Icarus at the Lookingglass Theatre – January 23, 2010
Over forty people gathered in the LUMA lecture hall for the preshow lecture on Icarus, the original Lookingglass production written and directed by David Catlin. Sandor Goodhart, PH.D., Professor of English and Jewish Studies at Purdue University and Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Classical Studies, described the play as a sustained and compelling meditation on the worst fear a parent can have—the loss of a child through parental neglect. The play is framed by the dawning awareness of a mental patient, who moves from catatonia to the beginnings of responsibility, in response to the traumatic events he has experienced. Playwright Catlin’s exploration of the relationship of Daedalus and Icarus is offset against two other pairs of fathers and sons: King Minos of Crete and his son, Anthrogeus, and King Aegeus of Athens and his son, Theseus. Within these three tales are woven failed sacrifice, abandonment, revenge and regret.
Listen to the
lecture by Purdue Professor Sandor Goodhart. Download the Icarus Study Guide that includes an article written by Professor Goodhart.
For an understanding of the Icarus legend and the Lookingglass Theatre production, Raven founder Suzanne Ross interviewed Icarus writer and director David Catlin regarding the play and its relevance to issues of present day parenting.
Professor Goodhart, David Catlin and Suzanne Ross explore the concepts and themes of Icarus during a conference call.
David Catlin has served as Director of Artistic Development, Lookingglass Studio teacher, Managing Director, and currently serves as Artistic Director. Directing credits include Lookingglass Alice, Metamorphosis, Her Name was Danger, The Idiot (Jeff Award), and Lookingglass Hamlet. As an actor he was recently seen in Our Town, Hard Times, Manuscript Found in Saragossa and Argonautika. His film work includes Since You’ve Been Gone for Lookingglass/Miramax and Humanoid with Dark Harbor Stories. David lives in Chicago with his wife Kerry and daughters Saylor and Emerson Finn.
Sandor Goodhart is a Professor of English and Jewish Studies at Purdue University and Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Classical Studies. He is the author of Sacrificing Commentary. Reading the End of Literature (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), Reading Stephen Sondheim (New York: Garland Publishing, 2000), For René Girard. Essays in Friendship and Truth, co-edited with J. Jørgenson, T. Ryba, and J. G. Williams (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2009), and Sacrifice and Scripture in Ancient Judaism and Christianity, co-edited with Ann Astell (South Bend: Notre Dame University Press, forthcoming). He teaches ancient Greek and modern drama, contemporary critical theory and philosophy, and the (Hebrew) Bible as Literature. He has long been associated with the work of René Girard, serving as the Executive Secretary of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion (formed around René Girard’s work) from 1999 to 2003, and as President from 2003 to 2007.
Suzanne Ross is the author of two books – The Wicked Truth: When Good People Do Bad Things and The Wicked Truth About Love: The Tangles of Desire. In 2007, Ross co-founded the Raven Foundation with husband Keith. Based on the principles of mimetic theory, the foundation seeks to make religion reasonable, violence unthinkable and peace a possibility by challenging conventional wisdom and opening the door to new reasoning. Suzanne is a graduate of Bucknell University and a certified Montessori educator. She has extensive experience as a corporate training consultant, and is a former editor of the literary journal, StoryQuarterly. She is the former Director of Christian Education for a United Church of Christ congregation. As a member of the Colloquium on Violence & Religion, she has attended and presented at the annual conferences. Suzanne is a member of the Education Committee of Imitatio, Inc. She lives, works and plays golf with her husband Keith in Glenview, Illinois.
Lookingglass formed in 1988 when a group of ambitious college graduates created a process-driven theatre company and unique theatrical experience for the public. Their signature approach to developing plays involves long-term dedication to the development process, presenting work in a theatre with a configurable stage and seating that can change depending on the needs of the production. In 1992, the Lookingglass ensemble extended its vision to serve traditionally underserved populations by reaching out to Chicagoland’s diverse constituency through the creation of our education and community programs department. To date, they have produced 50 world premieres and have received 42 Jefferson Awards and citations and the 2011 Tony Award for Excellence in Regional Theatre.
The Lookingglass Theatre Company combines a physical and improvisational rehearsal process centered on ensemble with training in theatre, dance, music, and the circus arts. They seek to redefine the limits of theatrical experience and to make theatre exhilarating, inspirational, and accessible to all.