Physical theater meets canonical text meets pick-up basketball game meets 1980s music videos.

Part sporting event, part dance party, part bloody tragedy, PENTHESILEAS questions what we know of the Amazon queen Penthesilea and raging warrior Achilles as they face off on a wild hunt for victory on the battlefield of love.

The text combines the best parts of Heinrich von Kleist’s drama Penthesilea–trimmed down and newly translated–with several radically different versions of what happened between Penthesilea and Achilles: who killed whom, how, and why. Sources include the Posthomerica, Apollodorus, Laura Mulvey’s feminist film Penthesilea: Queen of the Amazons, and 1980s pop music that revitalizes the Amazon, the warrior, and love as a battle.

Developed as part of the Rough Draft series at the Drama League.



Performed by Nicole Kontolefa, Toussaint Jeanlouis, and Valeria Avina. Written/translated and directed by Leanora Lange.