Sylvia Center Unveils Summer Season of Plays

Sylvia Center for the Arts presents its summer rep season, running from June 20 to Aug. 31 at Sylvia Center for the Arts, 105 Prospect St. and Maritime Heritage Park, Holly Street and Central Avenue, featuring five new adaptations and translations of classic Greek plays, presented by Sylvia Center’s in-house production company, iDiOM Theater.
The ambitious mini-season features five plays: “Briseis” by Glenn Hergenhahn-Zhao, Sophocles’ “Ajax,” Aristophanes’ “The Birds,” a new telling of “The Odyssey,” and “An Iliad” by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare. These classic tales are presented in contemporary versions that are funny, surprising, and unexpected.
The third iteration of the Summer Rep is Sylvia Center’s biggest yet. Indoor Main Stage shows are added to the line-up and help support the outdoor program. The program is also supported by an opening reception on June 27 (opening night of “Ajax”), featuring music and pre-show cocktails in celebration of the whole festival line-up and the 50-plus actors and creative staff bringing it all to life.
The Summer Rep features two Main Stage productions indoors at Sylvia Center’s Lucas Hicks Theater (tickets $15 General, $12 Members, $9 Students), alternating with three outdoors productions (free) in Maritime Heritage Park–eclectic, irreverent, classic, good for all ages, featuring all ages performers, produced in partnership with Bellingham Parks and Recreation.
“Briseis” June 20, 21, 22, 28, 29, July 5 & 6 — Maritime Heritage Park. “Briseis” tells the story of the last days of the Trojan War through the eyes of captive war-bride, Briseis. An original play written by Artistic Director Glenn Hergenhahn-Zhao based on stories in The Iliad, and first mounted at iDiOM Theater back in 2012, this quirky black comedy is suitable for all ages, but does tell tales of violence and features at least one beating with a loaf of bread. Running time: 100 minutes.
“Ajax” June 27, 28, 29, July 5, 6, 11, 12 & 13 — Sylvia Center. “Ajax” was one of the stories featured in iDiOM Theater’s epic 2014 production of “These Seven Sicknesses.” One of the seven surviving plays by ancient Greek playwright Sophocles, “Ajax” tells the story of a warrior’s fallen honor and life in the last days of the Trojan War. A beautiful new translation by Theater of War’s Bryan Doerries, directed by Sylvia Center’s Shu-Ling Hergenhahn-Zhao. Running time: 110 minutes.
“The Birds” July 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 & 27 — Maritime Heritage Park. “The Birds” tells the story of two wandering Athenians searching for a better life in the kingdom of the birds. This absurd and silly comedy is performed by the 13–17 year-old students of Sylvia Center’s Summer 2019 Youth Acting Program, directed by Michael Morgen and newly translated especially for this festival. Last years’ youth production of Aphra Behn’s “The Rover” was moved inside from forest fire smoke, so we are back with an earlier time-slot and hopes for clear skies. Running time: 90 minutes.
“The Odyssey” Aug. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 & 17 — Sylvia Center. “The Odyssey” is a re-telling of the story of the final homecoming of Odysseus to Ithaca. and to his wife Penelope, written by iDiOM Artistic Director Glenn Hergenhahn-Zhao. Directed by Ashley Albertson. Running time: 110 minutes.
“An Iliad” Aug. 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 & 31 — Maritime Heritage Park. “An Iliad” ends the summer season looking back at the events that started it all. Homer’s epic story of Achilles and Hector is masterfully retold by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare.  A remount of iDiOM’s 2017 production, this time outside in the open air amphitheater at Maritime Heritage Park. Running time: 90 minutes.
Full calendar of shows and tickets available at