Bloody Valentine? Lincoln College Fine Arts Presents Euripides's "The Trojan Women"
February 13, 2013, Review and slideshow By T. A. Bergin, It's not a warm, fuzzy, feel-good, romantic Valentine's Day show, but you
should see "The Trojan Women" anyway. This final play in Euripides's trilogy about the Trojan War opens tonight, Feb. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the Johnston Center for the Performing Arts, and kicks off the spring season for Lincoln College's Fine Arts department. Despite having been written in 5th century BC, the play is quite accessible to the modern audience, and LC's students bring the characters to life with strong, heartfelt performances.
Leading the cast is theatre major Lauren Stanfield as Hecuba, the Trojan queen who mourns the death of her husband and sons, and the loss of her daughter Cassandra to the Greek general Agamemnon. Though just a freshman, Stanfield is thoroughly convincing as the despairing, middle-aged queen.
Cassandra, crazed by a curse that lets her see the future, is played brilliantly by another freshman, Elizabeth Jaegle. Though she only has a few brief scenes, she fills the stage with energy and presence. Also getting high marks for stage presence is Riley Dobson as Menelaus, the Greek warrior and husband of fabled beauty Helen, played by Alexa Maxey.
And what is a Greek play without the Chorus? On stage and full of emotion through the entire performance, the Chorus-Beth Daniels, Kristin Davis, Jasmine Jordan, Kristi Petrelli, and Deena Willingham-is strongly led by senior theatre major Casey Barretts, who at one point laments "So life is woven, full of knots!" I suspect that many people today, even here in Lincoln, can relate to the sentiment of life being 'full of knots.'
The set, designed by LC theatre graduate Mikel Frost, is possibly the largest ever constructed for the Meyer Auditorium, and has been very effectively lit by freshman theatre major Levert Wilkins. Costumes and props were designed by Courtney Crowell and Lauren Reade. The show is directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Kenneth Kendall; technical director is Martin Holden, assistant director of theatre and speech.
A word of warning: in the ancient world, the fate of women in the wake of war was not a pleasant one, and the playwright does not mince words. There's no on-stage violence, but the story covers some mature content and probably deserves a PG-13 rating. The show runs approximately 70 minutes, with no intermission. The production has been entered in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.
Performances of "The Trojan Women" are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 13, through Saturday, February 16, with a matinee at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 17, on the main stage in the Johnston Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $7; student tickets are $1 with a valid student ID. Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at (217) 732-3155 ext. 280.