Translated by George Theodoridis
Directed by Michael Arabian
Produced by Michael Arabian, Joshua Bitton, and John Perrin Flynn
Aeschylus’s The Suppliant Women, one of the oldest extant dramas from ancient Greece, is the first play and only surviving full text of the lost Danaid Tetralogy. The tetralogy was inspired by the myth of Io and her two warring sons, Aegyptus and Danaos. After Aegyptus usurps Danaos’s throne, the 50 sons of Aegyptus seek to possess the 50 daughters of Danaos by forced marriage. Danaos and his daughters reject the compulsory unions and flee to Argos for sanctuary, pursued by the Egyptians.
The Suppliant Women is also one of the earliest known stories of refugees. It is one of Aeschylus’s most poetic pieces, beautifully translated by renowned writer and translator George Theodoridis. In this remarkably timely production Argos becomes modern Greece and the daughters, wearing life jackets and arriving on overcrowded boats, become Syrian refugees. This ancient play has neither hero, nor downfall, nor even tragic conclusion. Instead, the play’s themes, still pertinent today, explore human rights, the continuing oppression of women, and societal reactions to refugees.