AU Theatre Examines The Strength Of Women Across The Wars In ‘The Trojan Women’

AU Theatre Examines The Strength Of Women Across The Wars In ‘The Trojan Women’

11/1/17 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University Department of Theatre continues the 2017-2018 season with Euripides’ classic Greek drama, “The Trojan Women,” with translation by Richmond Lattimore. Directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Robert Sean-Parker, performances run for one week with 7:30 p.m. evening performances on Wednesday, Nov. 8, through Saturday, Nov. 11, and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Nov. 12, in the Studio Theatre. Audiences are advised that seating is limited and advance purchase of tickets is recommended.

Euripides wrote this play addressing what happened to the Trojan women whose husbands, fathers and sons were killed by the Greeks during the Trojan War. In this timeless story about the victims of war, this story examines the tragic fates of these women who were taken from their land and were used as slaves or concubines. 

Director Parker explains in his director's notes, “These women are beacons for us all...Euripides presented important issues and represented women victimized by patriarchy. They were defiant, and although provoked by male abuse, took action and believed in hope...The Trojan Women are a symbol of strength. They are not victims but survivors who should be respected. They are a fortress that is incombustible. These women oppose patriarchal order and strive for equality, respect and control of their own bodies.”

With the theatre season’s theme of “Building Bridges,” AU Theatre is striving to provide opportunities to better understand ourselves and others with performances that encourage dialogue about challenges in our world today. Parker connects the year-long schedule of programs presented by the College of Arts & Sciences’ Symposium Against Indifference with The Trojan Women production by saying, "Let’s build bridges through dialogue and have No More Enemies. Open our hearts with Interfaith Dialogue. Find Strength Through Connection. Find inspiration in helping and nurturing a desire to help others with our Voices Inside. Let’s get Filtered Through Networks and know what’s important."

The Trojan women are led by Hecuba, the Queen of Troy, played by Kathleen Thompson Parker (Ashland); Hecuba's daughter, Kassandra, played by Ivey Buffenmyer (Ashland); her daughter-in-law, Andromache, played by Gabriella Carr (Pickerington); along with Holly Fongheiser (Wadsworth), Chelle Hannah Frye (Danville), AnnMarie Hill (Mansfield), Emily Schordock (Westlake), Naomi Sims (Grapevine, Texas) and Alyssa Srail (Medina) as the chorus of captive Trojan women. Community member Jace Rickard plays Andromache’s son, Astyanax. 

The Greek Gods Poseidon and Athene are portrayed by Nik Demers (Shelby) and Mia Kardotzke (Clyde) while Greek leaders include King Menelaso of Sparta played by Will Taylor (Fairborn); his wife, Helen of Troy, played by Macy Campbell (Genoa); and Talthybios, the herald, played by Zack Hamilton (Canal Winchester). Rounding out the cast are the Greek soldiers played by Eric Breeden (Medina), Ethan Tingler (Roseville) and Dave Tomlinson (Northfield).   

AU Theatre is proud to host alumnus D. Justin Bilewicz III (2009) as the show's guest costume designer. With a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies in Costume Design, his theatrical credits extend across Northeast Ohio, working as a costume designer for community and academic theatre in Amherst, Cleveland, Lorain, Shaker Heights, Case Western Reserve University and Westlake. He is also the costume shop supervisor for Ashland University. Bilewicz’s costume design credits include Mothers and Sons (Beck Center for the Arts), Carrie, the Musical (Sandstone Summer Theatre), Waiting For Lefty (Case Western Reserve University), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Fine Arts Association), Willy Wonka (French Creek Theatre), Sister Act (Sandstone Summer Theatre), and Parade (French Creek Theatre). He will be designing French Creek Theatre’s production of Annie this upcoming Holiday Season. 

Other production designers include AU Theatre Technical Director J. Michael Desper as the scenic designer with junior musical theatre major Maya Rickard (Wooster) as the associate scenic designer; Parker as the sound designer with support from Ingrid Schmidt (Mansfield) as assistant designer, and a joint lighting design by the lighting design class. 

Patricia E. Lanious is the show’s production manager with senior theatre majors Seth Morrison (Millersburg) and Megan Harvey (Medina) as the technical/lighting director and stage manager/dramaturg, respectively. Buffenmyer and Demers are the assistant stage managers; and alumnus Dusten Welch (2007), the fight choreographer.  

As arranged by Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre honor society, patrons attending the performances are asked to bring donations of house cleaning and kitchen supplies, pillows and kid-friendly snacks which will be given to the Safe Haven Domestic Violence Shelter. Cash donations also will be accepted. In conjunction with the performances, the theatre also will host Safe Haven’s silhouettes exhibit representing Ashland County women who have lost their lives to domestic violence.

Tickets for the performances are: $12 for adult; $10 for senior citizens, AU faculty, staff and alumni; $8 for groups of 10 or more, $5 for non-AU students, and $2 for Ashland University students with ID. Patrons are reminded that all ticket holders are invited to the opening night reception with the cast and crew immediately following the Wednesday, Nov. 8, performance. 

To purchase tickets, call the Ashland University Box Office at 419-289-5125Monday through Friday12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; or purchase online 24/7 at www.ashland.edu/tickets. For more information about the department of theatre, visit www.ashland.edu/theatre, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AshlandUniversityTheatre or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or tapplega@ashland.edu.

Ashland University, ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2017, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.
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