Chrysothemis

Written by:

Meg Braem

Cast Size:
11

Roles For:

  • Men: 3
  • Women: 8

Genre:

Classical
Drama

Themes:

Family
Greek Play
Mythology
War

Length:

105 min.

Year Written:

2020

Synopsis:

Chrysothemis and Electra have returned home to discover their father, King Agamemnon, murdered by their anorexic and withdrawn mother. Electra craves revenge while Chrysothemis is starving for peace. Using Greek culinary tradition and the events of Aeschylus’ tragic trilogy “The Oresteia” as a jumping-off point, Exia explores the many appetites that drive us. Set in the midst of the murders of King Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra, Exia is the imagined story of Chrysothemis, the lost daughter in the house of Atreus. She is the only child of the myths who does not have a play accounting her voice…until now. Exia, taken from the Greek word “Orexis” meaning appetite, explores our hunger for love, power, sex and shelter.

Through the play we discover how cooking not only satiates one’s appetite but offers its own form of transformation. Not only can something repellent become enticing but something inedible can become nourishing. Through the power and fragrance of her gastronomical talents, Chrysothemis attempts to bring her volatile family back together. As she learns the magic of the common kitchen, her senses are awakened. She finds that she is as transformed as her ingredients. Cooking proves to be a kind of alchemy, but is it powerful enough to transform the most dysfunctional family in history?” (From the CPO Website)

Characters:

CLYTEMNESTRA – The Queen, 45 years old
CHRYSOTHEMIS – Daughter, 19 years old
ELECTRA – Daughter, 16 years old
IPHIGENIA – Daughter, 16 years old at time of murder
CASSANDRA – Trojan woman, 20 years old at time of murder
YOUNG MAN (ORESTES) – 18 years old
AEGISTHUS – Clytemnestra’s partner, King Agamemnon’s cousin
VENDOR – Played by the actor who plays Aegisthus
YOUNG SOLDIER- 20 years old
CHORUS OF WOMEN – ANCIENT, MIDDLE, YOUNGEST
SHOPPER – Played by the actor who plays Cassandra

First Produced:

2013, University of Lethbridge, Alberta

Resources:

Available through the CPO Website under the original title Exia.

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Notes:

The first version of the play, titled Exia, was produced in 2013 at the University of Lethbridge. The play was revised, renamed Chrysothemis, and changed significantly as part of the playwright’s tenure as the Lee Playwright in Residence at the University of Alberta. The 2020 premiere of Chrysothemis was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Warnings:

Play contains some violent content.

Featured Play Category:

Grace's Picks

Selection Notes:

This play covers some of the same events as Aeschylus’ trilogy. I find that this piece is a great introduction to Greek mythology and theatre. The script is comprehensive and the style is not lost in this work. I believe that this would be a good transition script into the style and language used in Greek dramatic studies. This script explores Greek cuisine and eating disorders as a way to explore more abstract concepts. - Grace