Posted by boston.com February 19, 2014 10:00 AM
Unusual doings are happening just outside Somerville's Davis Square, where a new theater company is temporarily transforming a science education center into a stage scene from ancient Greece.
From February 21 through March 8, Artists' Theater of Boston is performing Charle Mee's "Trojan Women: A Love Story," a contemporary take on a classic Greek tragedy that tackles war, love, gender and human frailty. Audience members are invited to post-show talk-back conversations with cast and crew and others.
Mee may not be a household name, but ATB hopes to introduce local audiences to the provocative, witty and prolific writer respected for his sharp aim challenging all forms of stereotypes and prejudice.
Based on the Greek tragedy of Euripides, the play starts in ancient Troy, seething with the lingering pain of the Trojan War and the brutality against women. Later, the action is transported to Carthage, where Queen Dido of Greek mythology strives to rid her community of patriarchal oppression. This women-ruled society is loving, beautiful, filled with music, and peaceful. Over time, however, the oppressive cycles Carthage vowed to keep out are, tragically, not so simply broken.
"Artists' Theater of Boston chose to produce Trojan Women because of its power and beauty," says Will Jobs, of Waltham, who co-launched the new theater company last Fall with Anneke Reich. Jobs, who lives in Waltham, plays the role of Aeneas. “The play stitches together the well-known Greek tragedy with contemporary pieces to confront how power and gender manifest in war and love,” Jobs says. Reich, a trained vocalist of Medford, plays the role of Andromache.
“Mee's language is often course and abrasive but at the same time soft and sweet like the shore,” says director Anthony Rios of Somerville. “ The play asks the actors and the audience to think about times life hurt as well as times life was triumphant,” Rios adds.
Shows will be Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, from February 21st to March 8th at Sprout in Davis Square (339R Summer St., Somerville, MA - map: http://goo.gl/maps/1RCvf). Tickets will be pay-what-you-can ($5 starting point, greater contributions appreciated, and no one turned away). There will be a talk back after each performance.
For more information, visit www.artiststheater.org.