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About the project

H Jesse

The Dionysus Project

Dramatic Reading of The Bacchae, by Euripides

Translated and Directed by Bryan Doerries

The Dionysus Project is an innovative public health project that presents readings of scenes from Euripides' Bacchae, an ancient Greek play about the destructive power of intoxication, as a catalyst for town hall discussions about the impact of substance abuse and addiction upon individuals, families, and communities. The project uses an ancient Greek tragedy, written nearly 2500 years ago, to engage audiences in crucial discussions about the timelessness of the human struggle with substance abuse and addiction, as well as resources and solutions that communities can utilize today.

Referring to Agaue murdering her son in a state of intoxication, a clinical pharmacist from Pikeville Medical Center said, “I see that every single day. The babies in the NICU…it’s so sad. Probably fifty percent are suffering withdrawals.
Audience Member, Perry County Public Library, Hazard Kentucky, 2012

About the play

  • The Bacchae by Euripides

    First produced in 405 BC, Euripides' Bacchae tells the ancient story of the arrival of Dionysus, the god of wine and intoxication, in Greece. When Dionysus comes to the city of Thebes, he liberates the people from their homes, sending the citizens - dancing and drinking - into the hills. A young king, named Pentheus, tries to subdue the revelry and restore order to his city, waging an all-out war against the god. But when Pentheus first tastes the drug that has ravaged his city, he too succumbs to its power and is murdered by his own mother, in a deranged state of intoxication.

The Dionysus Project Highlights

The Dionysus Project

Full performance video

The Greene Space WNYC & WQXR / 2018

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