?Bakkhai? turns down Egyptian Theatre invite

By By Katie Valentine

By Katie Valentine

“The Bakkhai” can’t seem to catch a break.

“The Bakkhai” is the U’s rock ‘n’ roll adaptation of a Greek tragedy about a conflict between a boy and Dionysus, the god of wine, music, dance and ecstasy.

The Egyptian Theatre in Park City approached Jim Svendsen, a U professor of languages and literature and the production’s manager, about having the play run for a weekend at the theater. The U has never had a production picked up by another theater, he said. But this week, Svendsen found out that performances at the Egyptian will not end up happening because half of the 12-member cast have scheduling conflicts.

BYU canceled the U’s production of “The Bakkhai” last week, a snub that was quickly noticed by both local and national media. The Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News and local television news networks picked up the story. National media outlet FOX News and independent news blogs also noticed the story.

“The Bakkhai” was supposed to play at BYU on Sept. 21. The cast and crew members were already setting up in the de Jong Concert Hall when they heard the show wouldn’t go on. Svendsen and Roger Sorenson, chairman of the theater department at BYU, came to a mutual agreement to cancel “The Bakkhai.” The play’s risque content didn’t agree with the school’s expectations, and it was rehearsed for a round amphitheater setting and the concert hall is a square stage. The production was set up to be part of the Annual Greek Festival. The U brings a play to BYU each year, and Svendsen gives a lecture. Svendsen still gave this year’s lecture even though the play was canceled.

When it comes time for next year’s play, the U and BYU will spend more time talking about the play before it goes on, Sorenson said.

“The Bakkhai” was performed last week at Weber State and during the weekend at Red Butte Garden. Its last night was Sunday.

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photo courtesy department of theatre

?The Bakkhai? will not be playing at The Egyptian Theatre.