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Reserve your Ticket(s) by clicking HERE

October, 6-15 2023

The Cat Theatre

254 Veterans Way, Carmel, IN 46032 

Content Advisory: violence, sexual situations, bathroom humor and jokes about STIs, abusive language and slut-shaming, suggestion of sexual assault. 16+ recommended.

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Troilus & Cressida  
by William Shakespeare

"This love will undo us all." 
Bard Fest is pleased to present a new production of Shakespeare's merciless satire of the heroes of the Trojan War. Helen, the world’s most beautiful woman, has been taken from her Greek husband by a Trojan prince, causing a years-long war that has turned the outskirts of the city of Troy into a trash heap. In Troy, Cressida and Troilus are beginning a passionate romance, with the help of Cressida’s lewd uncle Pandarus. When Cressida is forced to live among the Greeks, she must decide if she will be faithful to Troilus. But in a world where love equals ownership and a man’s pride and masculinity are determined by whom he possesses, does she have any kind of choice at all? Join us for the beauty, passion, and heartbreak of the Bard's "other" great romance.

The show is directed by
Mr Zachariah Stonerock

A fixture in the local theatre community, Mr Stonerock returns to Bard Fest to direct this dark and necessary romance.   Mr Stonerock has been involved in Shakespeare for many years including most recently with "Loves Labor's Lost" and the Indianapolis Shakespeare Company.  


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CRESSIDA - Hannah Embree

TROILUS - Jack Tiehen

HECTOR - Ryan Powell

ACHILLES - John Kern

ULYSSES - Tristan Ross


THERSITES - Sarah Heider

PARIS/PATROCLUS - Tristan Montgomery

AENEAS - Tim Fox

AJAX/ALEXANDER - Austin Hookfin


HELEN - Abigail Simmon

AGAMEMNON/PRIAM - Jeffrey Stratford

CASSANDRA - Audrey Stonerock

ANDROMACHE - Brittany Magee


DIRECTOR - Zachariah Stonerock


COSTUME DESIGN - Samantha Kelly

LIGHTING DESIGN - Melinda Arthur

MAKEUP DESIGN - Tristan Ross





Seven years ago, Helen, wife of the Greek prince Menelaus, was

abducted by a prince of Troy named Paris, sparking the Trojan War,

as the Greek army fought to win her back from the Trojans. It’s not

going well. The Greeks, with their camp outside the walls of Troy,

have made no progress, and Achilles, their best warrior, refuses to

fight. The army is becoming dispirited.

A Trojan named Calchas has defected to the Greek camp. His

daughter Cressida remains in the city of Troy under the care of her

uncle, Pandarus.


Pandarus acts as a go-between for Cressida and Troilus. They both

love one another, though Cressida hopes to keep it a secret for now,

pretending to argue with her uncle that there are better men than

Troilus in both the Trojan and Greek armies. She knows that a man’s

behavior changes once he’s gotten what he wants.

In the Greek camp, everyone is miserable. Achilles and Patroclus

spend their days in a tent, mocking their own commanders. When

Aeneas comes from Troy with a challenge from Hector telling the

Greeks to send their best man to fight him, Ulysses hatches a plan

to manipulate Achilles into fighting, telling Agamemnon to appoint

Ajax as the warrior who will face Hector, which will be an insult to

Achilles’ pride.


After attempting to get the news from Thersites (and beating her

when she responds with insults), Ajax learns of Hector’s challenge

from Achilles.

In Troy, Priam announces that the Greeks have promised a swift end

to the war if the Trojans will return Helen to them. Hector argues for

the return of Helen to the Greeks, but Troilus strongly opposes this

plan as an insult to Trojan honor. Cassandra interrupts the council

with a terrified outburst, prophesying doom for Troy, which is quickly

dismissed by her brothers. Hector agrees to keep Helen in Troy.

Back in the Greek camp, Thersites vents about the commanders’

stupidity, then entertains Achilles. The commanders visit Achilles’

tent to ask if he will fight, and when he refuses, they take the

opportunity to inflate the ego of Ajax, complimenting him to his face

and insulting him under their breath.


Pandarus has a confusing exchange with a Trojan servant before

finding Paris and asking him to cover for Troilus while he is with

Cressida during the night. Helen flirts with Pandarus and asks him to

sing, a request he eventually obliges. Paris asks Helen for a favor.

Pandarus arranges a clandestine meeting between Troilus and

Cressida. While Cressida is still hesitant to confess her love, Troilus

reassures her with boasts and promises. Cressida finally makes her

feelings fully known, telling Troilus that her name should be used to

describe unfaithful women for all time if she is ever unfaithful to him.

Meanwhile, the Greeks have taken a Trojan prisoner, Antenor, whom

they plan to exchange for Cressida at the request of her father. They

continue the their plan to manipulate Achilles by passing by his tent

and disrespecting him. Ulysses then encourages him to fight, saying

his past heroic deeds have been forgotten. Achilles sends a

message to Ajax instructing him to invite Hector to their tents,

confessing his desire to meet Hector unarmed.


Paris escorts Diomedes into Troy to make the exchange of Antenor

for Cressida and bring her back to the Greek camp. Paris asks who

deserves to have Helen between himself and Menelaus, to which

Diomedes gives an ugly, scornful reply.

Aeneas comes to warn Troilus and Pandarus that Cressida must be

taken from the city. While Cressida is devastated, Troilus repeatedly

expresses his fear that she will be unfaithful to him. They exchange

Troilus’ sleeve with Cressida’s glove as tokens of their faith.

Diomedes arrives to take Cressida to the Greeks and insults Troilus,

who threatens him.


Outside the city, Ajax pridefully prepares for his fight with Hector.

Diomedes brings Cressida to meet the Greek commanders, who

intimidate her into kissing each of them one by one. When she

outsmarts Menelaus and Ulysses, drawing their anger, Diomedes

offers to take her to her father’s tent. Hector arrives with Aeneas and

Troilus and fights with Ajax. They end the fight peacefully, citing their

blood relation. Hector is greeted by the Greek commanders and

taken to their tents to feast. Achilles agrees to meet Hector on the

battlefield the following day, while Ulysses agrees to take Troilus to

Cressida’s tent.


Thersites mocks Agamemnon and Menelaus while Hector joins

Achilles at his tent. Diomedes goes to see Cressida, and Ulysses

leads Troilus to follow him.

Outside her father’s tent, Cressida meets Diomedes, while Troilus

and Ulysses watch from the shadows. Thersites hides elsewhere

and spies on all of them. Diomedes demands Cressida keep her

promise to him, while she asks him not to hold her to it. She stops

him when he begins to leave in anger, then reluctantly agrees to

sleep with him. He takes Troilus’ sleeve and says he will wear it in

the next day’s battle. When they are gone, Troilus, in agonized

disbelief, denies what he has just seen. Finally accepting it, he

pledges to kill Diomedes.

The following morning in Troy, Andromache pleads with Hector to

stay home after dreaming of his death. Cassandra joins in her plea

with another prophetic warning. Hector ignores them, citing his

honor. Troilus prepares to meet Diomedes, while Pandarus

complains of his worsening syphilis.

As the battle begins, Troilus fights with Diomedes and Ajax. Hector

defeats many Greeks, including Achilles, whom he disarms and

allows to flee. Ajax kidnaps Aeneas.

Achilles gathers all the Greeks and forms a plan to attack Hector all

at once. They find him unarmed and murder him brutally. Achilles

ties Hector’s body to his horse and drags him around the field.

Troilus brings the news of Hector’s death to the Trojan forces.

Pandarus brings him a letter from Cressida, which he tears into

pieces, threatening revenge and cursing Pandarus.

Made possible by a generous donation from

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