Greek tragedy kicks off year of theater and dance performances

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Andrea Hammack

Staff Writer

Troy’s Department of Theatre and Dance is in full swing as they prepare for this semester’s productions. 

The department held its fall auditions during the first week of classes, during which students who auditioned for the productions had to bring a prepared a monologue or a monologue and song. 

Madeline Hill, a sophomore theatre major from Alabaster, was cast as the lead in the department’s first production of the semester, “Eurydice” by Sarah Ruhl.  

In the play, directed by associate professor of theatre and dance Quinton Cockrell, Hill will play the title character, Eurydice. 

“I am excited because this story is based on a classical Greek tragedy,” Hill said. “But it’s told in an abstract, contemporary way. It’s beyond time.”

Hill also went on to express how excited she was for people to see how “visually stunning the play will be with the abstract set and lights.”

Cockrell explained that the play is “unlike” anything he has ever directed before.

“The story is not told in a usual way,” Cockrell said. “It is poetic, visually stimulating and I think our audiences will be talking about it for a long time.

“It is highly engaging and challenging and it offers the audience a story told in a unique way.”

In some productions, the department will mix aspects of theatre and dance, such as in the musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” by Willam Finn and Rachel Sheinkin, directed by Tommy Newman. 

“This production is very improv-heavy and comedic,” Hill said. “It will be super interactive and exciting.”

Erin Smith, a senior dance major from Huntsville, is choreographing “Spelling Bee” and is also looking forward to dancing in and choreographing the department’s fall dance show, “Art In Motion: Moving Pictures.”

“In the past, each of these shows has been inspired by what we have come up with ourselves,” Smith said. “This time we have been inspired by other students’ photographs.”

The production this year was inspired by photography students on campus.

“Art majors sent in many photos for the choreographers to be inspired by,” Smith said. “We each selected our own photo to create our own pieces and no one photo was used twice.”

Cockrell said he always welcomes collaborations within the different art departments.

“‘Art In Motion’ will be bringing photography from the department of Art and Design to life with dance,” Cockrell said. “These two groups have collaborated before and the result was captivating.”

Hill said she always looks forward to seeing what the dance department does each semester. 

“It is amazing to watch these talented dancers create art with their bodies,” Hill said.

“The department of Theatre and Dance is a very integrated department,” Smith said. “We are offered many opportunities to work together as theatre and dance students. 

“But, what is even more exciting is that our department encourages students to work with art forms outside of theater and dance.”

Other productions for the semester include several student-directed pieces in both genres and it is highly encouraged that students come out and see what the department has been working on. 

“Compared to other colleges and universities, I think our department consistently produces some of the best work in the state,” Cockrell said. “We are proud of our department and we want our Troy family to be proud, too.”

“It is always important to support local art, not even for the artist’s sake,” Hill said. 

“Art in any form shows the deep part of humanity that we all love and cling to, and it reveals truths about society and people around us, leading to a richer understanding of self and culture. “It’s a beautiful thing that you get to not just witness, but be a part of.”

“Eurydice” will kick off the semester and can be seen at the Trojan Center Theater from Sept. 26-28 at 7 p.m. and on Sept. 29 at 2:30 p.m. 

Tickets can be purchased from the Trojan Center Box Office by calling (334)-808-6477, or online at troytheatreanddance.org. They are $5 with a student ID and $10 for general admission. 

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