Charles Mee’s writing appears again in the Black Box Theatre for the second time this month as the theater and dance department perform “Trojan Women: A Love Story.”
The post-apocalyptic play, set in a modern version of Troy that has been destroyed with no hope of recovery, focuses on war, violence, gender roles and the idea of utopia.
“We want them to think about a lot of things. War and violence, but at the same time it’s not a preachy, pacifist show. It takes a look at what it really means to be in war, ” said director Casey Flyth.
“Trojan Women,” a play originally by Euripides, is the second consecutive play rewritten by Mee performed in the Black Box Theatre in February. Mee’s works are online to read and give creative freedom to the actors and director.
“He’s so poetic, which is awesome. He had a really great sense of going on this stream of consciousness, where you’re picking up all these ideas, but by the end of a monologue or end of a scene they come together,” said Flyth.
As part of the senior capstone series, a collection of plays produced by seniors of the theater and dance department, Flyth and three of the actors, “Trojan Women” turns the Black Box Theatre into a jungle gym designed by freshman Robert Helvey.
“He has created this incredible set that is now 16 feet high, attached to the catwalk, and has all of these angled platforms coming down. It has a fireman’s pole, and it has a rope ladder that goes 12 feet up into the air,” said Flyth.
Movement played a huge roll on set design. The action planned for “Trojan Women” combines theater and dance in a way Flyth said is exciting and interesting compared to what she has seen.
“I thought would be fun to play on for the actors and give them a lot of movement availability, but I didn’t think would ever be possible,” Flyth said.
Nathan Alongi takes the roles of Ray Bob and Joe. He is also the sound designer and composed much of the music. “Trojan Women” has live accompaniment planned throughout the show.
“There is one part at the end of the first act where Shawn Hawkins and I accompany a monologue by running our fingers across the rim of wine glasses,” said Alongi.
Because of the size of the theater, the performances have a more intimate feeling than if they were performed on a larger stage.
“It seems to kind of bring the audience in more and put them in the world right up close to you. We’ve had to tell the actors to bring some of the movement stuff back a few feet, but that’s about it,” said Flyth.
In contrast to the shows on Belmont’s main stage, “Trojan Women” gives actors an opportunity to experience abstract and experimental theater.
“This show has pushed us to a degree we never thought possible,” said Blair Allison, who plays Hecuba and Andrea.
The first performance is tonight at 7:30 p.m. and will have showings on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
“We’ve worked so hard to bring this piece to life.” said Allison. “If you haven’t seen a show directed by Casey Flyth, now’s your chance.”
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