Thousands of years with a modern flair

Trent Toyama

The Ragozzino Performance Hall showcased “Electra’s Oresteia,” the Lane Student Production Association’s most recent creation. The performance was shown four times over the course of the second week of February.

“Electra’s Oresteia” is the SPA’s rock ‘n’ roll adaptation of Aeschylus’ Greek tragedy of the same name. The production shows Agamemnon’s return from the Trojan War and the various lies and murders that fuel Electra’s rise to power upon his return.

As most of the leaders portrayed portrayed in the Greek tragedy were corrupt, the actors often made subtle connections to the administration leading the United States today.

What made this particular production unique was the incorporation of rock music and contemporary stage design. The group also decided to include the use of live footage displayed on screens around the theater. The live casting of the performance, done by an stagehand wielding a smartphone on a gimbal, was used to show a close-up view of the actors and also to give the performance a real news feel when the news anchors gave their report in the show.

Prince Orestes, played by Christopher Ridgley, sits to sing a solo after murdering his mother the Queen under Apollo’s direction. Organized by the Student Production Association, “Electra’s Oresteia featured a unique livestream of the show displayed on screens throughout the theater. (Trent Toyama // The Torch)

The novel production techniques brought a new dynamic to a performance that the SPA has already performed three times. The production won an award for “Best Spotlight Performance” during the Kennedy Center American College Theater Conference at the University of Oregon.

“I think the book and lyrics are so very much stronger than they were the last time,” Brian Haimbach, lead theater faculty member, said.

“Electra’s Oresteia” was free to the public with donations accepted. An estimated 339 guests attended the four performances. The group hopes to receive enough donations to continue showcasing high-quality student performances free of charge.

SPA plans on having another production within the next couple of months titled “Wolves.” Auditions were held on Feb. 25 and 26 with an eye on a premiere during spring term. SPA’s Facebook page offers further information on upcoming productions and audition dates.