BSC theater

Trojan Women

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

Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World

Reviewing a BSC Underground Theatre Production

Julia Degnan, Salma Crank, Kirstin Quinn, Charity Furr, Tania Alverez, Jada Cato, and Sarah “Charlie” Freeman are all girls cast for BSC’s 2016 Fall Production of Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls around the World. This play, like many other productions at BSC, is designed to make viewers think. On opening night, Emotional Creature was introduced as having “mature content.” Not only did the play have mature content, but, being in the Underground Theater, it was also up close and personal.

This play came about from a book written by Eve Ensler: I am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls around the World. Ensler wrote this book based on her experience when she asked girls if they liked being girls. Most of these girls did not, until one girl stood up and said, “I love being a girl. I’m an emotional creature.”

Emotional Creature is written in a way that not only forces you to think about the issues facing girls in today’s society but also encourages you to embrace your inner girl by using powerful lines such as: “Those feelings make me better. They make me present. They make me ready. They make me strong.”

The cast for Emotional Creature portrayed the unfortunately common struggles that girls in western society face, such as body image, sexual identity, pregnancy, suicide, and sex. The play also delves into issues that still face girls around the world, such as sex slavery, genital mutilation, factory work, and non-consensual surgeries to alter body image.

The opening act of Emotional Creature focuses on a girl trying to take the “perfect” selfie. It is a simple scene, but it portrays the complex expectations of social media, which demands girls put on an appealing façade to show the world. The talented cast transitioned between multiple characters portraying scenes of common subjects that affect girls in our society. In between those scenes, featured cast members performed monologues portraying severe issues that affect girls around the world.

In one scene, the characters play a rather grim game of “Would You Rather”, highlighting the harsh judgments of society if girls should somehow find themselves in these positions. This theater production was heartbreaking, and yet it provokes insight and empowerment as the cast resounds in unity, “I am an emotional. I am an emotional, irrotional*, devotional creature.”

*irrotional is a made up word for rhyming purposes and is thought to mean explosive.

Feature photo and photo via Creative Commons.