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Iphigenia 3.0

written by Brian Kettler

staged reading by Orphic Theater

Friday Jan. 27 & Sat. Jan. 28

@Shout House

Theater Review

Feb. 4, 2017

Life's a bitch. Just ask Agamemnon as he weighs the pros and cons of sacrificing his daughter’s life in return for a win at Troy.


AGAMEMNON (pacing, muttering to himself)

On the one hand, I appease the goddess Artemis and she stirs the winds and I can finally get these fucking ships out to sea and off to Troy.  On the other hand, I have to slice my daughter’s jugular to appease the bitch. On the other hand, I must help my brother retrieve his faithless fuck of a wife; Helen’s philandering must not go unpunished. On the other hand, is that worthless cunt really worth my innocent little girl’s life? On the other hand, if I don’t sacrifice Iphigenia, I’ll be deemed a coward and my home will never be safe. On the other hand... THERE IS NO OTHER HAND BECAUSE NONE OF OUR GREEK HOMES WILL BE SAFE FROM THE MARAUDING BARBARIANS IF WE DON'T RETALIATE!!!!

(my condensed version of most of Euripides’  Iphigenia at Aulis)


Wives are a bitch. Particularly if they’re the mother of Iphigenia.



Honey, you know, for the good of the country, sometimes you have to murder your darlings.

(I made this up. I’m pretty sure Agamemnon never tried this on his wife)


Death’s a bitch.  Just ask Agamemnon after Clytemnestra welcomed him home from the war with a nice hot bath. His last.



Death is hell on the bones.

I haven’t figured out The Wind yet.

I’m constantly being pulled in ten different directions.

The Wind pulls my skin apart, because it’s not really skin is it?

It was fun, at first, but now my back hurts.

From Iphigenia 3.0 by Brian Kettler


Orphic Theater work-shopped Brian Kettler’s Iphigenia 3.0 in January 2017.  I-3.0 is based mostly on Iphigenia’s life after death. Euripides wrote about her sacrifice in his last play, Iphigenia at Aulis.  But he wrote about her life after Aulis in one of his earliest plays, Iphigenia at Tauris. At Tauris, the unhappy young woman prepares wayward, shipwrecked Greeks for ritual killings. Apparently, Artemis seems to think Iphigenia shares her own tom-boy need for just desserts. But Iphigenia is nuanced. She hates daddy for sacrificing her, hates Artemis for saving her only to prepare others for death, can’t foreplay herself to delicious revenge orgasm preparing the victims for sacrifice or even reconcile her feelings toward her murdering but dead daddy.  Lots of ambivalence.


In I-3.0 Kettler dives into these corners of contradiction.  It’s kind of like a mash-up of Kill Bill 1 and 2.  Just when you think you’ve heard enough babble. You have.


IRIS (one of the ritual killers in the temple) prompting a conflicted IPHIGENIA

Hey, so, what’s the hold up?


It’s time for Washy Washy, Stabby Stabby.

From Iphigenia 3.0 by Brian Kettler


The comedy is black, fast, brutal. So is the action.  I won’t spoil the ending. Euripides already did but Kettler ftfy.  

Life after death, Death after life, To be or not to be, and lots of blood. What’s there not to love? I dearly hope Orphic continues honing I-3.0 and puts it on stage soon. I’ll let you know as soon as I do when/where.


For irreverent insights on Greek theater in PDX by a theater loving Greek, including more about Orphic Theater and their production of Iphigenia 3.0, read the Oregon ArtsWatch article Theater for Barbarians


For a longer look at a couple of new, young theater companies in Portland (including Orphic) and the way we hope they’ll change the theater scene, read the Oregon ArtsWatch article Young Bloods.

Maria Choban Saturday, February 4, 2017

Maria Choban sharpens her claws scratching out posts for CatScratch. Occasionally her fat brat black cat posts from his litter box under the stage name CS Eliot.  

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