Mercy Vasquez's production of Timberlake Wertenbaker's contemporary Greek tragedy began slightly out of step, which was perhaps attributable to it being opening night. About 20 minutes in, however, the ensemble cast found its cadence, ultimately delivering the powerful play with fluid ease. First performed in England by the Royal Shakespeare Company in , the play uses the story of two Athenian sisters, Procne and Philomele, to give a commentary on men, women, love, and war. Wertenbaker's strong women characters give a feminist twist to an ancient myth.
Department of Theatre
The Love of the Nightingale | Red Tape Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
The Love of the Nightingale
Constellation Theatre Company frequently produces epic, myth-related theater with a modern slant. So it's natural that they would choose as the final play in their season Timberlake Wertenbaker's The Love of the Nightingale , based on a story in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Theater in , Wertenbaker took the Greek myth of two devoted sisters, Philomele and Procne, and wove it into a moving play about love, lust, brutality, and reconciliation. But this is no conventional retelling of a well-known tale. Wertenbaker locates her play in a place at once familiar and strange.
Constellation Stage captures the multilayered stories from The Love of the Nightingale with full regalia and mythical epic bearing in the intimate Source space. With the staging so beautifully rendered, it almost seems like an optical illusion of more square footage than what is actually there. The opening scene portrays the carnage of war with two warriors battling to the death.