‘Women of Troy’ showcases young thespians

Published 11:15 pm Tuesday, October 7, 2008

“The Women of Troy” is not like most high school plays.

In fact, it’s like few high school plays.

“‘The Women of Troy’ is very different from anything that we have done here at Charles Henderson,” said Jessica Booth, drama teacher at Charles Henderson High School. “The Women of Troy’ is more like a play that you would see at the Shakespeare Theater or at a theater in a bigger city. It’s based on the classical Greek play, ‘Trojan Women’ by Euripides and is a modern retelling of what happens to the women of Troy who were left behind after the war between ancient Troy and Greece.”

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Booth said she chose “The Women of Troy” for an obvious reason.

“The cast of ‘The Women of Troy’ is primarily female and we have a lot of strong female talent this year,” she said. “I wanted a play that would showcase this talent and also challenge them to do something different. And, too, we’re from Troy and there’s that connection.”

The play will be performed at The Cultural Arts Studio and Booth chose the venue because of the intimacy of the small setting.

“‘The Women of Troy’ is an intense drama,” Booth said. “Having the actors so close to the audience builds on the intensity. We didn’t want to compromise the intimacy of the show by performing it in a larger theater.

“We often forget about the people who are left behind in the ruins of war. Women and children are the real victims of the uncertainty and terror of living in those circumstances.”

The one-act play will be entered into competition at the Trumbauer Performing Arts Festival in Opelika on Nov.1 and will compete with schools Montgomery, Lee, Russell and others schools in the district.

“The tone of ‘The Women of Troy’ is somber and contains serious themes,” Booth said. “As a director, I tend to prefer more lighthearted pieces. However, in order to be competitive, we have to challenge ourselves to step outside the norm and be willing to take on the gritty side of theater. I think our actors have met the challenge beautifully.”

The 13-member play was cast in May and rehearsals began in July in preparation for the Trumbauer competition. The trip is made possible through grants from the Troy City Schools Education Foundation and Troy Arts Council and patron donations.

“The Women of Troy” will be performed at a private showing on Thursday night for patrons of the CHHS drama program and for the Troy Arts Council, the program’s major benefactor. The public performance will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11. Both performances will be at The Cultural Arts Studio on East Walnut Street.

Cast members are Charlotte Smith, Allyson Rogers, Jessica Smith, Brad Deal, Amelia Berry, Olivia Bensinger, Ariel Peterson, Keiara Foster, Nicole Grimes, Katie Blocher and Stephen Pettrey.

Tickets for “The Women of Troy” are $3 each and are available by calling Jessica Booth at 566-3510. Tickets are limited .