Playwright’s award-winning mash-up of myth and modern-day warfare closes out Season of War and Peace
Washington, D.C. – Georgetown University Theater & Performance Studies Program’s 2012-13 Season of War and Peace culminates with the area premiere of Christine Evans’ powerful and evocative “Trojan Barbie,” running April 11-20, 2013 at the Davis Performing Arts Center’s Gonda Theatre. Evans is the newest Georgetown University Theater and Performance Studies Program faculty member. Theater & Performance Studies Program Director and Department of Performing Arts Chair Maya E. Roth directs.
Part contemporary drama, part homage to Euripides' “Trojan Women,” “Trojan Barbie” recasts the legendary fall of Troy against the vivid reality of modern warfare. In need of a vacation, British doll-repair expert Lotte Jones books herself on a singles tour to modern-day Troy, only to find herself flung into an ancient prison camp. Past and present violently collide as the mother of all refugees, Hecuba, a glam Helen of Troy, a “tween” Iraqi performance artist and a war-weary U.S. soldier battle it out, while Lotte tries desperately to alert the British Embassy.
The Huffington Post notes, “If you like your live theatre thought-provoking, heart-wrenching, and cathartic, then Christine Evans’ ‘Trojan Barbie’… is for you.” OC Weekly says, “Based on ‘Trojan Barbie,’ Christine Evans should be on the radar of anyone who cares about contemporary American theater.”
Director Roth says, “This smart, layered play sets up the tragedy with wit and audacity. It’s a response to international conflicts, showing that we are often tourists of the atrocities of war, even the ones in which we’re involved.”
Winner of the 2007 Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, the RISCA Playwriting Fellowship and the “Plays for the 21st Century” Award, “Trojan Barbie” had its world premiere at the American Repertory Theater in 2009. It is featured in Evans’ forthcoming anthology “War Plays” (NoPassport Press), due for release during the run of “Trojan Barbie.”
Playwright Evans says, “’Trojan Barbie’ was inspired by the strange feeling of living in a country waging a war we only experienced through media images and stories. And those images—Biblically ancient villages with garish neon signs; shepherds with AK47s; women weeping over dead children clutching cellphones—evoked the surreal postmodern collision of times that ‘Trojan Barbie’ dramatizes.”
Evans’ recent plays engage the topic of war with extraordinary imagination and creativity, attuned to powerful social stakes. In November 2010, the Georgetown Theater and Performance Studies Program presented a workshop of Evans’ interactive-media theatre work-in-progress “You Are Dead. You Are Here,” which has its world premiere at HERE Arts Center (NYC) in June, 2013. Based on research into the use of sophisticated digital tools in military training and rehabilitation, the work incorporates animated landscapes projected from “Virtual Iraq,” a virtual-reality program used in veterans’ PTSD therapy. Evans’ development of the piece at Georgetown involved students, faculty, and staff and included research at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
This area premiere of “Trojan Barbie” concludes the Theater & Performance Studies Program’s 2012-13 Season of War and Peace at the Davis Performing Arts Center. The season included Caryl Churchill’s “Far Away” (Oct. 11-20); Paula Vogel’s “A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration” (Nov. 17-Dec.8), co-produced with the Music Program and Nomadic Theatre; “Boged: An Enemy of the People,” presented in partnership with Theater J (Jan. 12-Feb. 3); and Senior Thesis Performances of “wanderland” (Feb. 14-16).
The “Trojan Barbie” cast features guest artist Elisabeth Lewis Corley* as Hecuba and Georgetown University students Sucry Ali, Charley Biddle, Ryan Bouton, Emma Clark, Zhenning Dong, Betsy Helmer, Jordanna Hernandez, Maddie Kelley, Zoe Lillian, Alice Neave, Ben Prout, Molly Roach, Neha Sobti, Josh Street, and Alex Waldon.
*Member, Actors’ Equity Association
The creative team includes scenic design by Prof. Debra Kim Sivigny, costume design by Frank Labovitz, lighting design by Robbie Hayes, and sound design by Diane Giangreco (COL ’13).
“Trojan Barbie” showtimes are as follows:
Thursday-Saturday, April 11-13 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 14 at 2 p.m.
Wednesday-Saturday, April 17-20 at 8 p.m.
A reception and book-signing with the playwright will follow the opening night performance on Thursday, April 11. A Q & A including the cast and production team will follow the Wednesday, April 17 show, and a talk back featuring the playwright Christine Evans, director Prof. Maya E. Roth, and Prof. Victoria Pedrick of the Georgetown University Department of Classics will follow the show on Thursday, April 18.
Fri/Sat evening only:
$18 general / $15 faculty, staff, alumni, senior / $10 student
All other performances:
$15 general / $12 faculty, staff, alumni, senior / $8 student
To order, visit performingarts.georgetown.edu or call 202-687-ARTS (2787) Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Georgetown University’s main campus is located at 3700 O St. NW, in Washington, D.C.
ABOUT CHRISTINE EVANS
Originally from Australia, Christine Evans is an internationally produced playwright now resident in the U.S. Her work has been produced and developed at the American Repertory Theater (“Trojan Barbie,” world premiere), Playbox Theatre, U.K., New Vic (London), Belvoir St. Theatre (Sydney), the Adelaide International Festival of the Arts, Deck Chair Theatre, Vitalstatistix, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Magic Theatre, Theater Simple, Live Girls!, Kitchen Dog Theatre, hotINK Play Festival, Bricolage Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, Perishable Theatre, New Jersey Rep, Crowded Fire, Ohio Theatre (NYC), The Irish Rep (NYC), Boston Playwrights Theater, Rattlestick Theatre, the Women’s Project and Cutting Ball.
Honors include an Australia Council for the Arts New Work Award, a Rockefeller Bellagio Center Fellowship, two MacDowell Colony Fellowships, a Millay Colony Fellowship, the 2007 Jane Chambers Playwriting Award; the 2009 Playwrights Theatre “Plays for the 21st Century” Award; the 2009 Rhode Island State Council for the Arts Playwriting Fellowship; a Fulbright Award in Visual and Performing Arts; the Rella Lossy Playwriting Award; the Monash National Playwriting Award (Australia); the Weston Award in Dramatic Writing; and Perishable Theatre’s Women’s Playwriting Award (2000 and 2001).
Christine holds an M.F.A. (Playwriting) and a Ph.D. (Theatre & Performance Studies) from Brown. Before joining the Georgetown University Theater & Performance Studies Program faculty in fall 2012, she held from 2007 the prestigious Briggs-Copeland Lecturer position at Harvard University, where she initiated, coordinated, and directed the now-annual Harvard Playwrights Festival. Multi-talented, Evans is a saxophonist who earlier in her career also performed as an acrobat in an Australian women’s circus.
ABOUT MAYA E. ROTH
Maya E. Roth serves as Chair of the Department of Performing Arts at Georgetown University, Director of the Theater and Performance Studies Program, and was the founding Artistic Director of the Davis Performing Arts Center (2005–07). She is an active scholar, director and dramaturge, whose work focuses on ensemble, feminist performance, and cross-cultural intersections. Since 2007, she has stewarded the national Jane Chambers Contest for Women Playwrights. Favorite directing-dramaturgy includes Charles Mee’s “Big Love,” Timberlake Wertenbaker’s “The Grace of Mary Traverse,” the San Francisco premiere of Sherry Kramer’s “David’s Red-Haired Death,” Caryl Churchill’s “Vinegar Tom,” and, as part of Georgetown’s Tennessee Williams Centennial Festival, Tennessee Williams' “Suddenly, Last Summer.” Favorite workshop stagings include Naomi Wallace’s “The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek,” Christine Evans' “Trojan Barbie,” Wertenbaker's “Galileo's Daughter,” and Heather Raffo's “Losing the Boy” early in their lives as well as a host of readings of new and classic works at DC venues including the Kennedy Center Page to Stage Festival, National Museum for Women in the Arts, and Edward Albee festival at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater.
ABOUT THE GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY THEATER & PERFORMANCE STUDIES PROGRAM
Part of Georgetown University’s Department of Performing Arts, the Theater & Performance Studies Program integrates creative and critical inquiry, emphasizing artistic excellence, interdisciplinary learning, socially engaged performance, and the spirit of collaboration. With a dynamic major in Theater & Performance Studies, the Program features a nationally recognized faculty, including leading scholar/artists, and many of the region’s leading professional theater practitioners. One of the country’s only undergraduate programs in Theater & Performance Studies, this fast-growing program has rapidly attracted significant national attention for its distinctive curriculum, which integrates the political and international character of Georgetown, a commitment to social justice, and high-quality, cutting-edge student production seasons, including including our annual TPST Student Thesis Productions. The Theater & Performance Studies Program provides unique focus on adapting, devising and developing new work, theater as social change, cross-cultural performance studies, solo and multimedia performance, ensemble and physical theater, and innovative approaches to design and technology as well as playwriting, directing, dramaturgy, and more. Our major prepares students to go on in the arts, education, public service, and cultural criticism.
A partial and rapidly growing list of theatrical luminaries who have had contact with Georgetown students in the Davis Center includes: Daniel Beaty, Belarus Free Theatre, Theodore Bikel, Irina Brown, Kathleen Chalfant, The Civilians, Dan Conway, Nilo Cruz, DAH Theatre, David Dower, Joe Dowling, Olympia Dukakis, Christopher Durang, David Edgar, Rick Foucheux, Michael Friedman, Marcus Gardley, Ed Gero, Nadine George-Graves, Katori Hall, Danny Hoch, David Henry Hwang, Michael Kahn, Moisés Kaufman, Josh Kornbluth, Liz Lerman, Emily Mann, David Muse, Pig Iron Theater, Sister Helen Prejean, Heather Raffo, Clint Ramos, Tim Raphael, Stephen Richard, Michael Rohd, Ari Roth, Howard Shalwitz, Sojourn Theater, Anna Deavere Smith, Molly Smith, Tony Taccone, Target Margin Theater, Tectonic Theater Project, Irina and Paata Tsikurishvili, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Charles Randolph Wright, Karen Zacarías, Mary Zimmerman, Joy Zinoman, and many others.