Electra Garrigó

VIRGILIO PIÑERA (CUBA, 1948)
Translated by Margaret Carson

When this brazen but baffling play debuted, an esteemed director who was in the audience walked out and denounced it as a ‘spitball thrown at Olympus.’ Piñera transplants the classic Greek tragedy to modern-day Havana, where King Agamemnon becomes a beer-guzzling bourgeois patriarch, the Chorus sings its verses to the tune of ‘Guatanamera,’ and the faithful servant of Sophocles’s tragedy is a Tutor—no normal man but a centaur who urges his apt pupil Electra to ‘stop making speeches and make a Revolution instead.’In the words of its quixotic author, Electra Garrigó is a modern drama for a nation that is ‘tragic and comic at the same time.’

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