Alumnus Aaron Poochigan '16 & Professor Anne Bogart Work on 'The Bacchae'
July 16, 2018
Writing Alumnus Aaron Poochigan '16 has been commissioned to translate Euripides’ play, The Bacchae, into verse. The show is directed by Theatre Professor and Directing Concentration Head Anne Bogart. The Bacchae will showcase at The Getty Villa Outdoor Theater in Malibu from August 30-September 29th, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) from October 3-7th.
The Bacchae follows Dionysus, “the god of wine, ritual madness, fertility, and theatre, portrayed [in this adaptation] as a woman.” Dionysus is “livid at King Pentheus’ attempts to punish and contain the cult-like revelry of the Bacchants [and] exacts brutal retribution on the monarch’s entire family,” according to BAM’s website. “In a bold new translation by Aaron Poochigian, The Bacchae explodes with choral beauty, emotional frenzy, and shattering loss, finding relevance more than 2,000 years later.”
Professor Anne Bogart is the co-artistic director at SITI Company, where she has directed over two dozen plays. In a 2017 interview with The Theatre Times, Bogart spoke about her role as an artist saying, “Art has to be a form of resistance…My platform is theater...After 9/11, I quoted Leonard Bernstein who said, “An artist’s response to violence is to make the music more intense.” And I still believe in that to this day. Whatever one does with one’s platform, make sure that you create an intense experience rather than a mild one.”
Aaron Poochigan specialized in poetry during his time at Columbia. He has translated four books written in Greek. His second book of poems, Manhattanite, won the 2017 Able Muse Press Award, and his first book, The Cosmic Purr, was published in 2012. He has a PhD in Classics, and was a 2010-11 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recipient.