Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Girls Will Be All-New Spin on The Bacchae—With Live DJ, Dance Music, and Video | Playbill

Regional News Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Girls Will Be All-New Spin on The Bacchae—With Live DJ, Dance Music, and Video The adaptation will kick off Yale Rep's 2019–2020 season, also featuring new plays by Will Eno, Mary Kathryn Nagle, and Kate Atwell.
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Will Eno, and Mary Kathryn Nagle

An Octoroon and Everybody playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is putting a contemporary spin on Euripides’ Greek tragedy The Bacchae—the story of Dionysus' raucous and blood-filled return to Thebes—complete with a killer DJ, bumping dance music, and live-streaming video. The new adaptation, titled Girls, will receive its world premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre this fall.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Lileana Blain-Cruz Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The newly announced season will also include new plays by Will Eno, Mary Kathryn Nagle, and Kate Atwell, as well as a revival of A Raisin in the Sun.

Girls, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz (who directed Jacobs-Jenkins' play WAR at LCT3) and choreographed by Raja Feather Kelly (who also worked on Madeleine George's Dionysus-inspired comedy, Hurricane Diane), will play October 4–26 at Yale Rep.

The story follows the return of Deon, who, having been exiled to boarding schools his entire life, returns to his birthplace with a vengeance. As he lures the women of the town to the woods for a night of partying, a young reactionary with a big social media following vows to restore order and end the debauchery.

Next up will be the world premiere of The Plot, which reunites playwright Eno with director Oliver Butler (the two collaborated on Thom Pain (based on nothing) at the Signature). The new play, which will run November 29–December 21, tells the moving, mysterious, and at times hilarious story of a tiny plot of land and some people with grand and incompatible designs on it.

Yale Rep will kick off the new year with the East Coast premiere of Nagle's Manahatta, directed by Laurie Woolery. Past and present intertwine in the new play about a Native American woman working as a securities trader on Wall Street in 2008. As a looming mortgage crisis threatens financial ruin for millions of families–including her own—Jane is caught between her present and the history of how the Lenape were violently removed from the land 400 hundred years before. Performances will run January 24–February 15, 2020.

Margot Bordelon Ahron R. Foster

From March 13 through April 4, Yale Rep will revive Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking drama, A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Carl Cofield, followed by a spring production of Testmatch by Kate Attwell.

Featuring an all-female cast, Testmatch weaves a tale of sport, gender politics, and colonialism. In London today, a rain-delayed women's cricket match between India and England leaves tensions bare. While in Calcutta, near the turn of the 19th century, two British imperialists debate the rules of engagement, the problem of women, and the trouble with mosquitoes, as famine ravages East India. Margot Bordelon (Do You Feel Anger?) directs the April 24–May 16 run.

"Our 2019–20 Season promises delicious comedy, political intrigue, heartbreak, hope, stirring music, thrilling dance, bold design, phenomenal acting, and plenty of impassioned conversation on the way home," says Yale Rep Artistic Director James Bundy. Click here for more information.

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