The Trojan Women
Translation by Gwendolyn MacEwen
Directed by Alexandra Seay
“The darkness is hungry; it eats the stones.”
As part of its ‘Countdown to 100 Years’ Alumnae Theatre Company is proud to present celebrated Canadian poet Gwendolyn MacEwen’s haunting translation of Euripides’ classic tragedy The Trojan Women, last performed by the company in the 1992/3 season. INTERESTING FACT: An earlier translation of The Trojan Women by Gilbert Murray was staged in 1958, directed by Robert Gill (yes, the fellow with a theatre named for him at the University of Toronto). Jeanette Lambermont directed the 1992/93 version.
In the aftermath of the Trojan War, abandoned by the gods, the women of Troy try to find meaning in the destruction surrounding them as they wait to be claimed by their Greek masters. In 1978, MacEwen breathed a contemporary spirit into Euripides’ classic text with her bold exploration of feminist ideals. In 2012, director Alexandra Seay (Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab member) asks who the women are who live beneath the shadow of men today and strives to give them a voice.
Working closely with music director Lily Ling (Tout Comme Elle, Luminato), Alexandra Seay has created a choral landscape inspired by the sounds of the ancient Arab world that evokes the essence of Greek tragedy and highlights the poetry of MacEwen’s text. In collaboration with the chorus, a movement score has also been created for the piece. The original costumes created by Peter DeFreitas (Alumnae Theatre; RedLetter Theatre; Opera Frankfurt), stark lighting composition by Jennifer Fraser and a bold set design by Karen McMichael all serve to locate the piece in a timeless desert of shifting sands.
After an almost 20 year absence from acting, long-time Alumnae member Molly Thom, who appeared in the chorus of the 1992/93 Alumnae production of The Trojan Women, graces the stage as Hecuba. She is joined by Nicole St. Martin (Andromache), Tara Zacharias (Helen), Andrew P. MacMaster (Poseidon and Talthybius), Scott Moore (Menelaus) and sharing the role of Cassandra, Sochi Fried (Jan. 20-27) & Suzette McCanny (Jan. 28-Feb.4). But it is the intergenerational chorus, comprised of six women, who form the backbone of the piece: Andrea Blakey, Stephanie Carpanini, Carys Lewis (Jan. 28-Feb. 4), Suzette McCanny (Jan. 20-27), Katie Ribout, Anne Shepherd and Susan Q Wilson.
The Trojan Women opens January 20 and runs to February 4. See www.alumnaetheatre,com or the Facebook Event for ticket details.