Performing Arts

Troilus and Cressida and a Midsummer Faire

Trinity Smith-Keel and Scott Keel in the Taming of the Shrew. Photo by Rodney Smith/Tempus Fugit Design. 

The Montford Park Players present Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre at 7:30 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from July 7–29. The Trojan War drama revolves around the romance between Prince Troilus and Cressida, the daughter of a traitorous priest, and is thought to be based on legendary figures including Achilles, Hector, Ajax and Helen of Troy. The play, one of Shakespeare’s most unique, takes a cynical view of war and sexual politics.

Troilus and Cressida has a modern sensibility that many of Shakespeare’s other works don’t have,” says the show’s director, Andrew Gall. “Its outlook on the politics of war, in particular, seems very contemporary and it is performed now more than ever.” The fact that Troilus and Cressida has been presented infrequently preserves an element of surprise for audiences, who will find it different and more experimental than Shakespeare’s other works.

“I hope audiences will appreciate being able to see and hear this play, as it is not something you get to experience often,” says Gall. “It is exciting to see a writer who is such a known quantity take some of the risks he takes. Troilus and Cressida doesn’t deliver you to expected places. It is messy, mean and deeply human.”

The show stars some of Montford Park Players’ most popular actors and actresses, including Gary Freedman as Troilus, Devyn Ray as Cressida, John Stockdale as Hector, David Mycoff as Priam, Stuart Moore as Achilles and Sophie Yates as Cassandra. A large ensemble cast provides gritty and exciting takes on the battles themselves.

Prior to the Saturday, July 15, performance of Troilus and Cressida, the Montford Park Players’ 3rd Annual Midsummer Faire will take place at Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre from 12–6:30 p.m. The event features free demonstrations by the local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism, showcasing activities from the Medieval and Renaissance periods, including sword fighting, fencing, blacksmithing and woodworking. Children’s activities will be available at no charge and food and drink vendors will be plentiful. Costumes are encouraged at this family-friendly event.

The Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre is at 92 Gay Street, in Asheville’s historic Montford District. Like all Montford Park Players’ shows, Troilus and Cressida is free to attend. For more information or to reserve seats, go to montfordparkplayers.org, or call 828.254.5146.

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