NOTE: Dionysia is a performance piece based on fragments of ancient Greek text and pottery. Therefore, my review is based on fragments of information about the Poor Dog Group and their “premiere” performance at The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) on 11/11/11.
GailSez: I freely confess that I found this performance so atrocious that I left at intermission – before they got to the part where one brother fed another a stew made with the flesh of his children. I have seen and reviewed close to 100 shows a year for the past 15 years and I cannot recall the last time I walked out of a show at intermission.
“Over the past three years, Poor Dog Group has been working towards a stronger understanding of our past with our sights firmly set on the future of contemporary theater..” – Director’s Note
“[The Poor Dog Group is] ’an amoebic collective’…founded in 2007 by a group of people who all graduated from Cal Arts http://calarts.edu/ at the same time…the collective’s works tend to be topical, multi-media performance pieces — ‘They’re not plays,’ said [PDG Artistic Director Jesse] Bonnell” – The Troy Record
Bonnell is right, Dionysia is not a play. Neither is it the “future of contemporary theater.” I know this because, while I may only have inklings of what that will be, I know for certain what it will NOT be.
The Future of Contemporary Theater Will Not Be…Boring
Theater cannot be any of those things and continue to exist. Dionysia is all of those things.