Ellen McLaughlin adapted this piece from a tragedy written over 2000 years ago. Eurpides tells the story of the women left to their own devices after the fall of the great city, Troy. We sat down with the director to talk about why this piece still hits home.
What makes you so passionate about this project?
|The Trojan Women first read through on November 11, 2017|
"I have always found the universal, timeless messages in Greek theatre to be very moving. It is doubly exciting to see so many women represented on stage in this piece."
What makes this play so special and important?
"History is always told by the winners, but this play may be the first in history that was written with a sympathetic view of the loser in conflict."
How do you think this play remains relevant in 2018?
"There are many conflicts all over the world, in which we see women and children as refuges. They are forced out of their homes by their conquerors, because of the choices men have made. Although women have more rights than when this play was first produced in the 5th century BCE in Athens, we still see today that women, in the home, in the workplace and within society, tend to be at the mercy of men and the choices that are made for them."
What do you want the audience to get out of this prodction?
Well, in true Greek fashion, I would like to see the audience experience a catharsis. I want them to think about the character's experiences, have some conversation, and ask some questions. I want the audience to be challenged by the material."
Jennifer Graham-Felts is also our movement specialist for EMU Theatre. We also were able to talk to her about how movement factors into a piece such as this.
How does being a movement specialist influence your directing style?
" I tend to look at a piece from physical dynamics, rhythm of the body, and the language, balance, or being off balance. In this piece in particular, we are using elemental movement, such as fire, water, and air."
|Jennifer Graham-Felts directs the cast of The Trojan Women.|
Do you think being a movement specialist gives you any advantages in directing?
"I don't know if its an advantage, but I think I can handle moving large groups on people on stage quickly."
Do you think this piece lends itself to doing unique things with movement?
Certainly, because Greek Tragedy is larger than life and movement practic helps to heighten the acting.
Getting this chance to sit and talk with Jen has allowed us to see how theatre touches us all, no matter what time we are in. There is a universality to theatre that is unmatched, and we are eagerly awaiting the presentation of this piece.