You Say Hero, I Say Attention Whore

There was a time when being a hero came with some moral clout. It was never a perfect setup — personal riches and any notion of “the quiet life” went right out the window. Once called to action, the hero had to answer, or else risk personal disgrace and letting down all of humanity. A tall order, for sure, but it came with truckloads of glory and adoration. If you died while fighting bad guys, you might achieve immortality for your selfless acts. But would pursuing that really be selfless? Could it be that heroes are just attention whores pretending to inhabit the moral high ground? That’s the question put forth in IPH …, an adaptation of Euripides’ Greek tragedy, Iphigenia at Aulis, by the African-American Shakespeare Company. In the play, General Agamemnon is forced to make a difficult choice: sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia, or watch his army and nation fall to defeat. Iph is horrified (natch), but eventually reverses course and decides to sacrifice herself. Director Dylan Russell says Iph’s decision is worthy of modern-day scrutiny. She believes what once was the noble desire to become a hero has become today’s obsession with celebrity — even if it means taking a fall. (Just ask David Koresh or Tiger Woods.) IPH … asks which motivation is stronger: dedication to a cause, or the desire to be made bigger than life?
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Oct. 2. Continues through Oct. 16, 2010

 
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