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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.
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.
CAST & PRODUCTION TEAM
CRESSIDA - Hannah Embree
TROILUS - Jack Tiehen
HECTOR - Ryan Powell
ACHILLES - John Kern
ULYSSES - Tristan Ross
PANDARUS/MENELAUS - David Mosedale
THERSITES - Sarah Heider
PARIS/PATROCLUS - Tristan Montgomery
AENEAS - Tim Fox
AJAX/ALEXANDER - Austin Hookfin
DIOMEDES/TROJAN SERVANT - Jack Paganelli
HELEN - Abigail Simmon
AGAMEMNON/PRIAM - Jeffrey Stratford
CASSANDRA - Audrey Stonerock
ANDROMACHE - Brittany Magee
DIRECTOR - Zachariah Stonerock
STAGE MANAGER - Zach Heider
COSTUME DESIGN - Samantha Kelly
LIGHTING DESIGN - Melinda Arthur
MAKEUP DESIGN - Tristan Ross
FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY - Sarah Heider
INTIMACY COORDINATION - Callie Hartz
TROILUS & CRESSIDA - ACT-BY-ACT SYNOPSIS (Spoilers)
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
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
After attempting to get the news from Thersites (and beating her
when she responds with insults), Ajax learns of Hector’s challenge
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.
TROILUS & CRESSIDA - ACT-BY-ACT SYNOPSIS
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
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.