Cry, Trojans!, American Adaptation of Troilus and Cressida, Plays the Performing Garage Starting Jan. 8

By Carey Purcell
January 8, 2014

The Wooster Group presents Cry, Trojans!, an American adaptation of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, beginning Jan. 8 at the Performing Garage in Soho. 



The production continues through Feb. 9.

Featuring Shakespeare's text and directed by Elizabeth LeCompte, the cast includes Ari Fliakos, Jennifer Lim, Greg Mehrten, Suzzy Roche, Andrew Schneider, Scott Shepherd, Casey Spooner, Kate Valk and Gary Wilmes.

Cry, Trojans! originated as a coproduction with the Royal Shakespeare Company of Troilus and Cressida at the World Shakespeare Festival in conjunction with the London 2012 Olympics. The production featured the two companies taking opposite sides in the Trojan War; the Wooster Group staged the Trojan scenes while the RSC staged the Greek ones.

Scenes with both Greeks and Trojans were staged by both groups, and each side developed its own version. The companies worked separately until they met to combine the two halves a few weeks before performing the piece. The result was deliberately left unpolished, so that the contrast of artistic approaches remained apparent, accenting the confrontation of warring cultures in the play. Following the special engagement with the RSC, the Wooster Group returned to New York and converted the collaboration into an independent piece.

"Seeking a decidedly American angle from which to encounter the RSC and the language of Shakespeare, the Wooster Group turned to the powerfully suggestive and contradictory figure of the American 'Indian,'" press notes state. "Drawing imagery, speech cadences, and movement from many sources including Zacharias Kunuk's 'Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner' and Chris Eyres' 'Smoke Signals,' the Group reimagined the Trojans as a pastiche fictional tribe of early Americans struggling to assert its dignity as doom closes in."

The creative team includes Folkert de Jong (set elements, props and costumes), Enver Chakartash (assistant for costumes), Bruce Odland with Bobby McElver and Max Bernstein (sound), Jennifer Tipton (lighting) and Andrew Schneider (video and projections). Teresa Hartmann is stage manager, and Emily Rea is production manager.

Tickets are available by calling (212) 966-3651 or visiting thewoostergroup.org.