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Trojan Women: JCTC Reinvents Classic Tragedy for Today’s Times

originally published: 10/19/2018

Trojan Women: JCTC Reinvents Classic Tragedy for Today’s Times

(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) presents Trojan Women, a multimedia and multilingual adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy reimagined for today’s turbulent times. Trojan Women  opens Friday November 2nd for an 11-show run that closes on Sunday November 18 at Merseles Studios, 339 Newark Avenue, Jersey City. Tickets are $25 ($15/ Student and Senior Discount – must show valid ID).

This multimedia production – directed by Olga Levina, Artistic Director of JCTC – features a diverse cast of more than 15 actors with nearly as many additional artists as part of the production crew. These talented individuals include artists of international stature as well as those with regional renown. 

Some of the members include actors such as Tatyana Zbirovskaya, who worked in Russian theater before emigrating to the U.S. in the 1990s, Mahalet Dejene, an Ethiopian-born actress now working in the U.S., Aizzah Fatima, a Pakistani actress & playwright whose one-woman show Dirty Paki Lingerie has toured internationally and Sylvana Joyce, a local legend famous as the leader of the Jersey City-based Gypsy pro-rock band, Sylvana Joyce & The Moment.

The crew contains an equally impressive array of talent such as multimedia artists Laia Cabrera  and Isabella Duverger, who have won awards both in New York and Europe; Ekaterina Abramova an artist whose work is featured in museums and collections throughout the world and Frank Ippolito, a Jersey City-based artist and designer recently retired from a decades long career as a Museum of Natural History artist.

This extraordinary ensemble transformed the intimate, black box theater at Merseles Studios into a surreal dreamscape that brings new life to this timeless saga about the resilience and strength of women. “JCTC has  gathered an amazing mix of global and local talent because you need a cast and crew this diverse to truly spark a conversation about the ways “the other” is dehumanized through prejudice, oppression and violence in society,” said Levina. 



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Based on “The Trojan Women”  by Euripides, the play depicts the aftermath of the Greek/Trojan war  and the brutal occupation of Troy by the victorious Greek soldiers, who after slaughtering all the men, brutally assault the captured woman and separate them from their children. 

Will these only survivors of Troy be massacred as well, forced into marriage or slavery made to live like refugees in their devastated city, subject to the whims and desires of the occupying soldiers? Historians may trace the original Trojan Women, to 415 BC, but the timeless themes of oppression, displacement and resistance have never been more relevant. 

A major theme of Trojan Women is anti-violence – and with violence of all kinds still prevalent   – shootings, domestic violence, clashes between police and protestors and ongoing war in the Mideast – the JCTC production truly is a play for the way we live now. “Violence seems to be growing nationally, internationally and to be honest, locally as well,” said Levina. “Violence is touching all our lives and we need to truly understand and discuss the affect it is having so we can try and put a stop to it, or at least decrease it.” 

The play also conveys the violence and trauma of war. The multilingual approach replicates the alienation of war where miscommunication usually increases the suffering of victims. When casting the play, JCTC looked for actors fluent in a foreign language; 15 different languages are spoken in Trojan Women, although the majority of the dialogue spoken by the invading Greek soldiers is in English. This use of multiple languages enhances the realism of the play, while action, movement and projections help convey the story.

Since 2014, JCTC has presented and produced a range of theatre, dance, and readings known for being cutting-edge, provocative and relevant. With nontraditional set design, utilizing multimedia components of video, photography, performance art and sound-scaping, Trojan Women is an immersive experience that transcends conventional rules of drama, expands the classic text with contemporary monologues and breaks through the proverbial 4th Wall. JCTC has brought together a diverse team of artists from multiple disciplines and cultural backgrounds to create a Trojan Women for 21st century audiences. 

Jersey City Theater Center is located at Merseles Studios, 339 Newark Avenue in Jersey City, New Jersey. 

PHOTO: Olga Levina, Artistic Director, JCTC. Photograph by Bang Chau





Pebble Players Presents "Heathers, the Musical: High School Edition"
(SUMMIT, NJ) -- Celebrating their 10th season, Pebble Players has been entertaining Summit residents and audiences from surrounding towns with sophisticated Off-Broadway quality performances. The 2018 Season opens with "Heathers The Musical: High School Edition," directed by Jayne Myers and choreographed by Jaimie Woodruff.  Performances are Friday, November 16 and Saturday, November 17 at 7:30pm and Sunday, November 18 at 2:00pm. 
NJPAC Presents Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies
(NEWARK, NJ) -- New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) presents Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies from Thursday, March 21, 2019 - Saturday, March 23, 2019. The high-style music of “The Duke” is the heart and soul of this 1981 Tony-winning Broadway hit, directed with dazzle by André De Shields (The Wiz). Mercedes Ellington, granddaughter of Duke Ellington, re-creates the original show’s elegant dancing and tapping as choreographer.
Princeton Chinese Theatre in collaboration with the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theater present Teahouse by Lao She
(PRINCETON, NJ) --Princeton Chinese Theatre in collaboration with the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theater at Princeton University will present Teahouse by Lao She on November 16, 17 and 18 at 8:00pm and November 17 at 2:00pm in the Donald G. Drapkin Studio at the Lewis Arts complex on the Princeton campus. Teahouse is considered a masterpiece of contemporary Chinese theater, spanning 50 years in modern Chinese history from the collapse of the Qing dynasty and the Republican Revolution to the birth of the People’s Republic, bringing together over sixty characters who represent all walks of life. The production is directed by senior Changshuo Liu.
Axelrod's Rising Stars Youth Performing Arts Program Presents "Peter Pan"
(OCEAN TOWNSHIP, NJ) --  A family musical that’s perfect for the holiday season, “Peter Pan” is flying onto the Axelrod stage December 8-16. Axelrod’s award-winning Rising Stars Youth Performing Arts program presents one of Broadway’s timeless classics in a fully staged production directed by Lisa Goldfarb with musical direction by Randy Hurst and choreography by Wendy Roman.  
Mile Square Theatre Presents It’s a Wonderful Life: a live radio play
(HOBOKEN, NJ) --  Mile Square Theatre, Hudson County’s leading professional theatre, revives its beloved production of It’s a Wonderful Life: a live radio play by Joe Landry. Mile Square Theatre becomes a live recording studio in the golden age of radio, and MST theatre goers become the studio audience as WMST “goes on air” to broadcast Frank Capra’s popular holiday story. The production begins performances on Thursday, November 29 and runs till Sunday, December 23.  


Broadway’s Next H!T Musical LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s Friday, October 26, 2018, and the Broadway’s Next H!T Musical cast is just about ready to take the stage at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, located on the campus of Ocean County College in Toms River, NJ.
The Last Apple Pie: "Apples In Winter" Opens At Centenary Stage
Jennifer Fawcett’s new play centers around a mother in a kitchen, doing something countless people across America will take part in over the upcoming holiday season: making an apple pie.
See Andrea McArdle LIVE! in Annie at Deal Park’s Axelrod PAC!
Leapin’ Lizards! Annie’s finally made it to the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal Park, NJ, and it stars Broadway’s original Annie, Andrea McArdle, as Miss Hannigan!
"It's a Blast!" Go See Rock of Ages 10th Anniversary Tour NOW! at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino!
The five-time Tony award-nominated Broadway musical, Rock of Ages, returns to the stage with a 10th Anniversary Tour at Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino! Performed in the venue’s ultra-modern Sound Waves theater, Rock of Ages runs from now until November 4, 2018.
There's One In Every Family: "Charley's Aunt" at The Shakespeare Theatre
On stage now through November 18 at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, “Charley’s Aunt” is described as “part Oscar Wilde, part ‘Fawlty Towers,’ with a dash of South American spice!” This side-splitting British farce from 1892 has drag, mistaken identity, romance and plenty of physical comedy. Join Jesse and Dave at rehearsals in Florham Park to hear from the cast and director what makes this such a hilarious and enduring show.

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An interview with Shawn Fisher

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Cape May Stage presents the World Premiere of The Shuck by Shawn Fisher from September 19 through November 9th. Fisher grew up in Vineland, NJ and remains very connected to South Jersey despite being the Head of the MFA Program in Theatre at Utah State University.  He started the National Playwrights Symposium along with Roy Steinberg at Cape May Stage in 2013 and returns each year to be part of it. In addition to being a playwright, he’s also a set designer who has created sets for many theatres throughout New Jersey.








Event calendar
Tuesday, Nov 13, 2018


MUSIC

MARCUS KING BAND WITH SPECIAL GUEST IDA MAE @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

Gunhild Carling & Friends @ Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum, Morristown - 8:00pm

Toto—40 Trips Around the Sun @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm

Newark History Society Sarah "Sassy" Vaughan: The Life and Legacy of Newark's Own @ The Chase Room @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 7:00pm

Daniel Kahn and the Painted Bird @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 8:00pm

Visiting Writers: Michael Waters @ Wilson Auditorium at Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 4:30pm







THEATRE

Seeger @ The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCCArts), Branchburg - 1:00pm and 7:00pm

THE CHOIR OF MAN @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

OPEN Auditions for Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage @ Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Maplewood - 7:00pm

Auditions: Cinderella or the Story of Bigfoot @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 6:30pm

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