Karen Malpede's TROY TOO is Coming to HERE in May

Troy Too is a poetic play in dialogue with Euripides’ The Trojan Women and the current crises of Covid, climate change, and racism.

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Theater Three Collaborative in New York and Persona Theater Company in Athens, two companies known for their social justice work, will present the world premiere of Karen Malpede's Troy Too, a poetic play in dialogue with Euripides' The Trojan Women and the current crises of Covid, climate change, and racism. Directed by Avra Sidiropoulou, Troy Too's multiracial cast features one of Greece's finest classical actresses, Lydia Koniordou, who brings a modern and ancient Hecuba to life in English and ancient Greek. This limited engagement runs May 11-21, 2023 at HERE (145 Sixth Avenue, Manhattan). Tickets are now on sale at www.here.org.

Crafted in the heat of 2020 from language found on the streets during the protests for racial justice, in hospitals during the Covid lockdown, and from the mouths of endangered fish in the sea, Troy Too is an enraged and poignant play of what we have survived, and a poetic elegy for those who did not. Greek director Sidiropoulou, known for her innovative multimedia stagings of modern and classical texts, brings Troy Too shockingly alive in an international production that cuts across languages and cultures. The play, one of the first to tackle the Covid pandemic, is an angry yet beautiful communal lament, one that has been lacking from public life.

"Troy Too solidifies our present moment, when three fatal threats, Covid, climate change, and racism, can be understood as one interrelated planetary crisis," says playwright Karen Malpede. "The piece is a memory of a crucially traumatic historical moment, and a prediction of suffering to come, unless we heed the experiences of the victims."

"Troy Too seized my heart upon first reading," says director Avra Sidiropoulou. "It speaks to our present-day global crisis in powerful ways. I'm honored to bring Karen's vision to the stage with a thrilling international cast and creative team."

Troy Too is dedicated to the memory of George Bartenieff (1933-2022), co-founder with Malpede of Theater Three Three Collaborative and actor, producer, activist, extraordinaire. Troy Too features Bartenieff on audio in his final performance.

Joining Koniordou in performance are Shona Tucker, Tommie J. Moore, Abigail Ramsay, Najla Said, David Glover, Ilker Oztop, and Di Zhu along with Ilia Pappa and Anthi Savvaki on film. The cast also includes a chorus of young students and graduates based in New York.

The creative team includes Tony Giovannetti (scenic and lighting design), Sally Ann Parsons (costume design), Vanias Apergis (composer), Michael Demetrius (director of photography & video art), Elena Vannoni (assistant director), Miriam Crowe (assistant lighting designer), Carissa Kelly (assistant costume designer), and Jee Duman (Production Stage Manager).

Ten performances of Troy Too will take place May 11-21, 2023 at HERE, located at 145 Sixth Avenue, just below Spring Street, in Manhattan. The performance schedule is Thursday-Saturday at 7pm and Saturday & Sunday at 2pm. There will be two talkback sessions with the cast immediately following the matinee performances. Critics are welcome as of May 11, which also serves as the opening. Tickets, at $10 (x10), $20 (standard), $30 (true cost), and $40 (Pay it Forward), are available at www.here.org. Standard ticketing fees apply.

The production is a part of SubletSeries@HERE: a curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as a technical liaison.

About the Artists

Karen Malpede (playwright) is the author/director of 21 plays, most recently Blue Valiant starring Kathleen Chalfant and George Bartenieff, and available on YouTube, and Other Than We, produced at LaMama in 2019, and available on Zoom at the Columbia University Earth Institute website. Recent: Dinner During Yemen, part of "Imagine: Yemen" at The Irene Diamond Signature Theater, 2018, publication Kenyon Review, Oct, 2018; Extreme Whether, LaMama, 2018, Paris ARTCOP21, 2015, Theater for the New City, 2014; The Beekeeper's Daughter, Theater for the New City, 2016 (revival), premiered 1995 at the Festival of World Drama, Veroli, Italy. "One of America's most prominent political playwrights," Marvin Carlson. Her seven books include Plays in Time: The Beekeeper's Daughter, Prophecy, Another Life, Extreme Whether (Intellect, 2017), editor: Acts of War: Iraq & Afghanistan in Seven Plays (Northwestern, 2011), A Monster Has Stolen the Sun and Other Plays (Marlboro, 1987), editor: Women in Theater: Compassion & Hope (Drama Book, 1984). She is a frequent contributor to The Kenyon Review; short fiction and essays on theater, ecology and literature are published in TriQuarterly, Confrontations, The Drama Review, New Theatre Quarterly, New York Times, anthologies. McKnight National Playwrights Fellowship, Ludwig Vogelstein and NYFA (then, CAPS) playwriting awards. She is adjunct Associate Professor of Theater Arts and Environmental Justice at John Jay College, CUNY. MFA, Columbia.

Avra Sidiropoulou (director) is Artistic Director of Persona Theater Company in Athens and Associate Professor of Theatre at the Open University of Cyprus. Her theater projects include visual and multimedia adaptations of the classical repertoire, but also contemporary formally innovative texts. Her work traveled to different parts of the globe including Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Italy, Iran, the US and the UK. Her production Clytemnestra's Tears was part of La MaMa ETC's repertory in 2007, receiving laudatory reviews. Avra recently directed Enter Hamlet (Verona Shakespeare Fringe Festival 2022); Sophie Treadwell's Machinal at the Cyprus Theatre Organization (Spring 2022); Bryony Lavery's Frozen (Skala Theatre, Larnaca, Nicosia, Fall 2020); Phaedra I- (text: Sidiropoulou -Tristan Bates Theatre, London 2019); A Doll's House (Technochoros Ethal, Limassol and Nicosia 2019), and an animated adaptation of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 1892 short story The Yellow Wallpaper. She has written several books and research articles on directing theory and practice, most notably, Authoring Performance: The Director in Contemporary Theatre (Palgrave Macmillan 2011) and Directions for Directing. Theatre and Method (Routledge 2019). Avra was nominated for the League of Professional Theatre Women 2020 Gilder/Goigney International Award.

About Theater Three Collaborative

Since 1995, Theater Three Collaborative has been creating, developing and producing poetic, character-driven plays on crucial topics of the day. It was founded by Karen Malpede with the late Lee Nagrin and the late George Bartenieff to produce Malpede's The Beekeeper's Daughter. Theater Three Collaborative was awarded an Obie for I Will Bear Witness which starred Bartenieff and was directed by Malpede. The company also created and hosted Festivals of Conscience, talks and talkbacks with public intellectuals, activists and specialists in the field of the play. www.theaterthreecollaborative.org

About Persona Theater Company

Persona Theater Company was founded in Athens by director and academic Avra Sidiropoulou in 2004. It is made up of artists working internationally in the theater, dance, music, visual and digital arts. Our philosophy is one of inclusion and diversity and our artistic vision is to create theater events, where different forms of art and media can interweave freely. The company and its members have presented their work in different parts of the world, including the United States, the UK, Turkey, Italy and Iran. Our performances have been funded by the European Union, the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, the Hellenic Culture Organization, the Onassis Foundation, and the J.F.Costopoulos Foundation. www.persona.gr


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