Rob Hardy Revitalizes Aeschylus’s Oresteia

Photo by Linnea Bullion
Photo by Linnea Bullion

Last May, NER contributor Rob Hardy’s adaptation of Aeschylus’s Oresteia was performed at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. The production featured a massive set by Twin Cities designer Joseph Stanley and music by composer Mary Ellen Childs. From Eric Dugdale’s review in Didaskalia: “Hardy’s adaptation offers a stripped-down style in which every word counts and immediacy trumps Aeschylean grandeur…Hardy has succeeded at producing a script that is evocative and unhurried.”

Hardy also had one of his poems imprinted on a Northfield sidewalk last August as part of the Sidewalk Poetry Contest, sponsored by the city’s Arts & Culture Commission. The contest is now open for submissions for 2013.

Rob Hardy has appeared numerous times in NER, most recently in 28.1. His essay Theodore Roosevelt and the Masculine/Feminine Complex was featured on our site.

A certain idea of America

In “Theodore Roosevelt and the Masculine/Feminine Complex” (NER 26.4), Rob Hardy begins with this anecdote:

My wife and I were waiting in line to speak to our son’s math teacher at parent–teacher conferences when I noticed the poster on the wall of the middle school cafetorium:


Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.
—Theodore Roosevelt

I pointed out to my wife that the exhortation comes from Roosevelt’s Autobiography, where he is actually quoting someone named Squire Bill Widener of Widener’s Valley, Virginia, who was in turn quoting an anonymous bit of homespun folk wisdom. I told her I found it interesting how Roosevelt gave certain ideas like this, that were not necessarily his own, the force of a personality. He embodied a certain idea of America, I said.

[read more]