Herakles | Written by Euripides, translated by Ann Carson, directed by Hugh Hanson Website
Classical Greek Theatre Festival

The Classical Greek Theatre Festival 2016

The 46th Annual Classical Greek Theatre Festival

Euripides' Herakles

In September of 2016 The Classical Greek Theatre Festival of Westminster College will mount and tour a new production of Euripides' tragic masterpiece 'Herakles, rarely read and infrequently seen in performance.

"In the play Herakles has married Megara, the daughter of the king of Thebes, and is now absent on his famous Labors; meanwhile a usurper, Lykos ("Wolf") has seized power in Thebes and is preparing to kill Megara and her children. Megara asks for time to prepare herself, land, and her children, and as she and Amphitryon (Herakles' stepfather) pray for aid from Zeus, Herakles returns, having completed the last of his Labors. When Lykos returns to take Megara in to her death, he is murdered (off-stage) by Herakles. All seems to have ended happily, but on the palace roof appears Iris (messenger of the gods) and Lyssa (Madness), sent by Hera to continue her wrath against Herakles. Lyssa is unwilling to assail Herakles who has been a defender of the gods, but does her work at the insistence of Iris. A messenger describes how Herakles has gone mad and killed his family. We see a tableau of Herakles and the bodies of his wife and sons, and with the aid of Amphitryon he returns to sanity and the ghastly realization of what he has done. His friend Theseus, whom he rescued from the underworld, arrives to take the stricken hero to Athens." (I.C Storey & A. Allen)

Next September, Hugh Hanson will direct a modern production of 'Herakles featuring a recent American translation by the noted poet Anne Carson. Spencer Brown will create the set design with costumes by Erin West and original music played live by Ryan Fedor. The production will open at Westminster College on September 2–3 & 9–10 with performances at 7:30 p.m., then tour the state of Utah with venues in the UCCC Amphitheater in West Valley City on Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m., in Provo at BYU's de Jong Concert Hall on Sept. 19 at 5 p.m. and in Ogden at WSU in the Wildcat Theater on Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m., and then return to Salt Lake City for its residency at Red Butte Garden Sept. 24–25 with performances beginning at 9 a.m..

An orientation lecture by dramaturge Jim Svendsen will precede every show thirty minutes before each performance.

Production Schedule

Westminster College, Jay W. Lees Courage Theatre: September 2-3 & 9-10, 7:30PM

Utah Cultural Celebration Center: September 17, 7:30PM

Brigham Young University, DeJong Concert Hall: September 19, 5:00PM

Weber State University, Wildcat Theatre: September 20, 7:30PM

Red Butte Garden: September 24-25, 9:00AM

**An orientation lecture by the dramaturge will precede every show thirty minutes before each performance.


Educational Materials

Learn the Background of Euripides' Herakles


For more information contact:
James Svendsen
(801) 581-9706
The Theatre Department