|The evening is made up of three sections: a conversation by a person directly involved in the refugee issue and a refugee living in the Netherlands, the play itself (featuring children from Dutch asylum centres) and a discussion with the audience lead by Peter Sellars.|
After completing his 12 major tasks, the demigod Herakles (Hercules) died and his children were driven into exile by King Eurystheus of Argos. Every country that wanted to offer the children asylum was threatened with war by Eurystheus. In the end, they found themselves at the gates of Athens, the enlightened and generous democracy of Greece 2500 years ago.
This is not the first time that Peter Sellars has shifted a classic play into the present. His great commitment has made him travel the world for the last 25 years. The Gulf War inspired him to present the play The Persians by Aeschylus. In 1988, he situated Mozart's opera Don Giovanni in in New York's Harlem district with a black gangster playing the lead. His Nixon in China (Holland Festival 1987) has grown to become a modern classic.
Director: Peter Sellars
based on Herakliden by Euripides
Performers: Cornel Gabara, Karen Kandel, Brenda Wehle, Zainab Jah, Chris Chalk, Ruth Maleczech, local immigrant children, a moderator and a female vocalist (Ulzhan Baibussynova)
Costume Design by Brooke Stanton
Lighting Design by James F. Ingalls
Sound Design by Shahrokh Yadegari
English Translation by Ralph Gladstone
Lighting Design: James M. Ingalls & Marcus Doshi
World première: 19 September 2002 in Bottrop, Germany (RuhrTriennale)
Holland Festival Web Site