556 W. 18th
Jeremy Menekseoglu’s ingenious, blood-curdling, nervy overhaul of one of the greatest works of Western theater, Aeschylus’s Oresteia, would be an extraordinary accomplishment for any playwright. But the fact that Menekseoglu created all this vastness for the tiny, fringy Dream Theatre in Pilsen makes it mind-blowing. The three parts, Agamemnon, Electra, and Orestes, follow the cursed House of Atreus, focusing primarily on two women whose sufferings are truly mythic: Cassandra, the clairvoyant Trojan princess taken as a prize of war by King Agamemnon, and Electra, Agamemnon’s unloved, matricidal daughter. Menekseoglu plumbs some of the darkest impulses of the human soul—vengeance, cruelty, unfettered egoism—and orchestrates them to a climax so bleak it fittingly takes place in Hades’s “dead center.” Menekseoglu needs to hand these demanding scripts off to a company that can supply the resources they deserve. The final Dream Theatre production, Orestes, runs July 8-August 1, Thursday-Saturday 8 PM and Sunday 7 PM; tickets are $15-$18.