A stunning, new translation by the poet and classicist Anne Carson, first performed in 2015 at the Almeida Theatre in London
Anne Carson writes, “Euripides was a playwright of the fifth century BC who reinvented Greek tragedy, setting it on a path that leads straight to reality TV. His plays broke all the rules, upended convention and outraged conservative critics. The Bakkhai is his most subversive play, telling the story of a man who cannot admit he would rather live in the skin of a woman, and a god who seems to combine all sexualities into a single ruinous demand for adoration. Dionysos is the god of intoxication. Once you fall under his influence, there is no telling where you will end up.”
What People are Saying:
"Visually ravishing" "Shaking the Tree’s Bakkhai is a neatly contrived roller-coaster of a show, a smooth and sometimes scary fun ride that starts where it starts and carries on, with no breaks, to its bitter and propulsive end." -Bob Hicks, Oregon Artswatch Read the full reviewhere
"What Shaking the Tree has done with this Greek chorus of Dionysos’ followers, the Bakkhai, is another major reason to see the show. They speak in intricate pairings, sometimes twos, sometimes threes. The pairings shift as much as the play implies that they do (sexually) with each other. They are the capricious, gender-non-conforming followers of the god of inebriation and theater, after all. They will eyefuck you, if you invite it." -Suzette Smith, Portland Mercury Read the full review here
"The visual treat that is this production begins the moment you walk into the theatre" -Krista Garver, Broadway World Read the full review here
"Shaking the Tree Theatre’s production of THE BAKKHAI is absolutely riveting, inspiring, beautiful, complex, morally grey, queer, and I couldn’t get enough of it! This amateur Dionysus academic was floored by their historically faithful yet thoroughly contemporary depiction of Dionysus as a queer liberator — I wish I could see it again, and if there’s any chance you can go (to what I think is the only show with tickets still available) this Thursday you absolutely have to. It’s so refreshing to leave a production truly moved by compelling artistic choices and the sheer creativity of making magic with resonant voices and vulnerable bodies and lights and sound. Brava [..] to all the actors and crew who absolutely gave themselves away to waves of ekstasis..."- Anthony Hudson/Carla Rossi
EXQUISITE! Was the first word that came to mind as I was watching Shaking The Tree Theatre’s BAKKHAI tonight...by Euripides, a new version by Anne Carson, directed by Samantha Van Der Merwe (I absolutely love her brilliant work, all aspects, and love to watch her magic unfold). So many layers (ALL creative elements, staging elements) of exquisite on this production of a cautionary, incendiary, many ways-interpreted, and damned sexy/scary tale. I was rapt and on the edge of my seat with this perfect, powerful ensemble for this storytelling — and omg the vocal work! Loved it!" - audience member
"Real talk: If you haven't yet seen Bakkhai at Shaking The Tree Theatre, what even are you doing?? This is Euripides like I have never seen done before: sensual as f*ck, hilarious, hypnotic... and dark as sh*t. I was drawn in then spit out with my heart still in my throat. Y'all. Go see this immediately!" - audience member
Special Dates & Events:
All our Sunday shows are Pay-What-You-Will for Artists/Industry October 31st- Halloween: Dress up and we will have door prizes for the best costumes! November 2nd- 10:00pm - 2:00am Bacchanal (21 and up only): The show is sold out, but very limited $15 tickets will be sold at the door after the show. Come dressed as your most expressive, truest self, and be prepared to dance until you drop.
Director & Set Designer: SamanthaVan Der Merwe Stage Manager:NatashaStockem Assistant Stage Manager:AbbySchriber Front of House Manager:JenniferWyant Technical Director & Set Design Collaborator:TedGold Lighting Designer & Video Collaborator:TrevorSargent Sound Designer:MattWiens Costume Designer:ElyseGrimaldi Master Carpenter/Seamstress:JakeTurner Vocal Consultant:JoellenSweeney Dramaturg:PanchoSavery Graphic Designer:MorganMarshall
BAKKHAI is generously supported by our season sponsors: Ronni Lacroute, Jessie Jonas & Ellyn Bye. We'd also like to thank members of Shaking the Tree's Board, as well as many other individual supporters. To support this show, or any others in our season, please visit our support page
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Connect with Us
Box Office: 503.235.0635
Shaking the Tree Theatre is located at 823 SE Grant St. Portland, OR 97214
Look for the Big Blue Warehouse!
Shaking the Tree is in a warehouse space on the NW corner of SE 9th Ave and SE Grant St. The entrance is located just off the courtyard.
Major Funding provided by
Ronni Lacroute, Jessie Jonas, Ellyn Bye, The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, The Regional Arts & Culture Council, including support from the City of Portland, Multnomah County, the Arts Education & Access Fund,The Collins Foundation, Oregon Cultural Trust, The Oregon Community Foundation, Prosper Portland, The Rose and David Dortort Foundation, and AGE.