Trojan Women Take the Stage to Tell a Story with Modern Parallels
Trojan Women, written in 415 BC by Euripides, focuses on the trials of the women left behind in Troy during the Trojan War. Hecuba, queen of Troy, Cassandra, her daughter and a tribe of other women have lost their husbands, homes and luxuries, only to become slaves of an opposing Greek force. Filled with themes of death, loss and mourning, the Greek tragedy strikes an uncanny parallel with worldly tragedies occurring today, such as the Syrian refugee crisis.
For the past five years, bans of terrorists have spread throughout Syria, destroying homes, murdering citizens and enslaving women of their liking. This past October, there was a feature on 60 Minutes, during which Bill Whitacre informed his audience on the Syrian crisis. The information that Whitacre shared helps shed light on the connection between Trojan Women and this international crisis.
“The war in Syria has taken the lives of almost a half-million people, leveled entire cities and created the largest refugee crisis since the end of World War II,” Whitacre reported. Those that flee to neighboring countries, like Jordan, to register for the UN to gain passage to the United States endure harsh questioning and discrimination. Whitacre continued, “[Their] irises are scanned to establish their identity. Less than one percent will get that chance.” A mass genocide is happening before our very eyes, and in Trojan Women, that destructive, violent, 'necessary' genocide is literally manifesting itself before you.
Much like Syrian immigrant women, Hecuba and her newly found sisters create art together to express their emotions, purge their fears and anxieties and bond with one another to make life somewhat more pleasurable. Kelly Vaghenas, an artist, often observes refugee women sketching and engaging in other forms of visual art. Cassandra, Hecuba and even Helen use movement, dance, music and spoken word to communicate their sorrows, wants, needs and concerns.
As Vaghenas powerfully explained, “What can humans cling to in such desolation? The things that make us human. We have the ability to feel and express and create.”
Trojan Women will open Thursday, April 27th on the main stage in the theater on BSC's campus. If you would like to hear more about the play, there will be a Provost Forum Tuesday, April 25th during common hour in the theater auditorium.
Feature photo via Stephanie Lee