Caligula | Greenhouse Theater Center | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays. Continues through July 7 2013
Price: $19
Albert Camus finished his first draft of Caligula in 1938, when he was just 25—"the age when one doubts everything except oneself," as he later put it. The tragedy's central character is a young man of about the same age who nevertheless doubts nothing: Caligula, the sister-shtupping, friend-killing, self-deifying Roman emperor whose brief, autocratic reign (AD 37-41) stands out for its capriciousness and cruelty. Prefiguring the dictators of Camus's own time, Caligula criminalized dissent, gouged the citizenry to pay for extravagant construction projects, and had former supporters put to death. Little wonder that he was soon assassinated by a band of conspirators. It sounds like the makings of a Jacobean bloodbath, but Camus shows a restraint and a preoccupation with matters of fate that are more in keeping with classical tragedy. The same can be said, by and large, of Alexander Gelman's perceptive staging for Organic Theater Company. Though things tend to get overheated whenever sex is involved (especially in Kaitlin Henderson's slithery performance as Caligula's mistress), Gelman restricts himself to a black-and-white color scheme, stark lighting, and a simple but effective metaphor for disorder—a set littered with overturned chairs. He shows a willingness to engage with the complexities of Camus's ideas rather than paper over them. Continue reading >>



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