THESE SEVEN SICKNESSES
By Sean Graney
Directed by Ed Iskandar
THE FLEA THEATER
Drama Desk Nomination - Outstanding Direction
In THESE SEVEN SICKNESSES, Sophocles’ seven surviving plays - Oedipus, In Trachis, In Colonus, Philoktetes, Ajax, Elektra & Antigone - combine with music and food to create a stunning portrait of the human condition, where the intermingling of chance & fate yields disquieting results. A witty & relevant interpretation of the classics, THESE SEVEN SICKNESSES is an epic examination of the past & a window on the present.
NEW YORK PREMIERE
NEW YORK TIMES CRITICS' PICK
"Whatever the detergent bill, it's worth it for this vibrant downtown retelling of these dark Greek legends..."
- The New York Times
"Of all that I was lucky enough to see this summer...my favorite was the production of These Seven Sicknesses. I'm hard pressed to remember the last time I saw anything as big and bold as this bedazzled dose of shamelessly epic theatre...Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant." - Joan Rivers
HONOR LOST: OEDIPUS, IN TRACHIS, IN COLONUS
"'Welcome to blood, sex, sorrow and a good party,' a young man said cheerfully, as he handed out a drink during ... a marathon evening that shouldn't work, but does, wonderfully." - The Faster Times
"I recently saw...These Seven Sicknesses. It had incest, matricide and patricide, then nurses come in singing and give you a glass of wine. When Oedipus hands you a red velvet cupcake after five hours of Sophocles, it's meaningful." - Sigourney Weaver
"The most innovative staging in New York right now remounts one of theater's oldest bodies of work."
- The Fifth Wall
"What Iskandar has encouraged The Bats to do before the show and between acts is not some hokey audience- involvement scheme, but a wonderful way to appreciate actors as individual personalities and then to watch their transformation on stage into Sophocles’ larger-than-life characters."
- Joe Meyers
[Ed Sylvanus Iskandar created] an inclusive theatrical environment, drawing its spectators into the world of the Flea and the world of Sophocles. This was a unique echo of the theater experience of Classical Athens, itself a tight-knit community... Ancient performances were long ... and punctuated by intermissions, which surely enabled a great deal of socializing.
- George Kovacs
Didaskalia, The Journal for Ancient Performance
HONOR FOUND: PHILOKTETES, AJAX
"[In] Ed Sylvanus Iskandar's vigorous direction, [we get] a sense of the excitement and thirst for power that had the Greek gods turning away in shame at the antics of foolish mortals."
"With the help of [a deeply artistic design team] and a lovely script, Iskandar stages a beautiful play with stunning visual moments."
- Theater is Easy
“[A]s vivid and as exciting as the work of any contemporary downtown writer — but the party aspect makes it an experience you won’t find at any other Manhattan theater. Don’t miss it."
HONOR ABANDONED: ELEKTRA, ANTIGONE
"These Seven Sicknesses is filled with creative staging, innovative aesthetics, and a great deal of energy."
“Theater at its best—ambitious, epic, fun, engaging, beautiful, and executed with skillful precision."
"Feeling so well taken care of is in itself transformative."
- Let's Talk Off Broadway
"The show works superbly from beat to beat, which makes the 5+ hour runtime (including intermissions for dinner & dessert) speed by .... Sicknesses is, quite simply, the sort of mounting of classical work that rekindles a passion for modern theater. It's also a fun party."
- Aaron Grunfeld, The Fifth Wall