The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

Festival modernizes rare, classic play

Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival

The Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival is undertaking the rarely performed “Troilus and Cressida” as a three-week special production.

The tale of the love of war, and the wars of love, opened Feb. 17, with a cast of 10 actors who portray twice as many characters.

Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips said in a statement, “Our production will define what ‘Troilus and Cressida’ is for many of our patrons because we are both, as artists and as a community, experiencing this glorious play for the first time.”

The production opened with army-clad, nameless characters playing with little toy soldiers and a Barbie doll which represented the cause of the war – Helen. They reenacted the start of the war between the Greeks and the Trojans by stealing the doll from one side and fighting with the toys – one that lasted seven years because of each side refusing to stop fighting over Helen.

After Prince Paris of Troy seduced Helen, represented by the doll in the beginning, her Greek husband launched a war against Troy.

Set in the seventh year of the war this production showed the time frame when Trojan Prince Troilus, played by Rob Jansen, fell in love with the daughter of a Greek soldier Cressida, played by Corinne Mohlenhoff.

Soon after, the politics of war tore the Troilus and Cressida apart when she was traded to the Greeks in exchange for a Trojan prisoner.

As the war continued, the battle for love between Troilus and Cressida began. Throughout the production there are overall themes of deception and tragedy.

In this production, the audience learns about the characters through monologues. Troilus became the central character because of the amount of time he spends directly with the audience.

Through his character, Jansen was able to accurately portray one of Shakespeare’s well-known love-sickened, emotional males.

The Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival transformed this play from a script to a well-adapted dialogue adding minor sex changes in characters Pandarus and Thersites, modernizing the overall mood of the play.

“Troilus and Cressida” will run Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. until March 6.

Tickets are $16 to $20 and can be purchased at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival Box Office.

Phillips said, “Cincinnati is in for a revelatory experience this February with what may be the Bard’s greatest play.”