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Troilus and Cressida

24 Apr 2014 by In

Troilus and Cressida

Director / Choreographer

This deconstruction of what critics deem Shakespeare's 'most controversial play' is set site-specifically in a New Orleans themed bar in NYC.

The performance starts several blocks before you step foot in the theater, but you probably won't realize it till scene three when the homeless man who was asking you for money walks in the bar and begins to argue with Agamemnon about whether the Greeks should vote for President Bush or attack Troy. Meanwhile current news footage from the mornings attack on Iraq plays on the bar's TV screens interrupted with beer commercials for the bar's special draft, 'Helen of Troy,' which the bar holds a monopoly on, and in fact is the only beer you can drink in the bar. 
The piece is completely environmental and every audience members experience of it will be different. What begins as a very real bar experience - or at least Bourbon Street bar/club experience, further into the night will become something of a war zone as costumes, dialogue and movement become more theatrical, magical, surreal and less pedestrian. Shakespeare's language is mixed with pop music, video games, burlesque dancers, jazz singers, second lines, and bar slander over pool games. The entire last three scenes (the war battles) are enacted by a (mostly male) cast grabbing everyone in the bar and pushing most chairs and tables aside for a thirteen minute battle of lazer swords, kung fu martial arts and mosh pitting. Shakespeare's themes of male brutality and competition are played out over beer pong and card games, while his themes of female and male fetishism are propagated as much in physically overtly sexual go-go dancing, drag costumes and pin-up girl posters plastered all over the walls, as in the dirty language and foul jokes found in his text.

Collaborators
Direction/Choreography: Meryl Murman

Original Music/Musical Direction: Will Van Dyke and Jeff Funaro
 
Lighting Design: Brian Kim

Dramaturgy: Jessica Laney
 
Set Design: Ian Wallace
 
Costume Design: Melisa Daghini
 
Mask Design: Drue Koran
 
Technical Direction: Jared Goldstein
 
Assistant Choreography: Nigel Columbus, Neville Braithwaite

Performed: Peter Porte, Tim Drucker, Randy Blair, Melinda Stewart, Jessica Laney, Will Van Dyke, Ross Crain, Brian Cheng, Prentice Onayemi, Mike Wolter, Jamie King, Leah High, Matt Gibson, Jak Peters, Jeff Funaro, Neville Braithwaite, Nigel Columbus, Michelle Rosario, Christina Wren, Meetu Chilana, Chloe Taylor, and Beth Crandall.