Keely Jackson and Dawson Ness as Electra and Orestes, in the CSS production of "Orestes: Blood and Light" (Cable Photo/Emmanuel Ayisi)

REVIEW: “Orestes: Blood and Light” A Drama-Filled Way to Spend the Evening!

Carly Lonne
clonne@css.edu

Never in a normal conversation would I say “I just saw a Greek play, and it was really good”, but the St. Scholastica Theatre brought real style to their rendition of “Orestes: Blood and Light”, and I really enjoyed it. It is a play based on the book by Helen Edmundson, and seeing it brought to life at CSS was a really fun experience.

Directed by Shane May, “Orestes” was described on the CSS Theatre website as “As children, Electra and Orestes are banished by their mother after witnessing her brutally murder their father. Finally coming of age, they return to avenge King Agamemnon by killing Klytemnestra. The city divides over deciding their fate; should they be executed or banished? Inflamed by war, emotions escalate as many in the city are calling for blood…”

I enjoyed the storyline a lot more than I thought I would. It moved a little slow at times, but I was interested to know the fate of these characters, and how it would all end.

The set of the play was absolutely gorgeous. It consisted of a beautiful room with flowers, warm colors, and expensive looking furniture.

The cast was made up of only eight characters, the main Orestes and Electra, played by Dawson Ness and Keely Jackson. Ness was just as peppy as he was in his role in “The Miss Firecracker Contest”, as I suspected he would be. His new haircut made him seem a bit more sophisticated. Clothed in a shiny gold cloak and talking with a very powerful accent, Ness kept my interest for most of the play. Not once did he slip in delivering his lines, and I was impressed.

Jackson was also pretty entertaining to watch. She was definitely the most expressive on stage. She was visibly emotional and demonstrated real focus and appreciation for her character. Her distress at the unknown fate of her and her brother tugged at my heartstrings, and it was all due to Jackson’s lively performance.

Although Ness and Jackson were the focus of the play, I have to say that Shayna Schafter, who played Helen, had the best costume. I was impressed with how she carried herself like the pretentious person Helen seemed to be; with her nose in the air, wearing a sleek, sophisticated gown.

The cheese factor was a little high for my taste, but it was a Greek play. What did I expect? The actors were dramatic and gave the performance their all, so I loved it.

There are only a few performances left, and they are: April 7 & 8 at 7:30 p.m., and April 9 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, $5 for CSS students, and free for CSS Faculty and Staff and Sisters. The matinee on April 9th at 2:00 p.m. will be ASL interpreted. Buy your tickets now!