In the last interview recorded after the Greeks and Romans on the Latin American Stage conference CC’s Anastasia Bakogianni talks with Konstantinos P. Nikoloutsos about a Cuban reception of the myth of Electra. Virgilio Piñera reconfigured the ancient story of the tragic heroine by drawing principally on Sophocles’ play, but also on the versions of Aeschylus and Euripides as well as on modern receptions of the tale, to create his own Electra Garrigó (1941).
Konstantinos tells us about Piñera, the first playwright to situate Electra in a Cuban setting and to make radical changes to the ancient plot. Piñera tried to create a new national theatre for Cuba by going back to the origins of the art form through recourse to Greek drama rather than perpetuating the models of the Spanish colonial past. Konstantinos talks about the play’s hostile reception when it premiered in 1948, but he also tells us how, on account of the Revolution, subsequent performances of Electra Garrigó gradually established Piñera as a major Cuban playwright and encouraged other dramatists to turn to Greek drama for inspiration.
Follow this link to watch our interview, and to learn more about the radical changes that Piñera made to the ancient story. Join us to discover why one critic described the play as ‘a spit ball thrown at Olympus’.