Elegant Degradation a modern interpretation of the ancient Greek tragedy Orestes featuring original writing by Alison Irvine and Sarah Halford. It premiered at Theater for the New City in 2014. In the play, Orestes and his sister stand trial for their father’s murder. This project meditates on tragedy in its antiquity providing a glimpse into the Elegant Degradation of modern American existence. It is a reinterpretation through the lens of genealogy and inherited traits in a time where Greek society and the body were ruled by the Stoic Virtues.
Elegant Degradation is an expression from the field of engineering describing the trajectory of a machine’s functional well-being when it is subjected to perpetual, repetitive stress. Appearing to function properly, the machine maintains the same external appearance to the user. However, the internal integrity of the machine steadily weakens over time. By the end of its operational life, it becomes unable to withstand the stress, and breaks down. The machine is no longer a profitable commodity.
Featuring Mateo d’Amato, Martina Gordon, Sarah Halford, Alison Irvine, Sophie Kaufman, Daniel Benhamu, Matthew Prideaux, Joe Ruymen, Aron Canter, Derek Spaldo, Lisa Brenner, Tony Carlson, and Gabriela D'Amato.
Directed by Zishan Ugurlu