PORTLAND – Mad Horse Theatre Company will present “The Bacchae,” Euripides’ classic Greek tale of power, madness and the vengeance of the gods.

When a mysterious stranger and his band of madwomen appear in Thebes, the ancient city’s proud and powerful king spirals into madness, becoming obsessed with his desire to crush a rebellion that is tearing his people apart.

But the stranger is no mortal: He’s actually the god Dionysus, come home to the city of his birth to avenge the wrongs done to his mortal mother, and he is ready for a fight.

The violence of the confrontation that follows is a searing exploration of unbridled power and repression. As Pentheus, the intractable king, refuses to acknowledge the god in his midst, he drives himself closer to his own doom. The consequences of the choices he makes are as shocking today as they were when the play was first presented, over 2000 years ago, says a spokesman for the theater company.

“The Bacchae” will run from Feb. 12 through March 7 in the Studio Theatre in the Portland Performing Arts Center/Portland Stage, 25A Forest Ave.

Performance times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $16 ($14 for students and seniors). Preview performances on Thursday, Feb. 12, and Friday, Feb. 13, will be $10. People can buy one ticket and get one free for the performances on Thursday Feb. 19, and Thursday, Feb. 26. Shows Sunday, Feb. 15, and Sunday, Feb. 22, are pay what you can. for reservations, call 730-2389.


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