March 26, 2014

Contemporary Adaptations of Euripides' 'The Trojan Women'

An excerpt from, "Syrian refugees stage Euripides’ ‘The Trojan Women" by Charlotte Eagar, Financial Times, January 3, 2014:
The Trojan Women is about refugees, set at the fall of Troy. All the men are dead and the former Queen Hecuba of Troy, her daughter Cassandra and the rest of the women are waiting in a refugee camp to hear their fate. Euripides wrote the play in 415BC as an anti-war protest against the Athenians’ brutal capture of the neutral island of Melos; they slaughtered all the men and sold the women and children into slavery.

We’ve spent the past month tracking down Syrian women who we hope might want to take part. We’ve had the play translated into Arabic, and Omar will workshop it with the refugees so they can incorporate their own stories into the text: from Greek spears and the Towers of Ilium to air-raids, mortars, snipers and shattered homes in Homs.
Video Title: Syrian Women, Refugees in Jordan, Stage Adaptation of Euripides' "The Trojan Women." Source: MEMRI TV. Date Published: December 29, 2013. Quote From The Video:
"Syria has suffered ruin and destruction, and many people have lost relatives. I myself have lost my brothers and my father in Syria. Similarly, in the play, Troy was attacked by the Greeks, who razed it to the ground, killed the men, and took the women as prisoners. What happens in Syria is very similar to what happened in Troy. In Syria, men were killed, women were raped, and homes were burnt down and destroyed with the people inside. There is a strong similarity between Troy and Syria today."

Video Title: Interview with 'Women of Troy' director at the LMT. Source: Lace Market Theatre. Date Published: May 12, 2013. Quote From The Video:
"I wanted to make it relevant. I wanted it to reflect contemporary situations, particularly contemporary war situations. So I've updated the costume. We've thought about where it might be located and one of the places that I would suggest that we're dealing with here is the Near East, principally where Europe and Asia meet. We have a group of fairly brutal modern soldiers who are the men. The women are given Eastern dress to suggest they come from a different culture, a different sort of civilization. So, I'm looking really at those two very different cultures and how they integrate, and how they play out today in war. If you think about that region you can talk about the situation in the Balkans to the West, 10-12 years ago, or you can move further East into Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. So those are theatres of war in a contemporary sense."

Video Title: The Trojan Women Vision. Source: Sean McCarthy. Date Published: October 13, 2013. Description: Director Ingrid de Sanctis discusses her production of The Trojan Women at James Madison University. Quote From The Video:
"When you do a play like this, and once in a while I do these really dramatic, sad plays, and I don't mind sadness, I think it's part of being alive. This is not a play that is going to make your audience fall over laughing or go walk out of the theatre 'Oh, life is so sweet.' It's going to make them think about the difficulty in life, it hopefully will make them ask 'What do we do when everything falls apart?' Ask a lot of questions about the world we live in. What about war? It sucks. It leaves a lot of people in a tough position and it happens over and over and over. And though it's an ancient play these stories still are happening all over the world."