Called "the most gut-wrenching antiwar play of all" by The New York Times, Euripides' The Trojan Women doesn't pull any punches.
That's just fine with Sue Klemp, a lecturer in the University's theatre program, who will direct Nevada Repertory Company's production of The Trojan Women, which opens Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the University's Redfield Proscenium Theatre in the Church Fine Arts Building. Productions continue Nov. 10, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18.
Euripides wrote The Trojan Women in 415 B.C. in reaction to the Greek invasion of the island of Melos, which remained neutral during the long Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. Athenian military forces captured the island, killed the men and enslaved the women and children, provoking the citizenry of Athens and starting debates on the morality of the war.
Klemp says she told her cast and crew of students and community members right up-front that The Trojan Women is an antiwar play. Period. She gave them the opportunity to decline participation if they had problems with the play's politics. No one did.
"The play is very timely," Klemp said. "The more you look at it, the more it reflects what we're seeing today. It represents all wars, warriors and victims left in the aftermath looking at what remains—rubble, people mourning, cultures destroyed, genocide. It's a statement about the horrors of war."
Set in the aftermath of the mythical Trojan War, The Trojan Women examines the futility and inhumanity of political violence. In a play timeless in its focus on the ravages of war and the pain and suffering of its innocent victims, Euripides castigates the barbarity of the "civilized" Greeks.
"The play suggests that no matter how important the reasons for war appear to be at the time, we need to look harder, demand more answers before allowing war to begin," Klemp said. "We need to demand more power as citizens before it's too late."
Klemp said Nevada Repertory Company's fall production underscores the universality of Euripides' message about the horrors of war and humanity's seeming inability to break out of a cycle of violence.
"It's set in Troy as a symbol of any land left in ruin," she said. "There are some anachronisms in the visual images; the set will lend itself to any destroyed country or city. Wars keep happening, these consequences continue to come to be, people continue to justify brutality. Doing a play like this calls attention to war and asks, ‘Do we really want to do this?'"
Nevada Repertory Company at the University of Nevada, Reno presents the second production of its 35th anniversary 2007-08 season, The Trojan Women, written by Euripides, new translation by Nicholas Rudall, directed by Sue Klemp, Nov. 9, 10, 14, 15, 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee Nov. 18 at 1:30 p.m., at the University of Nevada, Reno's Redfield Proscenium Theatre in the Church Fine Arts Building.
For more about Nevada Repertory Company at the University of Nevada, Reno, visit: http://www.unr.edu/nevadarep
Individual tickets: Opening weekend special $13/ Mid-week special (Wed. and Thurs.) $15/ Adult $17/ Senior, child and student $15
Individual tickets are available (without a convenience fee) at Lawlor Events Center, 1500 N. Virginia St., Reno, lower level entrance, Mon.-Fri. from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sat. from 10 a.m.-1 pm.; or at the Church Fine Arts Building box office on campus, one hour prior to performances. Tickets are available (with a convenience fee) online at http://www.unr.edu/arts, or by calling 1-(800) 225-2277.
Free parking is available after 7 p.m. in the Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex north of the Church Fine Arts Building and in the Sierra Street Garage one block west of Virginia Street between 11th Street and College Drive. There is also a convenient patron drop-off outside the Church Fine Arts Building on North Virginia Street.
For additional performance, gallery and arts events or to order a copy of the University of Nevada, Reno's arts Calendar, visit the www.unr.edu/arts or call (775) 784-4ART or 1-(800) 233-8928
Funding for Nevada Repertory Company at the University of Nevada, Reno is provided in part by the City of Reno.