Tereus in Fragments: A Lost Play of Sophocles

Produced by Animus Ensemble

Tereus in Fragments is based on an ancient Greek myth about Tereus’ (male) violence and Philomela and Procne’s (female) revenge. It has been the subject of several modern dramas, most recently Joanna Laurens’ The Three Birds. Lisa Maurizio’s Tereus in Fragments: A Lost Play of Sophocles, however, differs from most modern adaptations of this myth in several respects. Her play more closely follows ancient tragic Greek conventions, especially Sophocles’ original, though now largely lost, tragedy Tereus. Philomela, for example, is a mute character in this play, as she seems to have been in Sophocles’ Tereus. In addition, Maurizio has translated and incorporated the few lines that survive from Sophocles’ play. More notably, Maurizio focuses less on Tereus’ violence (or male violence in general, the theme of many modern adaptations of this myth) and more on Procne’s longing for her sister and the fluidity of female identity. To this end, Maurizio has incorporated women’s poetry from around the world in her script, from Sappho’s ancient Greek lyrics to Forugh Farrokhzad’s modern Iranian verse.

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