For four days at the end of July Arcosanti belonged to the Greeks. Or perhaps more accurately, to the Northern Arizona University drama department’s students portraying the Greeks and Trojans in the wake of that most famous siege.
Marina Carr’s “Hecuba”, staged by Crooked Figure Theatre company, re-imagines the classic Greek tragedy “Euripedes” in a reported speech style. Over the course of two acts and two and a half hours the student ensemble brought to life the struggles of the surviving women in the aftermath of the siege of Troy.
The play itself was somewhat lacking in substance; it relied more on the history of the source material and the sensational depiction of a human sacrifice than on meaningful dramatic action. Still, the student ensemble handled the material well enough to captivate an audience of thirty or so each night from start to finish. Stand out performances included both Gillian Norton as Polyxena, the daughter of the play’s namesake, and Kaleb Lightfoot as a perpetually disillusioned and frequently drunk Agamemnon.
Although heavy rain brought by summer monsoon season lead to a delay of curtain most nights and the first act having to be staged in the cafe on Saturday, the audience did not seem to mind. Residents were able to act as hosts and guides throughout the process which left the actors free to prepare for the performance ahead. The cafe staff likewise pitched in, preparing delicious Greek inspired fare which included flounder and fresh olive salads.
All together the weekend offered a successful model for other collaborations between Arcosanti and the performing arts, one which we will look forward to building on in event seasons to come.
(Photos by Shannon Mackenzie, Text by Tim Bell)