CLU presents modern 'Trojan Women'

Students researched war victims to create characters

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Matthew Case is Talthybius and Kelie McIver plays Hecuba. Photo: Brian Stethem

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Oct. 18, 2012) California Lutheran University will present a contemporary adaptation of “The Trojan Women” by Euripides Nov. 8 through 18 on the Thousand Oaks campus.

Performances of the Fall Mainstage Production are slated for 8 p.m. Nov. 8, 9, 10, 14, 15 and 17, and at 2 p.m. Nov. 18 in the Black Box Studio Theatre.

Written 2,500 years ago, Euripides’ “The Trojan Women” is a powerful commentary on the nature of war and its aftermath. CLU’s production will be set in what appears to be a bomb crater from a contemporary war. In a modern sterile structure overlooking the devastation of war, Poseidon and Athene dispassionately discuss the results of the war much like a modern, powerful female secretary of state and a male political leader.

The female actors who comprise the chorus and principal Trojan Women represent various victims of war including survivors of the World War II Holocaust, women of the Bosnian/Serbian conflict, mothers whose children were secretly abducted or imprisoned by South and Latin American regimes and Rwandan victims of tribal rape and extinction. Each cast member researched the story of a specific victim of war and created a character based on her and the woman of Troy she plays.

The audience will be seated in a unique “tennis court” configuration looking down into the acting area and will be formal witnesses to the plight of the women as armed guards patrol throughout the production.

Major players include the following: Catie Widmann, a senior theatre arts major from Boulder, Colo., as Helen; Karolina Keach, a junior theatre arts major from Calabasas, as Athene; Martin Gonzalez, a senior theatre arts major from Hesperia, as Poseidon; Patty Jaramillo, a sophomore theatre arts major from Van Nuys, as Andromache; Erik Klein, a junior theatre arts major from Granada Hills, as Menelaus; Matthew Case, a freshman theatre arts major from Newbury Park, as Talthybius; and Aubrey Kaye, a sophomore computer/math major from Camarillo, as Cassandra. Professional actor Kelie McIver, who portrayed the Nurse in the 2012 Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival production of “Romeo and Juliet,” is the guest artist playing Hecuba.

Theatre arts professor Michael J. Arndt directs. Set design is by Nathanial Sinnott, costume design is by Valerie Miller, and lighting design is by Gary Mintz. The original background score is by Christopher Hoag. Hoag has composed music for films, video games and television shows including the music for the pilot for “House.” The production was adapted from Euripides by Jean Paul Sartre and translated into English by Ronald Duncan.

The Black Box Studio Theatre is located in the Theatre Arts Building on the north side of Memorial Parkway near Pioneer Avenue.

Admission is $10. For more information, call the Theatre Arts Department at 805-493-3415.