Seven years into the Trojan War,
the combatants grow disillusioned and weary of battle, turning in upon
themselves. The heroics of Homer's Iliad devolve into
chaos as two nations willfully pursue paths they know to be wrong and
corrupt. Woven with wit and exquisite language, Shakespeare's
rarely performed Troilus and Cressida tells a tale as grotesque
as it is sexy and as cynical as it is heartbreaking.
Plots interweave as the Trojan War plays itself
out and as Troilus plays for the love and sexual conquest of Cressida.
Upon winning her, he loses interest. "Men prize the thing ungained
more than it is," Cressida cynically observes. She is ordered
to return to the Greek camp, and with no move by Troilus to keep them
together, she obeys. There she earns a reputation for sexual profligacy
when multiple Greek suitors swarm about her. Is she the faithless coquette
she appears, or a victim of men and of war? While the heroics of the
Iliad are no longer in evidence, this yet remains a world where nothing
has changed in the uneasy relations between the sexes and women are
seen as the prizes of war.
Troilus and Cressida completes Shotgun
Players artistic director Patrick Dooley's personal trilogy of
dramas about the Trojan War - from the moment before the ships left
Greece in Euripides Iphegenia in Aulis, to Giraudous's
anti-war satire, There Will Be No Trojan War, with the Greeks
landing on the beaches, to, now, Shakespeare's Troilus and
Cressida, a world where good intentions and hope are infected by
fear, greed and jealousy. "This is one of Shakespeare's
slipperiest plays," notes Dooley, who will direct. "It is
neither comedy nor tragedy, history or love story. It's an ironic
and satirical play, perhaps more meaningful to contemporary audiences
than when it was written. Audiences today are more savvy about the politics
of gender and war that Shakespeare put on display here. We're
conscious of how screwed up our world is and we can really appreciate
the humor and tragedy of the play."
Frieda Naphsica de Lackner plays the "inconstant"
Cressida, with Tyler Fazakerley as "faithful" Troilus. Kimberly
Wilday returns as Cassandra, a very different Cassandra from the cocaine-sniffing
seer of There Will Be No Trojan War. Reid Davis is Pandarus - whose
name has entered the language as one who solicits for whores - eager
to set up his niece Cressida with the young Troilus. Rica Anderson is
Helen, older yet still a beauty, the embodiment of the male erotic fantasy.
Clive Worsley performs as the pockmarked bilious fool, Thersites.
Shotgun Players continue this 10th Anniversary
Season with Troilus and Cressida as their outdoor summer show
in John Hinkel Park in North Berkeley, with the preview July 21 and
opening night set for July 27. Performances are Saturdays and Sundays
only at 5pm through September 1. Tickets are paying what you can. John
Hinkel Park is located at Southampton Avenue (between San Diego Road
& Somerset Place) in North Berkeley. For reservations or information
the public may call 510-704-8210 or check out www.shotgunplayers.org.
by Lisa Drostova for East Bay Express
by Chad Jones for Oakland Tribune
by Laura Shalson for SF Bay Guardian
Directed by Patrick Dooley
Cressida: Frieda Naphsica de Lackner
Troilus: Tyler Fazakerley
Cassandra: Kimberly Wilday
Pandarus: Reid Davis
Helen: Rica Anderson
July 21 at 5 PM
July 27 at 5 PM
and Sundays ONLY at 5 PM
Sept 1 at 5 PM
Pay What You Can
John Hinkel Park, Southampton Avenue (between San Diego Road & Somerset
Place) in North Berkeley
for a map.
John Hinkel Park
There by Public Transportation