The Oresteia has happened before. And will happen again.

ghostroad_600Long before Battlestar Galactica’s Cavil and Ellen Tigh entertained us with arguments over the vagaries of sentient existence and free will, humanity looked to the ancient Greek tragedians to divert our minds from daily ills. That is, if you consider tales of matricide, patricide, fratricide, filicide and the occasional act of forced cannibalism a diversion.

You see, this cat Aeschylus was a bad mother … (Shut your mouth!) … but I’m talkin’ about the father of tragedy! Aeschylus’s The Oresteia trilogy–Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides–still rattles nerves to this day. And Angelenos who like their nerves rattled have it good, because thanks in part to the Getty Villa’s theater program, an Aeschylus tragedy is never more than a few months away.

This Friday through Sunday, the Getty’s Villa Theater Lab is presenting Ghost Road Company’s Orestes, the third part of their Home, Siege, Home trilogy, the multimedia theater ensemble’s own unique take on The Oresteia. In this chapter, “Orestes is tormented by his memories of having killed his mother; the Furies seek revenge for their fallen leader; and the Gods Apollo and Athena struggle to exact some peace and justice from the rubble.”

Wait a second? Apollo? Athena? Where have I heard those names before?

Image: Ghost Road Company’s Orestes. Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Trust.