Tiresias Was a Weatherman is an Antigone for our age of extreme weather and constant medication | Theater Review | Chicago Reader

Tiresias Was a Weatherman is an Antigone for our age of extreme weather and constant medication 

Organic Theater Company tackles climate change, Big Pharma, family dysfunction, the evils of the media machine, and too much else for one play.

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Courtesy the Artist

In Greek mythology Tiresias was a blind seer who was turned into a woman for seven years as punishment for hitting some sacred snakes. That doesn't happen in Jaime Mire's "kinda-sorta adaptation" of Antigone—receiving its world premiere at the Organic Theater Company—but many, many other portentous events do. This is a play with a lot on its mind and not quite enough time or lung capacity to tell it all.

In a parallel, possibly contemporaneous universe to ours, weather events are inextricably linked to human moods and feelings. Annabelle likes to smoke weed but otherwise stays away from meds. This makes her an outlier in a society that has a pill for every suspicion of a malady. After her brother is killed in a hurricane, she wants to give him a proper burial, while her stepfather wants to use the body for research on implants that will "fix" everyone's moods. It doesn't end well for her.

Rain, Wind, Sun, and Thunder are represented by four men in brightly colored, not overly flattering Lycra bodysuits. They function as a kind of Greek chorus, reciting nonsense rhymes one minute, voicing characters' deepest fears the next. They're the comic relief in a play that breathlessly tries to tackle climate change, Big Pharma, family dysfunction, the evils of the media machine, and a half dozen other heavy-duty themes all at once. It hits as often as it misses, and its ambition can't be faulted, but a little less would've gone a lot further. Josh Anderson directed.   v

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