Mycenaean is a poetic opera-oratorio, written and directed by Carl Hancock Rux. A New York-based artist equally accomplished in the creation of theater, poetry, music, and literary fiction, Rux has adapted Mycenaean from the texts of his recent novel Asphalt (Simon & Schuster) and his epic poem, "Mycenaean Born." The piece was also inspired by French poet/playwright Jean Racine's retelling of the Hyppolytus myth.
Through video installation, movement, song, and electronic composition, Mycenaean's characters are pulled into a vortex of apocryphal urbanity -- both ancient and contemporary -- forcing them to examine their historical memory and will to survive. Rux parallels two kingdoms: one felled in its third century (Mycenae), the other a loosely contemporary civilization on the verge of a third world war. He sets the piece in a fictional American city called Fulcrum, where citizens complain of sleeplessness and visions of the ruined Greek city, Mycenae. When digital recordings of their testimonies of ancient, alternative identities and Dorian wars are viewed on screen, images both antiquated and contemporary are revealed. These "Fulcrum Dreamers," widely exposed in the media, are rumored to be political subversives -- or possibly insane -- as the nation tries to decipher the coded language and messages of Mycenaean dreams.