New York City
First performed in 405 BC after his death in exile, The Bacchae is Euripides’ last play and greatest accomplishment. Dionysus, god of wine and revelry, has returned to Thebes where his mother’s shrine burns eternally. He has come to avenge the slandering of his mother’s reputation, and his only obstacle is the young law-and-order King, Pentheus, who refuses to believe Dionysus is a god and imprisons anyone who participates in his mysterious rites. A contest of wills ensues, developing into a psychosexual, metaphysical game of cat and mouse that ends in tragedy.
Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre’s production of The Bacchae is also inspired by the Second Great Awakening, a period in early 19th century American revivalism, where a violent effusion of religious fervour erupted in a field in Cane Ridge, Kentucky. For six days awe-struck locals witnessed groups of converts falling over, barking, and singing. The revival’s legacy was the formation of the many North American Christianities (Mormons and Pentecostals) prevalent in Canada as well as the US.
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