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Troilus 2: The Rave Warrior

Shakespeare's tragedy of the Trojan War finds new life as a post-apocalpytic rave.

By Kelley E. Morrell

One would never have thought that tragedy and techno would go hand in hand, but as director Martijn Hostetler '00 shows in his creation of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, perhaps the two worlds are not so dramatically different after all. Set in a post-apocalyptic rave, the title characters are not dressed in the expected and traditional 17th-century garb but in silver flare bell-bottoms, platform shoes, halter tops and body glitter thanks to the costume designing expertise of Valerie de Charette '02. While I'm sure that the scandlous sex scenes, glow sticks, extensive homoeroticism and use of the words "duh!" and "whatever" were not in Shakespeare's original blueprint, the play still manages to come off as intriguing, comical and touching due to Hostetler's expert direction.

Troilus and Cressida opens with the Greek forces, led by Menelaus' brother Agamemnon, having continually besieged Troy for the previous seven years. Shakespeare concentrates on the opposition between the Greek hero Achilles and the Trojan Hector. Troilus and Cressida is considered a tragedy, playing upon the death of its tragic hero, Hector. Shakespeare also shows how the war caused by one love affair destroys another. The stories of the love between the Trojan Troilus and the Grecian Cressida, encouraged by her uncle Pandarus and of Cressida's desertion of Troilus for the Greek Diomedes, are medieval additions to the heroic narrative.

While a Shakespearean show set in such a different stage could have very easily been misleading, confusing and distracting, the clean acting, excellent technical direction, and the finer details left up to the director, Hostetler, cast this production into a field high above the rest. James Carmichael '01 returns to the stage in the beautifully interpreted role of Troilus. Although occassionally distracted by the moaning sex in the background or the raving pole dancers swinging from the pseudo-club stage, Carmichael's impeccable performance ensures that Shakespeare's true sentiment was not lost in the flashing lights and glow sticks.

Along with Carmichael's magnificent performance, the role of Thersites, performed by Thandi Parris '02 is also stunning. Both manage to convey Shakespeare's real emotion through their poise, enthusiasm and deep understanding of their characters. This is ocassionally lost at times by the other actors whose diction and tone do not seem to accurately correlate with the true motive of the play.

The heart-wrenching performance of the secret love between Troilus and Cressida (Jamie Smith '02) is also quite skillfully performed. One can almost feel the tense emotion between the two torn lovers who are forced to separate as they bid adeiu with a sweet, gentle farewell kiss.

The technical aspects of the performance are brillant. Kudos to technical director Josh Glassman '02 as well as the lightning design of Dave Corlette and Ryan McGee, whose creative use of spotlights and colors are able to create the perfect raving atmosphere. The creativity, enthusiasm and hard-work put into this show is evident at every facet. From the VIP entrance to the "club" which is acted out by cast members to the intermission, which is an audience-involved dance break, to the ending complete with glow sticks and a fog machine, the performance is all-encompassing.

Not a show that you should necessarily bring your ultraconservative parents or grandparents to, Hostetler's creative interpretation of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida certainly makes a bold statement, although the gratuitus and raucous sex, drugs and profanity certainly do not bode well for what the world will be like if we were to ever survive the apocalyse and find each other again in some sort of groovy rave.

TROILUS AND

CRESSIDA

written by

William Shakespeare

directed by

Martijn Hostetler '00

May 4-6

Loeb Experimental Theater

CRESSIDA

written by

William Shakespeare

directed by

Martijn Hostetler '00

May 4-6

Loeb Experimental Theater

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