TROJAN WOMEN - Jersey City Theater Center, 2018
“Trojan Women” is a multimedia play directed by Olga Levina based on the Greek tragedy by Euripides.
Projection Mapping and Artwork by Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger
November 2-18, 2018 at JCTC-Merseles Studios, Jersey City
Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) presents Trojan Women, a multimedia and multilingual adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy re-imagined for today's turbulent times.
This multimedia production - directed by Olga Levina, Artistic Director of JCTC - features a diverse cast of more than 15 actors with nearly as many additional artists as part of the production crew. These talented individuals include artists of international stature as well as those with regional renown.
Some of the members include actors such as Tatyana Zbirovskaya, who worked in Russian theater before emigrating to the U.S. in the 1990s, Mahalet Dejene, an Ethiopian-born actress now working in the U.S., Aizzah Fatima, a Pakistani actress & playwright whose one-woman show Dirty Paki Lingerie has toured internationally and Sylvana Joyce, a local legend famous as the leader of the Jersey City-based Gypsy pro-rock band, Sylvana Joyce & The Moment.
The crew contains an equally impressive array of talent such as multimedia artists Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger, who have won awards both in New York and Europe; set design by Frank Ippolito.
This extraordinary ensemble transformed the intimate, black box theater at Merseles Studios into a surreal dreamscape that brings new life to this timeless saga about the resilience and strength of women. "JCTC has gathered an amazing mix of global and local talent because you need a cast and crew this diverse to truly spark a conversation about the ways "the other" is dehumanized through prejudice, oppression and violence in society," said Levina.
Based on "The Trojan Women" by Euripides, the play depicts the aftermath of the Greek/Trojan war and the brutal occupation of Troy by the victorious Greek soldiers, who after slaughtering all the men, brutally assault the captured woman and separate them from their children.
Will these only survivors of Troy be massacred as well, forced into marriage or slavery made to live like refugees in their devastated city, subject to the whims and desires of the occupying soldiers? Historians may trace the original Trojan Women, to 415 BC, but the timeless themes of oppression, displacement and resistance have never been more relevant.
A major theme of Trojan Women is anti-violence - and with violence of all kinds still prevalent - shootings, domestic violence, clashes between police and protestors and ongoing war in the Mideast - the JCTC production truly is a play for the way we live now. "Violence seems to be growing nationally, internationally and to be honest, locally as well," said Levina. "Violence is touching all our lives and we need to truly understand and discuss the affect it is having so we can try and put a stop to it, or at least decrease it."
The play also conveys the violence and trauma of war. The multilingual approach replicates the alienation of war where miscommunication usually increases the suffering of victims. When casting the play, JCTC looked for actors fluent in a foreign language; 15 different languages are spoken in Trojan Women, although the majority of the dialogue spoken by the invading Greek soldiers is in English. This use of multiple languages enhances the realism of the play, while action, movement and projections help convey the story.
Tatyana Zbirovskaya, Hecuba | Natalia Volkodaeva, Andromache | Mahalet Dejene, Cassandra | Dina Manganaris, Helen | Naya A. Desir-Johnson, Astyanax
Steven Martin, Athena/Greek soldier | Zach Hendrickson, Poseidon/Greek soldier | Kevin Terwin, Menelaus/Greek soldier | Oliver Henry Fishman, Talthybius/Greek soldier
Trojan Women: Paula de Lima Torres, Daphnee McMaster, Julia Malinovskaya, Lorena Ibeth Marin Ortiz, Te'ena Klein, Sylvana Joyce, Aizzah Fatima
Greeks: Sanio Kurtesevic, John St. Croix
Steven Vessella – Stage Manager
Laia Cabrera & Isabelle Duverger – Scenography, visuals, video-mapping projections design
Frank Ippolito – Art and Set Designer and Construction
Lance A Michel – Lighting Designer, Tech Director
Fernando Ayres – Venue Manager, Technician
Matthew Holowienka – Costume Designer
Lucy Rovetto – Image and art design
Ekaterina Abramova – Artist, Cover Image
Jenny Brover – Art Photography