by Kessa De Santis of electroniclink/off-Broadway
WRECKED is the result of the ambitious attempt to fuse THE ORESTEIA
and THE TROJAN WOMEN, with several other Greek plays serving as
connecting points. At the heart of things, Orestes is on trial for
matricide, but this play evolves through a series of non-linear
incidents, with different points in time being interwoven and even
coexisting onstage to make a larger point. In killing Clytemnestra,
Orestes has continued a long family history of murder and retribution.
What WRECKED examines is the struggle of the various characters,
and what it takes to, perhaps, end the cycle of violence.
the rage and tragedy that defines the WRECKED universe, there is
a wickedly fun interpretation of Zeus as a smarmy, lounging deity
who manipulates mortals and demigods alike with the slightest of
gestures, only to sit back smoking as war, murder and destruction
overcomes the landscape. Presiding over Orestes’ trial, Athena
appears only as a mouth in live action projections that loom over
the stage. Interesting, and again, emphasizing the sense of supernatural
control. Down on the ground, the women have the meatiest roles.
There is the tormented Cassandra, Queens Clytemnestra and Hecuba,
the doomed Iphigenia, the distraught Electra, and Helen, who had
a little something to do with the Trojan War.
design suggests the ruins of a city, but it never overwhelms, though
the scenes are non-stop. The women walk in soiled slips, and the
periphery of the set hints at the structures that once stood. Again
utilizing overhead projections, the images ranged from buildings
in ruin to live images from the production of WRECKED in progress.
is clearly a work that was created by people who love the source
material for people who love the source material. So, if you go
in, say, unaware of the source of Cassandra’s frustration,
you can still enjoy the play, but you would be missing something
crucial. I liked it!