Centuries-old drama kicks off spring theater season

The Greek classic “The Trojan Women” runs through Feb. 29 at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre. Photo: Jenny Abreu for the University of Miami
By Amanda M. Perez

The Greek classic “The Trojan Women” runs through Feb. 29 at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre. Photo: Jenny Abreu for the University of Miami

Centuries-old drama kicks off spring theater season

By Amanda M. Perez
The University of Miami’s Jerry Herman Ring Theatre opens with a Greek classic.

The Jerry Herman Ring Theatre is going more than 2,000 years back in time with their latest play, “The Trojan Women.” The production, one of the most popular and enduring Greek tragedies, follows the fate of the women of Troy after the city’s destruction in the Trojan War.

“We are committed as a theatre department to implement classic pieces into our seasons. It’s something our students need to experience performing,” said Michael Bush, the assistant director of the production and assistant professor of practice in the University of Miami’s Department of Theatre Arts. “These Greek plays are eternal. They’re never going to stop being performed.”

This particular production, a contemporary adaptation of Eurepides’ millennia old drama, is being led by a visiting director, who is actively engaged in the industry. Leda Hoffmann, who runs a theater of her own in Chicago, was brought in to help students get real-world experience.

Gabrielle Rosenbloom, a senior double major in theatre arts and public relations, said it has been a great opportunity to get this kind of exposure.

“I think as a student we get to know our professors very well, so we get a sense of what they want. But when we get casted outside of school, we’re not going to have that luxury,” said Rosenbloom. “This is my first time working with a guest director, so it has taught me how to learn people’s processes and how they operate rather than knowing them beforehand,” she said.

Hoffmann said it has been a pleasure working with students and helping them develop into stronger artists.

“Their curiosity is great. People have been making connections with this play and their coursework. Watching them grow has been my favorite aspect of this process,” Hoffmann acknowledged.

Bush believes opportunities like these are important for students, because it helps them meet people in the industry who are making a living in theater.

“It’s important to see and understand that it is possible. It expands their point of view and opens up future possibilities,” he said.

For Bush, this play holds a special place in his heart. He explained that during his first semester in college, during the fall of 1972, this play helped him decide that he wanted to be a theatre major.

“I profoundly felt the power of theatre, and I remember the very moment I decided to spend the rest of my life being part of that power,” Bush declared.

He hopes others will feel impacted in some way by the play. Although it was first written in 415 BCE, Bush explains that the content still resonates with us today.

“It’s a story about people being displaced by war, in particular, women and children. Its message and its power unfortunately remain the same,” he said. “I personally long for a future when a production of this masterpiece will finally lose that resonance.”

Throughout Rosenbloom’s time working on the play, she said she has learned that in life you must fight for joy and posterity. She looks forward to audiences experiencing the production for themselves.

“An audience is what makes the production feel fresh, and it brings life back into something we’ve been practicing so many times now. I’m excited to have people and other minds in the room,” she said.

Visit https://ring-theatre.as.miami.edu/ for more information about “The Trojan Women.”