Electra, a one-act tragedy by Sophocles, explores the story of Electra that has been passed down for generations beginning in ancient Greece. It all goes back to Tantalos, a son of Zeus who angered the gods, causing them to put a curse on his family that would continue with his children and so on. Sophocles play picks up four generations later with Electra after fifteen years of waiting for her younger brother, Orestes, to return to avenge their father’s death. A show filled with anger, grief, murder, and a never-ending family curse – this production will give the audience a sneak peak into one of the many Greek myths.
The star of the show Electra, played by Rachel Pfennigwerth, set the tone and emotion for this production. Her expressions and speech were so convincing that I felt transported into the Greek empire and was watching Pfennigwerth from afar. At times I even thought the crying scenes were real, too. The makeup to give the face a dirty, outdoor-worn look was spot on. Pfennigwerth was able to give the audience a good insight into the turmoil inside Electra’s mind.
It would have been a bit more immersive if there were a few more props or scenery on the stage. At times it was forgettable where the setting was with only a couple slabs of faux hills and a small offering shrine. It may have added more depth with a more visible, larger shrine and a few added small props for the main scene.
A really great prop usage, though, was in the murder scene. It was amazing how they shined a light on the curtain that acted as the door to the house of Agamemnon, and had the actors stand behind it so the audience could only see their silhouettes–especially when the light hitting the curtain turned red during that particular scene.
The chemistry between Rachel Pfennigwerth, Electra, and Ponny Conomos Jahn, who played Clytemnestra, is outstanding. Both actresses made it convincing to the audience that they truly despised each other. They made the play appear more realistic with the emotions and actions that they demonstrated.
All of the actors and actresses performed very well throughout the show. They were able to accurately speak in the dialect from ancient Greece – excluding the Greek language – without any hiccups. Each and every one of them displayed the utmost emotion that made the characters come alive.
Little Lake Theatre does recommend that the audience is twelve years of age or older due to some profanity throughout the show.
You can see Electra at the Little Lake Theatre in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania from July 5-6 at 8pm, July 7 at 2pm, and July 11-13 at 8pm. Tickets are $19.00-$20.50 for adults and $12 for children and can be purchased online.
(As an addition their 71st season, Little Lake Theatre introduced a hearing loop. The hearing loop allows someone with telecoil (or T-Coil) equipped hearing aids or cochlear implants to listen to the performance through their devices via platforms with flat wires taped on that serve as the loop. Little Lake also offers external headsets on loan for free if anyone is unsure on how to use the hearing loop. Patrons can get an external headset and have questions answered about the hearing loop at the theatre’s box office before the show.)
Photography Credit: Carina Iannarelli
Emily Koscinski is a recent graduate from Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School. Along with Pittsburgh in the Round her articles have been featured in Midland Today, Beaver County Times, Observer-Reporter, and on the Lincoln Park website. Emily also has her own photography business where her photos have been shown at Robert Morris University and on the Lincoln Park website.
Categories: Archived Reviews