Philadelphia Artists' Collective Presents Iphigenia By Aulis On The USS Olypmia During Fringe

Philadelphia Artists' Collective, Independence Seaport Museum, Iphigenia By Aulis

A nation on the brink of war. A family on the edge of collapse. An army poised to strike, but unable to sail – unless their great general sacrifices his daughter. The PAC (The Sea Plays, Creditors) returns to the Fringe aboard the historic USS Olympia to present Euripides’ heartbreaking tragedy of human folly.

Philadelphia Artists' Collective returns to the Philadelphia FringeArts Festival with Iphigenia at Aulis by Euripides from September 7-22, 2017. On board the USS Olympia (the oldest steel warship still afloat), PAC presents a tale that’s as intimate as a family drama with the implications of a world at war.  The sacrifice of honor, of children, of marriage and of pride all come to bear in this tale of goddesses, warriors, families and loyalties.  Brush up your Greek history as Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Achilles and Artemis make their appearances known in this thrilling play dating back to 406 BC.  Produced in collaboration with the Independence Seaport Museum.

Previews run September 7th and 8th, with opening night on September 9th. The show runs for a total of 13 performances through September 22, 2017. All shows are at 8:00pm except Tuesday, September 12 at 7:00pm. Tickets are $25, or $20 for members of Independence Seaport Museum. Tickets are available by calling 215-413-9006 or visiting

Iphigenia in Aulis is the last of the extant works by the playwright Euripides. Written between 408, after Orestes, and 406 BC, the year of Euripides' death, the play was first produced the following year in a trilogy with The Bacchae and Alcmaeon in Corinth by his son or nephew, Euripides the Younger, and won the first place at the Athenian city Dionysia.

The plot revolves around Agamemnon, the leader of the Greek coalition before and during the Trojan War, and his decision to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia, to appease the goddess Artemis and allow his troops to set sail to preserve their honour in battle against Troy. The conflict between Agamemnon and Achilles over the fate of the young woman presages a similar conflict between the two at the beginning of the Iliad. In his depiction of the experiences of the main characters, Euripides frequently uses tragic irony for dramatic effect.

Iphigenia at Auli is directed by multiple Barrymore Award winner Hodge (The Rape of Lucrece, Changes of Heart, Creditors at The PAC), and stars Nathan Foley (PAC's Mary Stuart, Montgomery Theater’s God of Carnage) as Agamemnon, Tai Verley (Elm Shakespeare Co.'s Romeo and Juliet, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival education tour) making her Philadelphia debut as Clytemnestra, Becca Khalil (studied at CAPA Highschool, the Yale School of Drama,  PYPM, and UArts) as Iphigenia, Gregory Isaac (Quintessence Theatre Group's Doctor Faustus, Lantern Theater Company's The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson) at Achilles, Luke Moyer (PAC's Sea Plays, Iron Age Theatre's To My Unborn Child: A Love Letter From Fred Hampton) as Menelaus, Peggy Smith ( Commonwealth Classic Theatre Co's The Tempest, Curio Theatre Co's The Cripple of Inishmaan) as chorus, Stephanie Iozzia (EgoPo Classic Theater’s The Seagull) as chorus, and Adam Hunter (Arden Theatre Company, PlayPenn, and People's Light) as servant/messenger. Robin Shane serves as Costume Designer and Jenna Stelmok is Stage Manager.


Director Dan Hodge is a Philadelphia-based actor and director with a strong foundation in the classics, who has worked with many classical theatres across the country as an actor, director, and text/vocal coach.  As a director for the PAC: Duchess of Malfi, Timon of Athens, Mary Stuart, and The Rape of Lucrece, his one-man adaptation of Shakespeare's epic poem. As an actor: Changes of Heart, Creditors, Fair Maid of the West. Dan holds an MFA in Acting from The Old Globe in San DIego, and his BFA in Acting from the University of Evansville. Barrymore awards: Outstanding Leading Actor in a Play (Around the World in 80 Days, 2011); Best Ensemble in a Play (Glengarry Glen Ross, 2007). James Whitmore Award for Excellence: Peterborough Players, 2002. Craig Noel Award for Professional Promise: Old Globe Theatre, 2005.

Philadelphia Artists' Collective, Iphigenia At Aulis


In a return to site-specific work (Creditors, The Sea Plays, The Captive), PAC presents Iphigenia at Aulis by Euripides on the USS Olympia docked next to the Independence Seaport Museum. The ship offers an intimate, up-close-and-personal space where the audience is part of the action and the ship becomes part of the narrative. 

"We have a history of performing our Fringe pieces in historic locations around the city," said Hodge. "Iphigenia At Aulis has always been a favorite, and the Olympia felt like the perfect fit. We sat down for a meeting and immediately found a ready compatibility. The ship itself is like a character in the play and adds a whole new dimension to the production." 

From the moment of her launching in 1892, Cruiser Olympia was a rare treasure in the U.S. naval fleet, as no sister ships were ever built. She is the world's oldest floating steel warship and the sole surviving naval ship of the Spanish-American War.

Cruiser Olympia served as Admiral Dewey's flagship at the Battle of Manila Bay, which marked the U.S.'s emergence as a world naval power. Cruiser Olympia's last official naval mission was to carry the body of the Unknown Soldier from France to the United States in 1921. In addition to being a National Historic Landmark, Cruiser Olympia is also a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, on the National Register of Historic Places, and part of the Save America's Treasures program.

For more information about either historic ships' collection, please contact the J. Welles Henderson Archives and Library. If you are interested in donating historical artifacts and records to the collections, please contact the Seaport Museum's Chief Curator.

Cruiser Olympia was decommissioned in 1922 and has been part of Independence Seaport Museum since 1996. Cruiser Olympia is a National Historic Landmark, a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is part of the Save America's Treasures program.

Iphigenia at Aulis by Euripides runs from Thursday, September 7 to Friday, September 22, 2017, with all performances at 8:00pm (except Tuesday, September 12 at 7:00pm). Tickets are on sale for $25 (or $20 to members of the Independence Seaport Museum) by calling 215-413-9006 or visiting . For more information, please like “Philadelphia Artists Collective” on Facebook and follow @philartsco on Twitter.

Iphigenia at Aulis by Euripides
September 7 – 22
USS Olympia
Independence Seaport Museum
211 S Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, PA  19106

Saturday, September 9, 2017, 8:00pm OPENING
Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 7:00pm
Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 8:00pm
Thursday, September 14, 2017, 8:00pm
Friday, September 15, 2017, 8:00pm
Saturday, September 16, 2017, 8:00pm
Monday, September 18, 2017, 8:00pm
Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 8:00pm
Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 8:00pm
Thursday, September 21, 2017, 8:00pm
Friday, September 22, 2017, 8:00pm

2017/2018 CONTINUES:
The PAC's 2017/2018 season continues Maria Marten, or, The Murder in the Red Barn by Anonymous, by Anonymous, from June 6 to June 24, 2018 at The Louis Bluver Theatre at The Drake. The production will be directed by Charlotte Northeast and features co-founders Damon Bonetti and Dan Hodge.

A tale of love, revenge and murder with a village idiot and the epitome of all villains, this show will make you boo, hiss, guffaw and cheer.  Dastardly deeds, family forgiveness and a Gypsy’s curse all lead to one blisteringly ridiculous climax in the highest style of the Victorian melodramas.  Only the highest of the low for PAC, Co-Founders Dan Hodge and Damon Bonetti will trade the roles of the idiot and the villain each performance for a truly outrageous night in the theatre.

The PAC was originally launched in 2008 as an opportunity to simply hear the words of classical texts read aloud, in a room, for all to listen and enjoy. What began as a low-key and informal gathering of actors and artists with a shared love of the language has evolved into a core part of our mission statement: an evening to delight in long-forgotten words, read aloud by the finest actors we can gather, free of charge.  Readings are held on Monday evenings, a night when theatre artists typically are free to attend. There are always snacks as The PAC believes that cookies and tea go a long way towards making a good night of free theatre into a great evening all around! This year's Venture Reading Series selections are as follows:  

* Mary Rose
by J.M. Barrie
directed by Claire Moyer
October 23, 2017
Ethical Society, 1906 Rittenhouse Sq, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Mary Rose first premiered in London in 1920 and tells the story of a woman who mysteriously disappears twice - once as a child and once in adulthood.  When returning from these disappearances, she has no remembrance of them nor has she suffered from the effects of time’s passage.  Her second disappearance lasts for several decades such that when she returns, she is physically younger than her own son.  From the creator of Peter Pan, it has been said that J.M. Barrie continued his examination of the magic and mystery of being perpetually young and the sorrows and wisdom that time can bestow.

* Heartbreak House
by George Bernard Shaw
directed by Damon Bonetti
February 26, 2018
Louis Bluver Theatre at The Drake, 341 S Hicks St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Heartbreak House was first published in 1919 and premiered in 1920 London.  Taking place during a stuffy English country dinner, the play is, in Shaw’s own foreword, an homage to Chekhov - in particular his Cherry Orchard.  It examines society and its various levels, one’s perception of reality, and the role of fate in any given life.

Founded in 1960 as the Philadelphia Maritime Museum, Independence Seaport Museum is the region's primary repository of art, artifacts and archival materials documenting the diverse maritime history of the Greater Delaware Valley, and the history of the Port of Philadelphia and the other major urban ports of the Delaware River.

The Museum was incorporated in 1961 and began serving the public with small exhibitions and through the assemblage of a library, archival materials and collections. In 1974 the Museum moved to larger quarters within the Independence Park Historic District. At the same time, the Museum opened the Workshop on the Water - a fully operational boat building facility used for display and teaching purposes - on Penn's Landing, which not only established a strong institutional waterfront presence, but also became an anchor attraction for the revitalization of the historic waterfront area.

A new location on Penn's Landing became economically viable when the City of Philadelphia's Port of History building became available. A $15 million renovation and expansion on the building began in January 1994, and the new facility with increased exhibition, educational, library and storage/curatorial space and an incorporated Workshop on the Water opened to the public in July 1995, renamed as Independence Seaport Museum. In January 1996, the Museum assumed the responsibility for the Cruiser Olympia, Admiral Dewey's famed flagship during his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898, and the Submarine Becuna, both of which are National Historic Landmarks.

Today, the Independence Seaport Museum is an anchor attraction on Penn's Landing, attracting visitors to experience both Philadelphia's heritage and current waterfront. The Museum educates area youth groups through interactive programs in its boat shop, presents changing exhibits in its galleries and hosts visiting ships and events year-round.

The Philadelphia Artists’ Collective, founded in 2008 by Damon Bonetti and Dan Hodge, is committed to promoting rarely performed classical plays through workshops and readings in the greater Philadelphia area. It is comprised of a group of performance and visual artistsseeking to encourage the development of a common vocabulary and to promote arts awareness within the Philadelphia community. Its past readings and workshops have featured some of the region’s finest artists, and its full productions (Duchess of Malfi, Changes of Heart, Creditors, Timon of Athens, The Sea Plays, Mary Stuart, Blood Wedding, The Fair Maid of the West) have garnered wide audience and critical praise.

The Fringe Festival, presented by FringeArts, is a 18-day, city-wide celebration of innovation and creativity in contemporary performance that runs from September 7th to September 21st, 2017. Each year, the Festival explodes into every nook and cranny in neighborhoods across Philadelphia with more than 1,000 artistically daring performances, including national and international performances curated by FringeArts, and works that are produced by independent artists and promoted by FringeArts. The party continues late night, every night, with music, food and drink at FringeArts’ center on the Delaware River waterfront. This vast assemblage of curated and self-produced innovators offers an unparalleled opportunity to see a cross section of the world’s greatest experimenters at one time, in one city.

Philadelphia’s home for contemporary performing arts showcases arts innovators from around the globe and cultivates world-class Philadelphia-based artists. FringeArts plays a vital role in Philadelphia’s vibrant artistic community by presenting a year-round programming series of cutting-edge dance, theater, and music performances presented at its striking venue on the Delaware waterfront; the annual Fringe Festival which takes over Philadelphia with hundreds of artistically daring and socially engaging performances; and by providing opportunities for Philadelphia artists to develop and showcase new work. FringeArts believes in art making that tests boundaries—inspiring new ideas, passionate discussion and conceptual thinking, all essential for a healthy and vibrant society.

Philadelphia Artists' Collective, Iphigenia By Aulis