Play introduces modern elements

Courtesy+of+Renee+Bloch

Courtesy of Renee Bloch

Perla Lara, Staff Writer

The stage was small but the emotions were big.

The play The Trojan Women which premiered Friday, Mar. 27, delivered strong performances that evoked the audience’s emotions.

Directed by C. Julian White, the play had a stage that was reminiscent of the 1930s shantytowns.

To prepare the audience for a different culture the loud speakers played Middle Eastern music.

The play follows Euripides play scene by scene. Aside from the many Greek elements in the play, the core deals with the sense of loss, devastation and the anger that comes with war.

A character that ran the risk of being perceived as out of place was the Chorus.

Which fit into the play by voicing the opinions of the captured women and also because of the changes made by the director.

Actress Andrea Lavilles who played one of the three chorus characters said, “The director really wanted to try something new and break it [the lines up] so we each had a turn speaking with the audience.”

The plays modern adaptation allowed some of the audience members to connect with the performance.

Theater major Ayari Hluz said, “I liked it! I thought it was an accurate representation of war.”

Hluz’s boyfriend, Jose Rivas, who watched the play said, “The portrayal of the treatment of women is still relevant [today].”

The only criticism Hluz and Rivas had for the play was that the gods seemed out of place, “I don’t think they really fit into it,” Hluz said.

Jorge M. Folgar who played Poseidon was aware that his character would be difficult for the audience to understand since he was the first character on stage and had a long monologue.

He recognized the importance of making the language more relatable to the audience.

The other scenes in the play had more interactions between characters. Hence what the audience failed to grasp in the language; they were able to interpret through the actors’ body language and the emotions.

Actor Andrew M. Rogers who played Talthybius, the main villain said, “I like to dive into characters that are maleficent and insidious; I had a lot of fun with this one.”

His performance was commendable especially during the violent scene with cast mate Samantha Hernandez who played Cassandra.

Thalthybius tells her she has been given to have a shadow marriage with the army’s general and forcefully takes her away from her mother and the other women.

Hernandez’s screams filled the theater and her struggle against the three men who were carrying her off to board a ship had the audience gasping.

The play’s drawback was the use or misuse of language.

Take for example the scene where Cassandra, is told that she will be in a shadow marriage which is the same as being sold as a sex slave, yet because of the use of the original dialog that fact eludes the audience; diminishing the audience’s full understanding of the scene.

Likewise when the chorus said,“Poor Cassandra must face another Ajax,” most of the audience would miss the fact that Cassandra was raped by Ajax and the chorus is saying she is being taken away to be raped again.

Because the play uses expressions that where commonly known in its time, some expressions and references should be changed or removed from the dialog.

The Gods, Poseidon and Athena should have also been changed or removed.

At the start of the play with the mood being set as a modern play having a white-bearded man dressed in a purple dress and a woman with a red, orange dress with large hair ornaments breaks away from the mood and setting and has the audience wondering what’s going on.

The gods’ dialog is also hard to follow and further distracts the audience from whats important, that is the plays unique perspective of those who have lost everything they once had. Even the right to choose how to continue with their lives and asks the audience to relate to them.

Having a conquering army of Talibans, was a great way to pull the audience in the story and start asking ‘what if this happened to us, what if our cities our homes came under attack and we lost?’.

Certainly after the Sept. 11 attacks the possibility of war is not farfetched.

In regards to delivering human emotion and having the audience understand its point of view the play was a huge success.