Thursday, October 29, 2015


Mitchell Ryan taped his last episode of DARK SHADOWS on May 25, 1967. His first job out of the gates was a spot on the short-lived television series CORONET BLUE, a spin-off of the primetime/daytime series THE NURSES. Ryan appeared in the fifth episode, titled “Faces,” which aired July 10, 1967. I’m sure it was a perfectly fine program, but his next gig is a lot more interesting.

Ryan starred as “Agamemnon” in IPHIGENIA AT AULIS, which opened Nov. 21 that year at the Circle in the Square theater in New York City. IPHIGENIA AT AULIS was written by Euripides in 414 B.C. The story is profoundly disturbing: Agamemnon must decide whether or not to sacrifice his daughter to the gods as a preamble to setting his troops in battle against Troy. It sounds like an episode of BLACK MIRROR.

By all accounts, Ryan sold the conflict well and portrayed Agamemnon as a conflicted, flawed leader: “Mitchell Ryan's Agamemnon, part politician, part hero, part father, provided a subtly judged performance of a man of patchy conscience who wants to do the right thing, but hasn't truly got the moral equipment to know what the right thing is,” wrote Clive Barnes in the New York Times that year.

The 1967 production was pretty successful, running until the following year for a total of 232 performances. Starring opposite Ryan was Christopher Walken as “Achilles” and Irene Papas as “Clytemenstra.”

Via: The Michαel Cacoyannis Foundation

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