IN CULTURE, NEWSLETTER, THEATRE / BY GABRIEL DICKSON / ON SEPTEMBER 21, 2011 AT 1:18 AM /
Euripides’ “Hecuba” is coming to Tuscaloosa for one night only on Thursday, Sept. 22 in the Greensboro Room at the Bama Theatre.
The play deals with Queen Hecuba of Troy as a captive of the Greeks after the Trojan War. She is grief-stricken after her sons and husband were killed in the fighting and she had to sacrifice her own daughter, Polyxena, to appease the ghost of Achilles.
“Hecuba” will be performed by Improbable Fictions, a staged Shakespearean reading series at the University started by Nic Helms and Alaina Jobe Pangburn while they were attending graduate school at Alabama in 2008. This season, the works of Shakespeare as well as other works of the ancient Greeks will be featured.
According to Helms, the mention of Shakespeare and theater automatically brings notions of high culture, something only intended for the rich and something performed by professional theatre troupes. Helms and Pangburn founded the group to debunk that myth and to help students understand the work.
“Shakespeare’s plays have endured for four centuries because people reproduce them and add something that incorporates and resonates with locals,” Helms said.
They make use of minimalist effects, bare stage and contemporary costumes to add to the full experience of a play sans distractions, not “huge wigs and poofy dresses.”
Steve Burch, associate professor of theatre and dance and also the man responsible for directing “Hecuba,” said he believes the theatre experience is important for any community.
“It’s an intimate, emotional, intellectual, and physical connection in front of an audience.” Burch said. “It’s connecting to essences in human life.”
Burch also heads The Rude Mechanicals, a local Shakespeare group that specializes in outdoor readings.
Sometimes, however, those essences can drag on and be non-integral to the story. Cuts are often made in relevance to the local audience.
Taken from Crimson White - CW.ua.edu