Theater Preview: “The Trojan Women”

The SUNY New Paltz Theater Department will be traveling back in time to ancient Greece with their latest production, “The Trojan Women.”

According to the Spring 2015 arts and theater calendar released by the art and theater departments, “The Trojan Women has long been considered an innovative and artistic portrayal of the Trojan War aftermath. After their city has been sacked, their husbands killed and their remaining families taken away as slaves, the women of Troy confront their fate. Euripides’ classic emotionally charged play raises issues for our contemporary community.” The theater department’s production is based off of the adaptation of the play by Ellen McLaughlin.

“The Trojan Women” is the third tragedy in a trilogy of plays written by Euripides about the famed Trojan War between the ancient Greeks and the city of Troy. The other two tragedies of the trilogy are Alexandros and Palamedes.  “The Trojan Women” was chosen by the college’s season collection committee and associate professor Nancy Saklad was chosen to direct.

According to her faculty page on the SUNY New Paltz website, Saklad has previously directed productions at various other places in the country including “Much Ado About Nothing” at Boston’s Publik Theater, “How I Learned to Drive” at the Durham Center Stage and “Other Peoples Money” at Seacoast Repertory Theater in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She has also directed the Professional Division Moss Hart Award winning production of The Diary of Anne Frank at Seacoast Repertory Theater.

Saklad explained that she has high hopes for this current run of “The Trojan Women” and that the feel of this tragedy is very modern despite the setting it takes place in.

“It has a very modern feel to it even though it takes place in ancient Greece,” she said. “We’ve gone a little bit further with this feeling of the modernness of it in terms of how the play intimates a genocide.”

Saklad went on to say that a number of the characters in the play represent different genocides over the past century and that the play will have a different feel than an ancient Greek play.

“There’s something rather universal and timeless about war,” Saklad said.

When asked about the actors and actresses of the play, Saklad had nothing but good things to say about how hard the cast has been working. She also mentioned the challenges the weather has provided the cast.

“[The cast members] have been rather outstanding in the process,” she said. “We have usually about five weeks to put a production together, but because of all the snow and all the snow days, we missed almost a week’s worth of rehearsal. Everybody’s been running to catch up and to be ready for [the opening gala], so that’s rather exemplary.”

The Trojan Women will have eight performances during its run at Parker Theatre. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the box office at Parker Theater. Tickets are $18 for general reserved seating, $16 for seniors, non New Paltz students and New Paltz faculty and staff and $10 for students.

Along with the Thursday night performance, there will be five other 8 p.m.  performances on Friday, Feb. 27, Saturday, Feb. 28, Thursday, March 5, Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7. Two matinee performances will take place on Sunday, March 1 and Sunday, March 8 at 2 p.m.

The show stars Brittney Martel as Hecuba, Ricki-Lynn Berkoski as Cassandra, Alicia-Dee Leduc as Andromache, Allie Doherty as Helen, Matt Ayasbeyoglu as Poseidon, Eric Hibschweiler as Talthybius and Joe McGarty as Soldier. The chorus features Lia-Shea Tillett, Erica McNaughton, Theresa Flynn, Tara Hatzidakis, Ayesha Saleh, Sara Lyons, Kay Song, Kristin Battersby and Amber Neilson.