Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Helen of Troy, a treat at WCSU

Classic Greek drama visited Danbury Monday night. It questioned the efficacy of violence and the benevolence of the fickle "gods."  The play was Helen of Troy by Euripides. The performers were a professional touring troupe under the direction of Eftychia Loizides.

The play provides an alternate view of Helen. In this version she'd been whisked to Eqypt by Hermes and never taken by the warrior Paris, who instead, stole a phantom of smoke, whipped up a goddess bent on mischief. Yet as we find out - this means all the blood shed, lives lost, agonies endured for the sake of Helen during the ten-year Trojan war, had been offered up in vain....

Literature Professor Donald P. Gagnon, PhD  set the play among Euripedes other works, before the curtain went up on this performance, noting that it was banned for a time some 2400 years after it was first produced, because it was considered too powerful for the situation then.

It took me a while to get used to the stage voices, but after a while I was immersed.  It was tastefully done with a minimal set and some beautiful (haunting) singing.

The production stared Leslie Fray as the beautiful clever Helen, Brian Scannell as craftly but noble Menelaus, the delightfully villainous Chuk Obasi as Theoclymenus, and an equally strong cast of other players including Aaron Barcelo, Nora Aislinn, Katia Haeuser, Stevan Szczytko and Sandra Maren Schneider. (Leonidas Eftychia Liozides Theatre Group)

The production of Helen of Troy was sponsored jointly by Western Connecticut State University and The Deno and Marie Macricostas Family Foundation.

A reception with delicious food, coffee and Baklava afforded an opportunity to chat about the play, with the actors and the sponsors immediately afterwards.  A delightful event, entirely free to the public. Thank you. This low budget person says, Thank you very much.

See also www.loizidis.com and http://helen-oftroy.blogspot.com