Trans-Bacchanalia Express by Bill Zaget
This happy-ending colloquial take on the ancient Greek tragedy “The Bacchae” loosely follows the confrontation of the young god Dionysus with Pentheus, the young king of Thebes. Pentheus, a heroic athlete, adored by all, has recently become king and is called upon to halt the cult of Dionysus from spreading to Thebes. However, Pentheus has serious issues—although a family man, he is ill-at-ease with his new role, with what the public and his family expect of him, and—more importantly—his own body and gender. He seeks advice from his grandfather and the blind seer Tyresias, but they are not much help. Pentheus unsuccessfully imprisons Dionysus, who easily escapes. Dionysus causes the destruction of the palace and manipulates Pentheus to further his own agenda. Pentheus is torn apart by the followers of the young god—including his own mother and members of the Royal Court. Dionysus—who has his own issues—ultimately brings Pentheus back to life, to live again—this time as a woman.
Keywords: transformation, transgender, trans, Dionysus, Bacchae, wonky, dramatic comedy, gender, gender dysphoria, Jenner, gay
Genre: Dramatic Comedy
Running Time: 90 minutes
Suitable for students 16+
Cast size: 9 - 12 actors
Male Cast: 6
Female Cast: 6
Casting note: Please note that some doubling of roles is possible. Playwright strongly suggests that a producing company should take a fluid approach to casting the roles, and, out of respect, should include performers from the trans community.