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by Sophocles

translation by Timberlake Wertenbaker

directed by Juliana Kleist-Mendez

Preview:   Dec. 2 @ 7:30pm
Show dates:   Dec. 4, 5, 6, 7 @ 7:30pm,
                        Dec. 7 @ 2pm

Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre

About the Play

Come one, Come all! Step right up to see Elektra by Sophocles in a new, musical translation by Timberlake Wertenbaker.  Elektra finds herself in an endless circus orchestrated by her father’s murderers: her mother, The Queen, and her mother’s lover who masquerades as The New King.  Elektra cannot take part in the charade of happiness and rages against the court, waiting for her exiled brother, Orestes to return and avenge their father. Through music, movement, and the female voice, Elektra takes us inside the toxic cycles of violence that plagued the Ancient Greeks and continue as national spectacle today.

About the Playwright
coming soon
About the Director

Juliana Kleist-Méndez is a second-year MFA Directing student previously based in Brooklyn, NY. She is an Iowa-born Cuban American committed to embodied storytelling collaborations. Selected credits: Far From Canterbury (Winner of Best Musical: New York International Fringe Festival; Encores! at The SoHo Playhouse); La hija del pirata/The Pirate’s Daughter (La Pirata Productions); Club Silenciowith the Cuban Cultural Center of New York (Manhattan Theater Company); Elvira: The Immigration Play with Si Se Puede Productions (Lehman College, Collaboraction Theatre Company, Chicago); King Lear: A Radio Play (The Framework Theatre, Chicago). BA in Theater for Social Change from Cornell University. UC San Diego credits: Duchess! Duchess! Duchess! for WNPF 2019.

Director's Statement

Welcome to The Circus! A place of magic, of possibility, of reinvention. A place deeply rooted in the American national imagination. Yet, as we muse on the Golden Age of Circus, it is important to remind ourselves that all were not empowered during this time: women could not vote, there were very few labor laws, and circus empresarios like the Ringling Brothers and P.T. Barnum amassed ridiculous fortunes on the backs of their employees.

The world of Elektra is a circus put on for us. The events you are about to witness happen after Elektra’s mother, Clytemnestra, has brutally murdered her father, King Agamemnon, without permission from the Gods after his triumphant return from Troy. Elektra, fearing for her brother’s safety, has sent Orestes away to a foreign kingdom and awaits his return under the tyrannical rule of her mother’s new husband, Aegisthus. In accordance with the rule of the Gods, if their father is to be avenged, it must be Orestes to deliver justice. Under Clytemnestra and Aegisthus, this circus kingdom continues to celebrate the murder of Agamemnon. It is part of the new spectacle and central to their performance of power.

There is something about a spectacle designed to distract from other ills that feels oddly familiar right now. During a spectacle, truth is not relevant, needed, or sought out. All that matters is public opinion, which, as we know, can be easily swayed. Many would like to argue that Elektra is a play about grief, loss, and who has the right to feel those emotions. To honor this interpretation, I chose this adaptation where characters speak and sing in Greek when their emotions get larger than English poetry can hold.

But for me, this is a play about protest. A play about who has the right to take action. A play about what happens when, instead of creating new world orders, we blindly use existing structures to attempt to catalyze social change. A special thank you to Adriana Méndez, David Kleist, Janet Shepherd, Robert Castro, Vanessa Stalling, Ursula Meyer, Kim Rubinstein, and Harley “the Magnificent”

The Cast

Elektra – Savanna Padilla
Orestes – Anthony Adu
Clytemnestra – Amara Granderson
Tutor/King – Lee Vignes
Chorus Lead – India Gurley
Chrysothemis – Vita Muccia
Pylades – Amir Aftabi
Chorus – Sophia Donner, Rickie Emilie Farah,
                Adriana Lopez, India Williams
The Creative Team

Director – Juliana Kleist-Mendez
Scenic Designer – Nicholas Ponting
Costume Designer – Daniella Toscano
Lighting Designer – Justin Beets
Sound Designer – Andrew Lynch
Dramaturg – Kristin Leadbetter
Voice and Text Coach – Ursula Meyer
Production Stage Manager – Topaz Cooks
Music Director – Madison Mae Williams
Assistant Director – Natalie Calderon
Assistant Scenic Designer – Elizabeth Barrett
Assistant Scenic Designer – Michael Kalisz
Assistant Lighting Designer – Dean Collins
Assistant Stage Manager – Gemma Rose Maliszewski
Assistant Stage Manager – Katherine McLeod
Production Assistants – Hinako Nishikawa, Karina Vera

Performances Parking & Location

Located at: Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre

Parking Passes Required daily.
Weeknight passes are $2 per vehicle from the vending machines located in the UC San Diego Theatre District/La Jolla Playhouse parking lots and entry display case. Please remember your parking space number. You will need it to purchase your parking pass.

There is no free parking in the campus parking lots on the weekends; parking permits are required on the weekend. There are no-cost and low-cost parking options:
    • Park in the "Weekend Free Lot" at P782 and walk,
      bike, scoot or - shuttle to your final destination.
    • Purchase parking through the Parkmobile app or
      campus parking pay stations. You will receive the
      first hour for free and additional time costs just
      $1.50 per hour.
    • If you are parking for more than three hours, you
      can save by purchasing a one-day "D" permit for
      just $4. (D permits are valid in A, B, S, and V
      spaces on the weekend unless there are signs
      indicating otherwise.) Just use the Parkmobile app
      and enter zone number 4761.
    • Skip one-day permits altogether and purchase
      unlimited night and weekend parking for $20/month.

Note: Machines take all major credit cards except Discover and when paying with cash you must use exact change, NO CHANGE GIVEN.


Cars without permits are subject to ticketing by UCSD Campus Police. The Theatre & Dance Department does not have the authority to waive and cannot pay parking tickets.






Dec. 2

Dec. 4

Dec. 5

Dec. 6

Dec. 7

Dec. 7
7:30 pm     PREVIEW

7:30 pm     OPENING

7:30 pm  

7:30 pm  

2:00 pm

7:30 pm     CLOSING

Advance tickets for this production are available only online through the "Click here for tickets" button above. You can purchase tickets online on your phone the night of at the theatre.

At-the-Door tickets, if available, can be purchased one hour before show time at the performing theatre’s box office.

You can also leave a message at  858-822-3152 with questions and we will get back to you.

General Admission: $20
UCSD Faculty/Staff/Alumni Association, and Seniors (over 62): $15
UCSD Students/UCSD Alumni Association (with ID): $10

Please note: No late seating; no refunds.

Theatre & Dance Faculty, Staff & Majors Only >>


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