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Bacchus: Agave

Cast List:

Simona Spirovska

Aleksandar Mihajlovski

Private confessions

Costume Designer:

Ivana Karanfilovska Ugurovska

Set Designer:

Angel Petrovski

Sound Designer:

Aleksandar Arsikj

Stage Manager: 

Vukica Aleksandrova


Deni Ingilizovski

Poster Designer:

Dimitar Dimitrov

Premiere December 2022 Macedonian National Theatre Skopje

Duration: 50min without intermission 


In Euripides' The Bacchae, one of the Thebans who embraces the cult of Dionysus, Agave, spends most of the play "offstage", she is the character spoken of, and her behavior is the subject of interpretation and retelling by others (male) characters: above all her son Pentheus, her father Cadmus, Dionysus, but also the Messenger, the witness of the bacchanalia. So, Agave is the victim and means of revenge of the son of Zeus and Semele, who as a character doesn’t appear until the very end. While the main conflict takes place on the line between Pentheus and Dionysus, Agave speaks only in the last act, after the infanticide. But she commits the crime in a state of rapture and trance, she is not able to rationally process/process and verbalize her own actions. That is why, in the process of developing this text, in which the voice and central space is given to Agave, we tried to find the root of her problems and dissatisfaction. The question we started from is: who is this woman today?

We completely removed the divine, ie mythological aspect from the text and placed the story of Agave and Dionysus within the framework of the tragedy of the lives of ordinary mortals. So Dionysus does not want recognition in the city, but within the family that abandoned him as a baby - he is a man without identity, longing to belong somewhere and be accepted. Agave, on the other hand, is a single mother, a textile factory worker, who spends her everyday life serving others at home and at work. These two lonely individuals recognize each other and try to create a microworld in which they will get what they lack. The arrival of Dionysus awakens the realization in Agave that she can be much more than an invisible and exploited, subordinate woman. But her release brings tragic consequences.

Tamara Barackov

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