By the mid-fifteenth century, the twelve-syllable line was named the alexandrine, and it became the celebrated verse form that extended from Corneille and Racine, as in the latter’s famous reference to Phèdre as In its variable forms, the alexandrine remained intact until the fall of the Paris Commune in 1870.In that year, it experienced a catastrophe — the word is well chosen because etymologically it means kata (down) plus strophe (turning) and hence has metrical overtones — at the hands of Rimbaud’s ‘revolutionary’ poem ‘Qu’est-ce pour nous, mon coeur’ (see VA 20-26).Ato Essandoh exuberant and amusing Victor and Judith Roberts' sly Aphrodite have the easiest time in terms of enlivening the lengthy discussions, but all four actors handle the wordy format quite well. Hourie Costume Design: Devon Painter Lighting Design: Gregg Mac Pherson Sound & Original Music: Lindsay Jones Running time: 2 hours, includes an intermission. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project at EST, 549 W.The title is best explained by one of the lectures interspersed as audience addressing monologues throughout the play-- in this case the lecturer is Angela who grabs her students' attention by announcing that her lecture is about dating and then moves on to explain an archeological paralell. These commissioned works have explored a range of fascinating subjects in a variety of settings: The Louis Slotin Sonata focused on the risks faced by researchers was dramatized in a fatal accident during the development of the atom bomb.The political situations scientists often find themselves in was at the heart of Tooth and Claw in which a director of the Galapagos based Charles Darwin Research Station was caught up in a tense conflict between rebellious fishermen who needed the harvest from to sea to feed their families and the Ecuadorian government which banned harvesting sea cucumbers from the protected waters.Perloff describes the arts as integral part of cities and how his studies came in handy.
Angela's (Betsy Aidem) quest for a lost statue of the goddess Aphrodite borders on obsession and serves as a crisis of sorts since she's running out of grant money and time to finish a book under contract about her elusive holy grail.
The first, as we have already seen, is in Concrete and post-Concrete visual poetries.
The second may be found in procedural (rule governed) poetics, whose center today is probably the French movement called Oulipo.
Add the romantic travails of Victor (Ato Essandoh), the flamboyant young gay man and classicist who rounds out the archeological trio, and you get an idea that this is quite a mouthful of a play requiring the actors to deliver large chunks of dialogue and introduce some sense of action into that confining basement. Perloff has done her best to vary the many interesting things said with monologues in the form of classroom lectures interspersed into the basement discussions. But then, I doubt that a screenplay could accommodate that fantastical and oh so wise about love one-woman chorus.
She's also created a fantasy figure who starts out realistically enough as the charwoman but quickly turns into a wise and witty Aphrodite (Judith Roberts) -- not the Aphrodite Angela has been hunting for, but the Aphrodite she needs to win the real holy grail -- a happy end for her aborted love affair. Pomerantz downplays the talking heads feeling by keeping the actors moving around the room. For details about other First Light Festival events check the EST web site: studio LINKS String Fever Tooth and Claw The Secret Order Louis Slotin Sonata Moving Bodies Tesla's Letters Cast: Betsy Aidem, Ato Essandoh, Judith Roberts and John Wojda Set Design: Troy C.