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Published: Thursday, 2/26/2009

Euripides' 'The Trojan Women' has relevance today


Productions both classic and new grace area stages in the coming week.

Bowling Green State University's department of theater and film presents the oldest of the three, Euripides' The Trojan Women.

First produced during the Peloponnesian War (431-401 B.C.) between Athens and Sparta, the drama about war and those left behind to deal with its consequences is relevant today, director Hephzibah (Nicky) Dutt of Orange City, Iowa, said in a press release.

The play not only considers the women and children who must battle painful memories, it also shows what happens to the subjugated, who are filled with the rage and bitterness of the injustice done to them.

The cast includes Alex Bean of Mount Clemens, Mich.; Janell Blanks of Dayton; D.J. Gierhart of Upper Sandusky, Ohio; Elizabeth Guthrie of Durham, N.C.; Sadie Martin of Logan, Ohio; Ali Schmidt of Toledo; J.P. Staszel of Pittsburgh; Carrie Williams of Perrysburg; Brent Winzek of North Huntingdon, Pa.; Leigh Yenrick of Rossford, and 6-year-old Bowling Green resident Andelus Star Elwazani.

"The Trojan Women" is scheduled at 8 p.m. today and tomorrow and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday in the Joe E. Brown Theatre in University Hall on the Bowling Green campus. Tickets are $12 for adults and students, $6 for children under 12, and $5 for senior citizens. Information: 419-372-2719.

Jeff Daniels wrote Escanaba in Da Moonlight in the mid-1990s for his Purple Rose Theater in Chelsea, Mich. The comedy about deer hunters in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan has been so embraced by regional and community theaters that he wrote a prequel about the Soady family, setting it 40 years earlier.

Escanaba in Love, which premiered at the Purple Rose in 2006, opens tomorrow in Adrian's Croswell Opera House.

Key to Moonlight was Albert Soady, Jr., and his two sons, Reuben and Remnar. Key to Love is Albert as a young man. The deer camp's still there, and that's where three generations of Soady men are gathering to bid farewell to Albert, Jr., 18, as he prepares to go off to World War II. When Albert arrives, he has a surprise with him: Big Betty Balou, whom he "won" in a kissing contest and married the same day.

Directed by Terrance Hissong, the cast features Adrian residents Nathan Kemper as Albert, Jr., Tim Ray as Albert, Sr., and Tim Brayman as Salty Jim Negamanee; Leo Zainea of Jackson, Mich., as Great-Grandpa Alphonse, and Elizabeth Palmer of Toledo as Big Betty Balou.

The show may not be suitable for preteens and younger children.

The Croswell Opera House, 129 East Maumee St., Adrian, presents "Escanaba in Love" at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through March 8. Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $18 for students, with discounts available for the upper balcony. Information: 517-264-7469.

The National Players, a professional troupe based in Olney, Md., brings a light-hearted Shakespearean adaptation to Sylvania as part of Lourdes College's Theater Vision program.

The comedy As You Like It centers on two brothers, both powerful dukes whose power struggles have the court in chaos; their daughters, who flee the court to the Forest of Arden, and two other brothers fighting over an inheritance.

As in many of Shakespeare's comedies, there are disguises, false identities, and mistakes made in the name of love, but all gets sorted out by the end.

The Theater Vision program is aimed at school field trips, but the public is invited if space is available. Appropriate grade levels are often suggested for productions, but the National Players aim to make Shakespeare classics accessible to a wide range of ages.

"As You Like It" is scheduled at 10 a.m. Wednesday and March 5 in the Franciscan Theatre & Conference Center of Lourdes College, 6832 Convent Blvd., Sylvania. Tickets are $10. Information: 419-824-3986.

Contact Nanciann Cherry at: ncherry@theblade.com or 419-724-6130.

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