Press Club announced!
08/27
DCGreeks.com Presents Pan-Hellenism Weekend 2018, November 1-4, 2018 in Washington, DC!  New 21+ format! New Saturday Night venue! New Sunday Afternoon Event! Details coming this week!
06/01Axion Charity Events Presents Peggy Zina Live in Baltimore on Sunday, 10/28/18!  Tickets now on sale!
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DCGreeks.com is once again fielding a team of Greek and Philhellene kickballers from all over the DC Metro area to compete in the one-day Safe at Home kickball tournament at Congressional School in Falls Church, VA on Saturday 9/29/18 to benefit Bridges To Independence.  Kickballers wanted!  Click here for details!

Euripides' Ion and the Temple He Brooms
Shakespeare Theatre Company's Production of Lesser-Known Greek Drama Stays True to Form but with a Refreshingly Modern Take

April 4, 2009

Keith Eric Chappelle as Ion in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Ion, directed by Ethan McSweeny. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
Keith Eric Chappelle as Ion in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Ion, directed by Ethan McSweeny. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

The Shakespeare Theatre’s production of Euripides’ Ion is a refreshingly modern take on the usual Greek tragedy which despite the director Ethan McSweeny’s great license to adapt many aspects of the play for the mere fact that it is a virtually unknown work even amongst followers of ancient Greek drama, still stays true to form.   Ion is the story of a young man without a lineage, really without a name, who only knows is that he has grown up at The Oracle of Delphi living a simple yet in many ways blessed existence as one of Apollo’s servants.  His innocence starts to unravel as he begins to question his lineage and finally discovers his parentage, his position in society and in many ways his destiny.

The play opens in the usual manner with a monologue from a tunic laden Hermes set against the backdrop of an ancient Greek temple as is traditional in Greek drama.  Even Ion’s first appearance as a simple servant at Delphi also in a tunic does not indicate that the play will take a decidedly modern turn with the introduction of visitors from Athens, who are portrayed as everything from socialites (Princess Creusa) to American-style tourists (Cruesa's servants/the Chorus).  The oracle’s revelation that Ion is somehow connected to the Athenians has him eventually trading in his tunic and sandals for a two piece suit and wingtips and in many ways losing his innocence, compassion, and almost losing himself.

Yet despite this modern turn, the Director manages to stay true to form on many aspects of Greek drama.  While the dialogue has been updated, the translation and the cadence of the dialogue seems to still pay homage to the ancient Greek.  The Chorus gets quite a large amount of time for its traditional narrative song at the end of the first act, particularly given the rather short run time of 1 hour 35 minutes.

The performances were all quite good with the casting of Keith Eric Chappelle as Ion adding extra depth to the title character as his frustration about his status in society takes on a modern American undertone.  One final nod must be given to the one Greek American member of the cast, Sam Tsoutsouvas, who added some comic relief in his almost parodic portrayal of Xuthus, Creusa’s husband.

In the end this production of Ion is a great way to explore an admittedly lighter piece of Greek drama with a modern feel to it, at an up-tempo pace.

Ion runs at Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW, Washington, DC, through April 12th, 2009. DCGreeks.com invites you to a special performance on Thursday, April 9th, 2009.  Through a special package deal, we've secured Lower Level Orchestra Seats and a condensed DC Greek version of the wildly popular Acting for Business Professionals Icebreaker/Workshop for only $35.  Can’t make the workshop?  Attend the play for only $20.


Read past feature articles