Princeton’s Fall Show Restages the Trojan War
Troy: After and Before Opens at the Berlind Theater
(Princeton, NJ) Troy: After and Before, the annual Fall Show sponsored by the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theater and Dance, will be performed at the Berlind Theatre November 14-15 and November 20-22. This monumental event will be comprised of two very different takes on the Trojan War: Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, as translated by the late Robert Fagles, an honored member of the Princeton University community, and Euripides’ Iphigenia at Aulis, as translated by Lucas Barron, a Comparative Literature major in the Class of 2009.
Troy: After and Before is directed by Princeton faculty Tim Vasen, whose previous work at the Berlind includes Boris Godunov and The Playboy of the Western World. According to Vasen, “The Greeks used theater to ask themselves Really Big Questions. These two plays, written before the beginning and near the end of the real-life Peloponnesian War that ultimately led to Athens' downfall, use the semi-mythical Trojan War to examine the cost to the home front at the end of a seemingly endless, possibly pointless conflict in a far-off place, and to go back to the patriotic, assertive beginning and ask, ‘How did we get here?’ It is a question that seems as urgent now as it did 2500 years ago.”
The origins of this project are in a class entitled “Re: Staging the Greeks" offered by the Theater and Dance Program last spring and sponsored by Princeton’s Program in Hellenic Studies. A group of sixteen undergraduate actors read all of the extant plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes and, every Friday afternoon, performed scene work from the plays. During the spring break, the class and its two instructors, Vasen and Program Director Michael Cadden, were flown to Greece, courtesy of Hellenic Studies, to visit ancient theaters in Athens, Epidaurus, Delphi, and Thorikos as well as to work with Greek theater professionals with a special interest in restaging Greek tragedy for the contemporary audiences. Troy: After and Before is the fruit of the class’s artistic and academic exploration.
Nine members of last spring’s course roster will take the Berlind stage as part of the sixteen-strong cast of Troy: After and Before which includes Elizabeth Atkins '11, Lucas Barron '09, Sara-Ashley Bischoff '09, Shannon Clair '09, Tyler Crosby '09, Phoenix Gonzalez '11, Lovell Holder '09, Pilar Castro Kiltz '10, Paul J. Miller '10, Dominique Salerno '10, Philicia Saunders '10, Forest Sebastian '10, Veronica Siverd '10, Lea Steinacker '11, Olivia Stoker '11, and Adam Zivkovic '10.
Troy: After and Before will be performed at the Berlind Theatre of the McCarter Theatre Center on November 14 and 15, as well as on November 20-22. All performances are at 8:00 p.m. Ticket prices range from $10 to $15, and may be ordered by calling 609.258.ARTS or University Ticketing 609.258.9220.
The Lewis Center for the Arts is part of a major initiative announced by President Shirley M. Tilghman in 2006 to fully embrace the arts as an essential part of the educational experience for all who study and teach at Princeton University. The Lewis Center for the Arts will have a significant impact on the University and the larger community it serves. The public is welcomed to a full range of lectures, exhibitions, concerts and performances at the Center. Many of the Center’s events are free or charge a nominal admission fee.