T h e   P l a y s
 

part 1:

agamemnon
Directed by Amy Marie Haven


OVERVIEW

The first part of the trilogy begins with the Greek invasion of Troy and the return of the Greek fleet to its home in Argos. But Troy and its people are not so easily erased or forgotten.

Amy Marie Haven (along with Oresteia choreographer Nicole Helfer) has created an unforgettable piece of epic theatre which also features moments of quiet emotional authenticity. Highlights include the ethereal prologue in which Iphigenia recounts her brutal sacrifice at the hands of her father, an unforgettable re-enactment of Troy's invasion, and the electric reuniting of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon.

All of this is set against the backdrop of our own American complicity with overseas colonizing and the racism and xenophobia all around us right here in what we think is a progressive bubble.  

THE CAST

Iphigenia: Bella Mercurio
Hecuba: Sherrell Teague
Trojan Chorus Leader: Imani Reynolds
Talthybius: Walter Marion
Diomedes: Goggles Grotke
Cassandra: Shawn Keys
Andromache: Shiara Rivas
Astyanax: Ziel Rodriguez
Helen of Troy: Emma Miller
Menelaus: Maxwell Tatem
Watchman: Ben Rotenberg
Watchman's Friend: Leon Jones
Aegisthus & Argive Council Leader: Tanner Browne
Clytemnestra: Brittani McBride
Cltymnestra's Handmaiden: Julia Hopkins
Herald: Leo Shaffer
Polyxena: Metsehafe Eyob
Agamemnon: Evan Feist

Trojan Women: Olivia Braun, Emma Grace Eisenmann, Nylin Ellison, Dina Fukunaga-Brates, Penelope Gould, Harper Houghton, Jasmine Mann, Roan Pearl, Gabrielle Ricks,Lucy Urbano

Council of Argos (Greek Chorus): Sincere Brooks, Noe Casterejon, Oliver Griffin, Walter Marion, Ben Miller, Achintya Pandey, Andres Tobiassen.

Synopsis

[Note: The plot is revealed below.]

The Trojan War is the context for all of the plays in The Oresteia. For information about the war click here and scroll down to "Context: History and Legend."
 

PROLOGUE
As the play opens Iphigenia recounts her sacrifice, which has happened before the curtain goes up. Iphigenia is the daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, king and queen of Argos (the leading city-state in the Greek coalition forged to defeat Troy). The Trojan prince Paris eloped with Helen, wife of Agamemnon's brother Menelaus. Agamemnon and Menelaus gathered together the city-states of the Greek peninsula to get Helen back and save face after the insult of losing a Greek queen to a Trojan prince. 

Agamemnon took Iphigenia with him on his journey to Troy for good luck. However, along the way the winds disappeared as the fleet approached the island of Aulis. This was a punishment from the goddess Artemis whom Agamemnon had insulted. A priest accompanying the fleet told Agamemnon that the winds would return if he sacrificed his eldest daughter Iphigenia to Artemis. Blinded by an obsession with defeating Troy, Agamemnon agreed to cut his daughter’s throat after tying her to a seaside rock. The news of Iphigenia's death made its way to Argos and to Agamemnon's wife, and Iphigenia's mother, Clytemnestra. 

Iphigenia recounts the horror of being sacrificed and dumped into the sea by the father who once considered her his favorite. Her ghost hovers over the entire Oresteia.


SCENE 1
The action moves to the royal palace in Troy. We get a glimpse of the city just after the Greek invasion. The Trojan women are left to hold the city together, led by the Trojan queen Hecuba and her daughters and sons’ wives. One daughter, the priestess Cassandra, roams Troy issuing prophecies of further disaster for both the Greeks and the Trojans. But no one will listen to her. She has been cursed by Apollo with the ability to see the future but to go unbelieved. When Cassandra returns to the palace and her mother, she is claimed as a bride for Agamemnon by the Greek commander Talthybius. Cassandra is taken away and put on Agamemnon's ship bound for Argos.

Another of Hecuba’s daughters, Andromache, watches as the Greek army takes away her son Astyanax to be killed, ripping him from her arms. The Greeks are afraid the boy will one day grow up to revenge the invasion of Troy.

Soon after these wrenching goodbyes we see the Greek king Menelaus with his wife Helen, whom he has finally located and reclaimed. They are now disaster tourists, walking through Troy and marveling at its destruction. Helen starts to feel ambivalence over her role in the conflict, which she will reckon with in the prologues of the following two installments of the trilogy. 

The women of Troy vow to live on, in spite of the horrors they have endured. They liken themselves to wasps in a hive and empower Hecuba to be the queen she is. Their final words are: "It's time for the hive to survive." 

 

SCENE 2
The action shifts to the royal palace at Argos. It's a multicultural port city, home to immigrants from all over the Mediterranean and from the eastern continent where Troy was located. Native-born Argives are increasingly restless, suspecting eastern immigrants of quietly working to overthrow the city-state and have sympathizing with Troy.

Everyone in Argos is waiting for a signal fire in the harbor which will proclaim Troy’s fall (which no one in Greece knows has already happened). 

We meet a Watchman, a Spartan immigrant to Argos whose job it is to look for the signal flame. He has been doing so for ten years. He tells us the story of the war from the Argive perspective and about the hatred the Argives have for their queen Clytemnestra, who was left to rule Argos when Agamemnon left for Troy.

Not only do the Argives resent being ruled by a woman, but she is not truly Greek. In a twist unique to this version of The Oresteia, Clytemnestra traces her bloodline back to Ephesus which is located south of Troy. The Argives refer to her dismissively as an "easterner" a catch-all term for anyone not Greek or who is of color. Because of her eastern heritage, Clytemnestra is suspected of secretly supporting the Trojans and of emboldening eastern immigrants in Argos to sabotage Argive society. 

To make matters worse for her, Clytemnestra remarried given that Agamemnon has been away for a decade. And the man she married (Aegisthus) is Agamemnon's cousin and his sworn enemy. Aegisthus waits for the Curse of Atreus to do its work. The curse was laid upon Agamemnon's side of the Atreus family by Aegisthus' father Thyestes before the events of The Oresteia (click here for a fuller explanation). The Argives rightfully suspect Aegisthus of plotting against Agamemnon, but Clytemnestra resents the assumption that she automatically falls under her new husband's sway.

After a conversation with a friend, an Athenian immigrant to Argos, the Watchman sees the harbor fire lit signaling the fall of Troy and the return of Agamemnon. He runs to tell palace officials of the news.


SCENE 3
Eventually, the Argive city council comes up the hill to the royal palace for their daily briefing from Clytemnestra. For ten years she has told them that there has been no news from Troy. The council is on the verge of leading a civic revolt. They complain bitterly of immigrant communities in the seaside flats of Argos, griping about their "strange notions and weird devotions". The council longs to see those communities broken up and expelled. 

One of the Argive council members continually tries to offer perspective to his peers, pointing out to them their various hypocrisies. But to little good. The council’s hatred for Clytemnestra and their xenophobic suspicion of all foreigners blinds them to what they’ve been waiting so desperately for: the harbor signal fire has been lit and burns throughout the entire scene.


SCENE 4
Clytemnestra emerges from the palace after hearing the news of Troy's fall from the Watchman. She wrestles with conflicting feelings. The Greeks have won and her people will return. But women from the region of her birth are now slaves and her daughter Iphigenia is dead by her husband's hand. Clytemnestra does not know what she will say to her husband, and we get a glimpse of her inner conflict.

Soon Clytemnestra and the council spar with each other, as they do every day. She then points out to them that all of their rage has blinded them to the fact that what they've waited for has actually happened. The harbor fire has been lit. Troy has fallen. The council is amazed and praises Zeus for making it happen.


SCENE 5
A herald (messenger) arrives with details about Troy’s defeat. He tells the Argive council in devastating detail how Troy was consumed by a fire accidentally started by a Greek regiment. The Greek victory began by a chance accident, but the results were devastating nonetheless. The fire burned alive the Trojan governing council and everyone inside the palace. The herald also describes in riveting detail how he first saw Cassandra amidst the flames that devoured Troy. He goes on to relate how Agamemnon rescued her from the palace and has brought her home as his mistress. The council rightly fears this will anger Clytemnestra, but they opt not to warn her, instead preferring the spectacle of watching the queen discover her new rival.


SCENE 6
Agamemnon returns home in triumph with the Trojan women as slaves and with his mistress Cassandra in tow. Clytemnestra welcomes him into the royal palace with a well-chosen speech and a rich tapestry leading inside, as befits a king's return. But Agamemnon scolds her in front of everyone for wasting time on welcoming him home and for preparing a needlessly lavish reception. He explains in a populist mode that he and his fellow native-born Argives are impatient with such 'eastern' and 'feminine' ways which he claims led to Troy's doom (and he says this fully aware of his wife's eastern heritage). Agamemnon enters the palace with his wife.

SCENE 7
Cassandra remains outside and tries to warn the Argive council of a terrible future. She sees disaster as she beholds the Argive palace, which she predicts will become a tomb. The Argive council is confused by her prophetic "riddle language" and can barely make out what she means as makes reference to the Curse of Atreus. Eventually the council realizes what Cassandra is saying: Agamemnon will die at the hands of Clytemnestra. Cassandra walks into the palace knowing full well it will be her tomb along with Agamemnon's.
 

FNAL SCENE
Soon enough the council hears screaming. The palace doors open and Clytemnestra is revealed. She presents the bloodied bodies of Agamemnon and Cassandra to Argos. She and her new husband Aegisthus have killed them. Clytemnestra explains why she did what she did and claims revenge for the death of Iphigenia. Aegisthus triumphs in the fact that he has killed his cousin Agamemnon and the Curse of Atreus has been fulfilled. Martial law is instituted in Argos and the Argive council is left to wonder what will happen next.

Approximate running time: 90 minutes with no intermission.

PART 2:

ELECTRA
Directed by Nicole Helfer
 

OVERVIEW

Revenge gives birth to revenge. Electra is at war with her mother Clytemnestra and desperate for her brother Orestes to return from exile and settle the score. But Orestes' discovery of a personal truth will test his sister's love and his stomach for revenge.

This second installment of The Oreteia is directed by TBA Award-winning artist Nicole Helfer, who has drawn inspiration from the work of artists like Pina Bausch and Sanford Meisner to create this compelling portrait of a family in crisis. The most interpersonally-charged of the three plays, Electra actively confronts the corrosive power of gender norms, as Orestes returns after fleeing Argos to wrestle with a personal truth no one wanted to hear. Does his claim to manhood mean he has to kill? 

[Note: Aeschylus called the second play of his trilogy The Libation Bearers.]

The cast

Iphigenia: Bella Mercurio
Helen of Troy: Emma Miller
Orestes: Michelle Doty
Pylades: Goggles Grotke
Electra: Alona Clark
Trojan Women's Chorus Leader: Imani Reynolds
Chrysothemis: Anaya Potts
Cilissa: Isabelle Smith
Clytemnestra: Brittani McBride
Aegisthus: Tanner Browne

Trojan Women: Olivia Braun, Emma Grace Eisenmann, Dina Fukunaga-Brates, Penelope Gould, Harper Houghton, Roan Pearl, Gabrielle Ricks, Lucy Urbano

Synopsis

[Note: The plot is revealed below.]


PROLOGUE
We see Iphigenia, who is joined by Helen of Troy. They recount their roles as props in a patriarchal world governed by cowardly and desperate men. Each remembers what it was like to witness death: Iphigenia her own, and Helen the death of Troy. 


SCENE 1
Orestes returns to Argos with his cousin Pylades, and to the grave of his father Agamemnon.

Before the action of Electra begins, Orestes (after whom the entire trilogy is named) has escaped after the murder of his father by his mother Clytemnestra. But he did not leave just because of his father's death. For as long as he can remember, he has struggled with an inner truth that he sought to deny. He was not born Orestes, but one of three daughters (the others being Iphigenia and Electra). Orestes needed to leave Argos in order to embrace this reality. So he traveled to Mount Ida, a place where mortals and gods can communicate. It was from that peak that he asked the god Hermes for wisdom and to help him come to terms with who he really is. It was there that he took the name Orestes.

While he was there, a prophecy was announced by the Oracle of Delphi (a priestess through whom Apollo communicates). The prophecy said: a son will avenge the death of a father by killing a mother. The Delphic oracle has the power of fate behind it. Orestes is driven to accept it and act on it. But it will bring up issues of free will and destiny that only complicate Orestes' personal transformation.

Back to the action of Electra, before leaving his father's grave, Orestes leaves a lock of his hair as a signal to his sister Electra that he has returned. She desperately hopes he will return to fulfill the oracle. Orestes' personal transformation is, frankly, not of particular interest to her unless it can aid in revenge.


SCENE 2
Electra is still enraged by her father's death and still enraged at her mother Clytemnestra for being responsible for it. Electra lives in self-imposed exile outside the palace walls, turning her back on her royal lifestyle. The Trojan women whom her father had captured are now palace servants, led by an elder of Troy who lost more in the war than anyone. The women come to check on Electra. She and the Trojan women engage in a dialogue about privilege and the virtues of revenge.

The youngest of the Trojan women warns her sisters away from revenge. But the rest of the women are furious with Clytemnestra. Because the women are Trojan - and from the same part of the world as Clytemnestra - the rest of Argos assumes they are murderers and schemers like the queen. Argives assume all easterners are such. Clytemnestra only confirmed it, they claim, and placed them in perpetual danger. 

Electra recounts seeing her mother murder her father. She was a young girl at the time and still tries to make sense of it. She looks to revenge to dull the pain and to rid her mind of what she saw.


SCENE 3
Electra's sister Chrysothemis comes to find her. Chrysothemis has remained in the palace with Clytemnestra and her stepfather Aegisthus. As such Chrysothemis retains her royal title. Her goal is survival in a world in which death and suspicion have tainted everything and killed almost all hope. The sisters viciously argue about who is in the right and who has the moral high ground. Chrysothemis eventually returns to the palace, unable to convince Electra to join her and leave behind hypocritical calls for revenge.

After so much conflict, and watching so many families being torn apart, the leader of the Trojan women wants nothing more than to reunite with her own mother. She leaves Argos and walks to the sea to find her, but she never will. Her mother died in the Trojan War two decades before.


SCENE 4
Chrysothemis finds Electra again and tells her that she knows Orestes has returned, telling Electra about the lock of hair. Electra finds it. Orestes enters and the two are reunited. But Electra's thirst for revenge and Orestes' ambivalence about his newfound identity lead to a heated conflict. Electra wants him to fulfill the prophecy and kill their mother. Orestes resents the notion that to be a man means he has to kill. But he gives in to the norm in order for his masculinity to be taken seriously and because the prophecy wills it. 

They both hear Clytemnestra in the palace as she calls out to Electra during one of her regular nightmares. The queen has not slept soundly since she killed Agamemnon. Clytemnestra's maid Cilissa (who nursed and raised all of Clytemnestra's children) comes out to beg Electra to come home and comfort her mother. Cilissa sees Orestes. After a brief conversation she recognizes the princess she nursed and the man he has become. Cilissa helps Orestes sneak into the palace as Clytemnestra emerges to talk with Electra.

Clytemnestra openly and frankly tells her daughter of her own painful history, trying to explain her actions and the various binds in which women find themselves in a patriarchal culture. Electra is largely unmoved, but she begins to consider the moral murkiness of life. Clytemnestra returns to the palace, seeming to know that she is about to be killed.


FINAL SCENE
We hear the murder of Clytemnestra and her second husband Aegisthus at the hands of Orestes who, with Pylades, sneaked into the palace with Cilissa's help. Aegisthus emerges from the palace bloody and dazed, thinking aloud about the evils he has committed and about the end of his family line (he dies childless). The Curse of Atreus has returned to destroy him as it destroyed his cousin Agamemnon.

Electra and Orestes cannot celebrate their act of revenge. The Furies are awoken by the two murders and they take Orestes into their custody. He will be tried for the murders he committed even though he was urged to it by forces outside of his control: the god Apollo and the gender norms that dictate men kill in order to settle conflicts. 
 

Approximate running time: 60 minutes plus an intermission before THE FURIES.

PART 3:

THE FURIES
Directed by Matthew Travisano
 

OVERVIEW

Justice isn't really all that just, certainly not in the topsy-turvy, sing-songy world of Athens. The seat of government and law is the scene for the trial of the age. But in Athens, a lie is simply a truth that isn't true yet. This final installment of The Oresteia takes a satirical turn. We begin at the Temple of Apollo, a casino and nightclub presided over by the god of light and poetry himself who is the ultimate showman. We then shift to the ultimate reality show, the high court in Athens and Orestes' trial. 

Inspired by everything from Key & Peele to Liberace, writer/director Matthew Travisano has paired with local jazz artist Frank Mercurio and beyond the grave with Sir Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert & Sullivan fame) to create a musical satire which asks a sobering question: how do we survive in a culture in which appearance and assumption are everything?

[Note: Aeschylus called the third play of his trilogy The Eumenides.]

The cast

Iphigenia: Bella Mercurio
Helen of Troy: Emma Miller
Polyxena: Metsehafe Eyob
Aphrodite & Leader of the Furies: Maya Simon
Hera: Heather Adams
Athena: Isabelle Smith
Watchman: Ben Rotenberg
Watchman's Friend: Leon Jones
Justice: Ruby SongsterOrestes: Michelle Doty
Apollo: Abram Blitz
Ganymede: Tanner Browne
Pythia: Mia Cohen
Clytemnestra: Brittani McBride

The Furies: Sylvia Abrams-Wolffsohn, Olivia Braun, Metsehafe Eyob, Dina Fukunaga-Brates, Maya Feight, Isabella Penner, Kayley Pollard, Lucy Swinson, Lucy Urbano.

Synopsis

[Note: The plot is revealed below.]


PROLOGUE
Once again we see Iphigenia and Helen of Troy. This time they are joined by Polyxena, the first woman killed in Troy during the Greek invasion. They offer us a chance to reconnect with the consequences of the Trojan War and for women in particular.


SCENE 1
The goddesses Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite enter with their retinues and reflect on the so-called Judgment of Paris. They reckon with the notion of blame, how women often bear the brunt of it for things outside their control, and their role in the events of the previous two installments of The Oresteia. They offer Helen some advice: get out of this place. But where is she going to go?


SCENE 2
We move to the Temple of Apollo, a nightclub and casino in which Justice is the headliner (and Apollo the owner). She is joined by a chorus of showgirls (who will later become the jury of Furies who will try Orestes, go figure). She sings a torch song in which she sets the record straight about what she actually does. A hint: not much to do with seeing justice done. She makes reference to a number of recent examples in our own time of instances in which she could have intervened but did not. After her song she goes on to explain what Orestes has in store for him at his trial and mocks the idea that she's blind. 


SCENE 3
He has been disguised up to this point, but suddenly we see Apollo in all his resplendent glory as he reveals himself to Justice and to the audience. After shooing away Justice, Apollo works at consoling a terrified Orestes. But Apollo is not much help. He is openly a racist, a raving misogynist, a transphobe. Orestes soon requests a new lawyer. But Orestes is stuck with him - a buddy movie from the dark side. 

Apollo offers Orestes some strategies to avoid conviction at trial. First of all, Orestes should fully embrace his masculinity (though Apollo is a bit flummoxed by the whole trans-male thing). Men are allowed to get away with a lot, he argues, so why not benefit?

However, Orestes offers Apollo some information the god wasn't expecting: Orestes is multi-racial (after all, his mother Clytemnestra is a woman of color from Ephesus, his father an Argive Greek). Apollo is appalled. He just got his mind wrapped around Orestes' transition to being male...and now this

Apollo - through song and with the help of his cabana boy Ganymede on the lyre - suggests to Orestes that he hide his blackness. Orestes must convince the jury that he is a well-meaning, safe, liberal, NPR-listening white man. After all, such a white man would never kill. By Apollo's logic - much like that of our own culture today - only black men commit murder. Orestes reminds Apollo that it was he who compelled him to revenge. Apollo's own oracle ordered it. The god is unnervingly ignorant of this prophecy or even what Orestes actually did. The god of light and poetry is unconcerned with details, let alone nuance.


SCENE 4
The Leader of the Furies appears and dukes it out with her old nemesis Apollo. In Athens, the head of the jury is the prosecution. Makes sense, yes? She explains that the jury at Orestes' trial will be made up of the Furies. Apollo suddenly worries about the fairness of this, and the damage to his client's chances for acquittal. He can't let a bunch of angry women sink his best bro. 

For better or worse, the Furies do not take any context or history into account. They only act on what they see, and they saw Orestes covered in his mother's blood. Apollo is worried. 

SCENE 5
The scene shifts to the Areopagus (which is a stone pediment still in Athens today where historians believe the first Athenian court was located). In a brief prayer Pyhthia, the Delphic Oracle herself, hopes for a dignified trial and a lack of "spectacle". But nothing can prevent it.  

Athena convenes the court and tries to keep it classy. She announces that the charge brought against Orestes is matricide (murdering one's mother). But Apollo makes a mockery of the trial from the outset. He offers alternative fact after alternative fact, and conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory as to why Orestes is innocent. His defenses of Orestes are contradictory, hypocritical, and counter-intuitive. If one were to follow along and try to decode it all, it would only make less sense.


SCENE 5
The ghost of Clytemnestra is called into the court to testify about her own murder. Right away she is able to see way things in the Greek justice system work and locks horns with Apollo. The god objects to Clytemnestra's testimony and begins spinning more theories. He does not like to lose.

Apollo argues:

  1. Orestes could not have committed murder because he's white.
  2. Orestes could not have murdered his mother because, as a white man, his black mother can't be related to him. No mother, no matricide.
  3. Orestes can't have committed murder because he is actually a she (Apollo tries to denude Orestes to prove it).

Clytemnestra prevents this, shielding her son with her cloak. She grants Orestes permission to deny their blood link if it will save him. She also refers to him as her son. However, she warns him of the moral cost of denying his racial heritage and tells him that such acts of denial have to end. She tells Orestes that it's time to do something about the necessity for such heartbreaking situations. She recounts the struggles of her ancestors and asks Orestes to use this moment as a turning point. 


FINAL SCENE
Resulting from a stew of confusion, prejudice, and fatigue, the jury of Furies deadlocks. The Leader of the Furies despairs, admitting to Apollo that the mockery he has made of the proceedings has worked. Her parting words are those of realization, that those charged with ensuring justice (the Furies) are not equipped to do it. Their prejudices and pettiness forbid it. 

Athena disbands the court. Justice revels in the spectacle of it all, singing a reprise of her song in which she sums up the state of affairs. She indicts us all for dooming Orestes in one way or another, whether he is acquitted or not.

Athena then casts the final vote. She acquits Orestes. As the court empties, she realizes that his acquittal is not a mercy. The young man will be released into a culture that will forever convict him based on the various aspects of his identity. Athena realizes that it isn't her place to decide on his freedom anyway. She is done with toying with the freedom of others.

Orestes delivers a final speech in which he resolves not to be anyone's token or proof of anyone's prejudices. We will accept him or we won't. But it's time for us to get out of the way if we're not going to empower. He leaves the courtroom to return to Argos. 
 

Approximate running time: 60 minutes with no intermission.
 

The Creators

AMY MARIE HAVEN is the chief dramaturg for The Oresteia and directs Agamemnon. She has a diverse theater background focusing on directing, acting, and community- building. She received her BA from UC Santa Cruz in 2007 where she studied Literature and Theater. Based in the Bay Area, Amy Marie has directed for and acted with many award- winning local companies including: Cal Shakes, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, The Quixote Project, Alter Theater, Sleepwalkers Theatre (voted best theatre company of 2009- SF Weekly), 142 Throckmorton, and was most recently the Production Manager for We Players' Ondine at Sutro and director for 23 Elephants' The Unspeakable Act, a production awarded Best of Fringe 2016. Her international theatre experience includes: Theatre of Heart and Four Larks Theater in Melbourne, Australia, as well as San Jeronimo Bilingual School, in Cofradia, Honduruas. Amy Marie is a co-founder of Tomorrow Youth Repertory in Alameda.

 

NICOLE HELFER is the choreographer for The Oresteia and directs Electra. She is an acclaimed performing artist, choreographer and teacher. She has over 20 years experience in the Bay Area theatre scene, both performing and teaching dance and theatre. She received her BA and teaching credential from San Francisco State University. Featured performance credits include: Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie, Fantine in Les Miserables (Shellie Award winner), Betty in Sunset Boulevard (Shellie nominee), Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors (Shellie nominee), Val in A Chorus Line, Velma Kelly in Chicago (SFBATCC nominee), Kate Monster/Lucy T. Slut in the National Regional Premiere of Avenue Q, Miraid in Brimstone (SFBATCC and Shellie nominee) and Sheila in Hair (Shellie nominee). Choreography credits include: West Side Story (TBA and SFBATCC nominee), Peter Pan and the upcoming production of Beauty and the Beast with The Mountain Play; The Producers, Miss Saigon, Kiss Me Kate (SFBATCC nominee), West Side Story (TBA Award winner), and In the Heights (TBA Award winner) with Broadway By The Bay; the West Coast premiere of School of Rock with Oakland School for the Arts; Lizzie with Ray of Light (SFBATCC nominee); Dogfight for OMG Productions; Tarzan for Contra Costa Musical Theater (Shellie Award nominee); RENT for Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre; Measure For Measure and A Chorus Line for San Francisco State University; 8 Track: The Sounds of the 70sSix Women With Brain Death, and You're A Good Man Charlie Brown (Shellie Award nominee) for Willows Theatre Company; Click Clack Moo and Pinkalicious for Bay Area Childrenís Theatre. Currently, Nicole Helfer teaches at the Ballet School in Walnut Creek.

 

MATTHEW TRAVISANO is the writer of The Oresteia and directs The Furies. He is the chair of the OSA School of Theatre and is on the faculty of the English Department. He recently completed an education consultancy for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and will join the literary staff of Crowded Fire Theatre for the 2017-18 season. He earned a BA in English from UC Berkeley and trained as an actor primarily at ACT, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and Upon These Boards, in directing at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and in playwriting at Central Works. He began as a playwright by adapting Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice for Theatre Bay Area's Shakespeare Marathon. Since then his adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts and world premiere original play Salome have been given full productions in the Bay Area. For OSA he created a new version of Euripides' tragedy The Trojan Women which received its world premiere as part of Heart of Oakland: Oakland School for the Arts Showcase. His site-specific one-act Walls Fall - written specifically for performance at the Getty Mansion in San Francisco - received its world premiere there in April 2016. He has directed productions for Los Altos Stage Company, Palo Alto Players, Dragon Productions, Douglas Morrisson Theatre, among other companies. As an actor he has worked with TheatreFIRST, Los Altos Stage Company, Upon These Boards, Staged Hereafter, Crossroads Theatre. He has lectured and taught at Contra Costa College, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and San Domenico School. Before arriving at OSA he was the Chair of the Department of Theatre Tech & Musical Theatre at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts in San Francisco