The Trojan Women 2.0
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The Trojan Women 2.0 was a project that encompassed a year's worth of work. The project began in May 2009, when I took a backpacking trip through Europe and Africa. Part of the trip involved a 10 day stay in Morrocco, where I traveled to Marrakech, The Atlas Moutains, The Sahara Desert, Fez, and Tangier. The trip was a life altering experience that gave me the inspiration for The Trojan Women 2.0.
Charles Mee, a self proclaimed collage playwright, writes plays that are not simple or clean. As he states on his website "My plays are broken, jagged, filled with sharp edges, filled with things that take sudden turns, careen into each other, smash up, veer off in sickening turns." Morrocco seemed a perfect fit for the world that Charles Mee writes in. At any given point on the streets in Marrakech a shop keeper will holler at you to come vist their shop, 3 people on a single motor bike fly by, followed by a donkey hauling fresh fruit. Look to the skies, and you see buildings made of orange clay and topped with a sea of satellite dishes.
I was working within the constraints of a one-act play festival, and because of Mee's willingness to allow people to alter his work, I went to work on the play. The second act was cut, songs were removed, dialogue was switched around and rewritten, and a new opening was formed from a chance encounter.
During my time working on the play, I attened the Region IV Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and a school from Dubai had been invited to attend the festival. The school was offering a workshop in Middle Eastern dance, where I was taught a dance that became the foundation of the opening for the show. The dance was an improvised fight with scarves. Two men would come forward from opposite sides of the room and charge towards each other. They used the scarves like whips or swords, swinging, jumping, and diving. It was an artistic and simple way to show the the violene of the war and not tell the audience about it. Simplicty became one of the key tenants of the show.
The concept was simple, the Trojans became the Muslims and the Greeks became the Americans. The set was nothing more than 3 pots and the weapons were pieces of fabric. The show was not about spectacle, it was about people. The story of these women and how they all have coped with war is the power of this piece.
After a successful run at UCF and with the help of Pathos Theater Inc., the show was then taken to the Orlando International Fringe Festival. This marked my first production outside of the educational system. My work on the the play finally concluded in May 2010 at the festival. It was a year full of learning and new experiences but one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.