Theatre students put on ‘Elektric’ performance

by | Dec 3, 2019 | A&E

John Grant, Sports Reporters

Emotions poured out of Humber third-year theatre students as they gave an Elektra-fying performance, shocking audiences with the debut of their rendition of Elektra – a Greek myth which had previously been adapted into a play by Canadian playwright Judith Thompson.

Richard Greenblatt, the director of Humber’s version of the myth of Elektra, wanted to honour  Thompson’s play. That’s when he decided to make a new version of the play. 

This adaptation of the Greek myth of Elektra, the daughter of Mycenean King Agamemnon — he of Trojan War fame — and Queen Clytemnestra, takes place in Bosnia during the war in 1995. It shows how a family can be torn apart by the events of war. 

The story takes a turn for the worse when brothers Agamemnon and Menelaus make a deal and it goes horribly wrong.

This version of the play gives a voice to woman who would’ve been silenced during the Bosnian War and shows the darkness that can be manifested in one’s heart in the form of the character of Elektra. People can experience that all is not fair in love and war as the story goes on.

Greenblatt hadn’t directed a play for Humber in five years, so people praised him when he was showing appreciation for everyone involved.

“They worked really, really hard, both the cast and the crew. So, for that, I’m extremely proud and grateful,” he said. “The amount of work, effort and commitment they gave to the piece was exemplary.”

Christian Teasdale, voice and actor for Malachai and Orestes, showed his diversity playing two roles for Elektra. He had to channel emotions for both of his characters during the show. 

His effortless transitions between the roles showed the audience a different facet that goes into acting.

“You find what makes it easier for you to be that character on stage. And the inspiration can change every night,” Teasdale said.

The actors sacrificed a lot while practicing for Elektra. The play took 10 weeks of relentless training for the theatre students to practice and rehearse. 

“Going into theatre school, I never would have thought that a production or even the training for it is was this much,” said Ericka Leobrera, voice and actress for Elektra’s sister Iphigenia. “We’re here basically six days a week for from eight o’clock in the morning to six o’clock at night.” 

Leobrera commutes from Brampton everyday and has to wake up at 5 a.m. to pursue her passion for acting. 

“I take three buses to get here,” she said. “So, I’m up at 5 a.m., and the show ends at like 9:30 p.m.. I’ll get home at (midnight). It’s literally your whole life. It takes a lot,” she said.

Tatiana Jennings, Program Co-ordinator of Theatre Performance was in the audience showing her support for her students. 

She has been in this program for 16 years and is dedicated to putting on performances at Humber College. She said the actor committed actors have to be in the theatre program.

“This is a three-year program. It’s very intensive. It’s rigorous. It’s like a boot camp. They are like athletes for two and a half years. They will train, train, and train for eight hours a day,” Jennings said.

Regardless of the intensity of the program, each actor showed the passion and discipline required to put on an excellent show.

Even though the character of Elektra is nothing short of despicable, Kelisha Daley, voice and actress for Elektra, knows that there is a silver-lining that the audiences can take away from her character.

“we are all are capable of doing something horrendous, but we are all capable of forgiveness. It’s just the path you choose and the direction you are you choosing to go towards,” She said. 

“Elektra probably could have had a great life, but she chose jealousy,” Daley said. “She chose negativity. She chose fear.”

An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified director Richard Greenblatt. Et Cetera apologizes for the error.