Full of Noises will present Euripides' Andromache: A New Version by Jesse Alexander Myerson at the Workmen's Circle (45 East 33rd Street) in a limited run from Thursday, October 8th through Sunday, October 25th. The production marks the first ever theatrical adaptation of Andromache on a New York stage. Tickets are $20 and $8 for students and can be reserved at www.fullofnoises.org.
In Andromache, Euripides explores the plight of the eponymous Trojan queen, in her life of slavery as a concubine of Neoptolemus, a conquering hero of the Trojan War. Envious of Andromache and the son she has birthed is Neoptolemus's barren wife, Hermione, the Spartan princess who accuses Andromache of using witchcraft to keep her childless. Hermione plots with her father, the King Menelaus to kill both her husband's mistress and his illegitimate son. As engaging as the unfolding story is the play's political scope, which investigates the racial tensions that arise from an imperial conquest like the Trojan War.
A double major in Human Rights Studies and Theater at Bard College, writer/director Jesse Alexander Myerson is interested in bringing fresh perspective to modern-day social and political issues through drama. As the 2008 American presidential election and the recent U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings have proven, race and ethnicity are still top-of-mind subjects in America. Myerson's production of Euripides' Andromache aims to arouse new ways of thinking about the topic with the aid of an updated English text, written for the modern American stage.
"In 2009, we are still regularly reading and hearing about racial struggles that have fallen out from imperial legacies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and, of course, the United States. Some of these are ancient conflicts, and I believe an ancient text is required, if we are meaningfully to wrestle with them," says Myerson. "There are lessons to be learned from a play like Andromache, which, despite its ancient subjects and authorship, explores in a very visceral way the power imbalances and fears that plague our racial dynamics and points out how complex the solutions will be."
About the Director
Writer and Artistic Director Jesse Alexander Myerson has worked at the Public Theater, the Target Margin Theater, the Red Bull Theater, Hudson Stage, the Rubi Theater and Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center in capacities as wide-ranging as director, assistant director, composer, lighting designer, sound designer and dramaturg. Select directing projects include Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and As You Like It, Brecht's The Jewish Wife and Genet's The Maids. Myerson has also acted Off-Broadway at the Signature Theater and under the direction of Irina Brown, Johanna McKeon, Susannah Gellert and Benjamin Mosse.
About the Cast and Crew
An accomplished stage actress, Vella Lovell (Andromache) earned a BFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She has performed in The Public Theater's production of The Bacchae, The Flea's Kaspar Hauser and Ways to Survive the World at the Williamstown Theater Festival Workshop, among many other plays.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Sol Marina Crespo (Hermione) graduated from New York University earning a BFA in Drama and a BA in Latin American Studies. For her performance of Griseldi in The Missteps of a Salsa Dancer she was awarded the 2005 HOLA award for Outstanding Performance of a Featured Female Actor. She is also a Ford Foundation Fellowship for Career Advancement recipient.
Garry Goodrow (Peleus) has spent his life first as a musician, and then as an actor. He started acting with The Living Theatre in 1959, and has since appeared in more than 50 films, 100 TV shows and dozens of stage productions.
José Joaquín García (Menelaus) is adirector, composer, actor, singer, writer and teaching artist. As an actor, Josehas acted with The New Group (The Flatted Fifth), Repetorio Espanol and has worked extensively with Pregones (The Red Rose with Danny Rivera, El Apagon, Madea with Lupita Ferrer), among others.
Lighting Designer Rosa Theodora Cooper has brought her creativity to a host of theaters, including Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Access Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Source, San Francisco's Cowell Theater and others. She is delighted to be a founding member and resident lighting designer with Full of Noises.
About the Theater Company
With theater luminaries MarK Wing-Davey and JoAnne Akalaitis serving on its board, Full of Noises was started in 2008 with the goal of mounting politically salient stagings of classic texts. It operates under the belief that theater can serve not only to inform its audience about the issues of the day and deliver lessons about enduring truths, but that it can also inspire the impulse toward fostering peace, justice, equality and freedom, an impulse that is alive in all people.