Essay on The Trojan Women

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I watched The Trojan Women play at The Flea Theater, New York City. The theater company that produced the play is The Flea Theatre Company. Ellen McLaughlin was the playwright. Anne Cecelia Haney was the director. Marte Ekhougen was the costume designer; Scott Gianelli was in charge of lighting and Ben Vigus was in charge of sounds. I watched the play on August 24, 2016. The Trojan Women play by Ellen McLaughlin aptly integrates elements of sound, costume, set design and light in its production.

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The Trojan Women is about a group of Trojan women who are enslaved after Trojan men are decimated by Greeks during the Trojan War. The work of art aims to showcase troubles and tribulations that The Trojan women faced after being enslaved by the Greeks. The play starts while Hecuba and her attendants are asleep. Poseidon, a deity walks in and urges Hecuba to keep sleeping because what awaits her is more than a nightmare. Cassandra is clad in a white dress. After Poseidon exits, Helen walks in among the sleeping women. Cassandra prophesizes death is in the offing. Andromache reveals her displeasure that she will soon be Achilless son slave; Achilles had earlier killed Andromaches husband. Towards the end of the play, Greek soldiers appear and drag the women onto ships and head to Greece where the women are enslaved. Main characters in the play are Hecuba, Helen, Cassandra and Andromache (Gluck 2). The major actors in the play are DeAnna Supplee who plays Hecuba; Rebeca Rad who plays Hellen; Lindsey Howard who plays Cassandra and Casey Wortmann who plays Andromache. However, the actors struggle to execute a good performance. The actors display inexperience in playing roles meant for actors who are older than them. The actors also fail to display effective acting techniques that would have ensured they do a wonderful job (Mott 1). Ellen McLaughlin has done a lot of work as a playwright. She has received awards as a playwright; she also doubles up as an actor. Some of the other plays she has produced are Oedipus, The Persians, Tongue of a Bird, Iphigenia, and Ajax in Iraq. Some of her work has been displayed on Off- Broadway Theatre, New York. McLaughlins work is mostly influenced by Greek dramatists. McLaughlin has written several adaptations influenced by Greek dramatists. The Trojan Women has been previously produced by other playwrights and producers. Some of the producers that have previously produced the play include Alfred Preisser in 2008 (Rocco 1), Wide Eyed Productions in 2011 (Denton 2) and Caroline Bird in 2012 (Black 2).

Design is effectively brought out in the production of the play. Marte Ekhougen creates a scenic design that is captivating. Marte Ekhougen does a commendable job in ensuring the actors are clad in costumes similar to clothing worn by women during ancient civilization. The costumes catch the eye of the audience. Hecuba is dressed in a grey tunic. Tunics are loose, sleeveless garments that were common during ancient civilization (Denton 1). This ensures creation of an ambiance similar to that experienced by the Trojan women after the Trojan War. Hellen is dressed in a yellow gown. Cassandras superstitious state is accentuated by putting on a white dress. Andromache is dressed in a pink sleeveless gown. Talthybius is dressed in military regalia revealing to the audience that the play is relevant in the contemporary society. Bloodstained rags are used to reveal the murders orchestrated by the Greeks against Trojan men. However, some of the costumes used by the actors are modern and not appropriate for an ancient Greek play (Stewart 2).

Sound elements are used to improve the plays production efforts. There is a chorus that ensures the creation of appropriate sound effects depending on the mood of the play. Ben Vigus does an exceptional job in controlling sounds to suite the mood of the play. Eerie humming sounds that are symbolic of unknown future events are used in the play to make the audience anticipate a negative happening. The eerie humming sounds make more sense when the women are enslaved by the Greeks. Lighting is effectively used to make the plays production a success. Lighting is designed in such a way that it changes from night to morning. Scott Gianelli does a commendable job in changing light to suite time, events and mood of the play (Feldman 2).

Acting elements in the play is in such a manner that ensures the production of the play is successful. Idle bodies are used to depict dead Trojan men killed by the Greeks. The actors give impassioned performances. For instance, when Talthybus, a Greek soldier comes to take Andromaches son, Andromache (Casey Wortmann) responds with palpable emotion (Rocco 1). However, some roles would have been better played with older women. For instance, DeCrane is too young to play the role of Hecuba. Irrespective of her young age, DeCrane did a commendable job in playing Hecuba. Phil Feldman fails to show toughness and firmness as Talthybius. Fieldman is sensitive yet as Talthybius, the Greek soldier; he should have shown toughness. Directing efforts make production of the play a success. Anne Cecilia Haney does a good job in ensuring that the actors display appropriate emotion and body language. Ellen McLaughlin has a rich knowledge of Greek history; she uses her knowledge of Greek to make an awesome play (Collin-Hughes 2).

In conclusion, design, sound, costume, directing and acting elements are integrated into the production of the play. The performance has achieved its production goals and objectives. I would recommend the play. However, the play has some weaknesses in the directing, acting and costume elements.

Works Cited

Black, Tom. Theatre Review: The Trojan Women. The Croydon Citizen. 2012. Accessed 6 November 2016.Collin-Hughes, Laura. Review: The Trojan Women Laments War and Bloodshed, From a Distance. The New York Times. 2016. Accessed 6 November 2016.

Denton, Martin. The Trojan Women. Indie Theatre Now. 2011. Accessed 6 November 2016.Feldman, Adam. Theatre review: The Trojan Women at the Flea Theatre. TimeOut NewYork. 2016. Accessed 6 November 2016.

Gluck, Victor. The Trojan Women. Theatre Scene Net. 2016. Accessed 6 November 2016.Mott, Diana. The Trojan Women at the Flea, still relevant after all these years. 2016. Accessed 6 November 2016.

Rocco, La Claudia. Bridging Civilizations to Make Sense of Slaughter. The New York Times. 2008. Accessed 6 November 2016.

Stewart, Zachary. The Trojan Women: The Bats presents a powerful adaptation of the classic anti- war play by Euripides. Theatre Mania. 2016. Accessed 6 November 2016.

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