THE BACCHAE was not only the last and greatest of Euripides' tragedies, it was very close to the last of the great Greek tragedies. The story of the play is in part about this cultural dissolution in Athens. It's also about the theatre itself, and how a sane society needs strong, intelligent theatre to survive. THE BACCHAE makes a perfect first entry in the new Applause series of classic dramas, because it argues so passionately and beautifully and convincingly for the need for such a theatre, in our era as much as in Euripides'. Herbert Golder in his new translation has turned an ancient play into a new one, one just as potent for an applicable to our troubled times as Euripides' own.