This week I had an amazing opportunity to take a trip to the Getty Villa to see a production called Trojan Women (After Euripides). I went with the Academy for Polymathic Study, which is a USC program that offers a series of events designed to increase interdisciplinary study and awareness.
All of us who went to the show met in Doheny Library before to have a pizza dinner and a discussion about the show with a few faculty members. Then we drove to the Getty Villa, which has a museum and gardens focused on the study of the arts of ancient Greece, Rome, and Erutria. It’s absolutely gorgeous! We got to see an outdoor performance that used the museum as a backdrop.
It was a beautiful night, and I felt very lucky to have gotten free tickets through the Academy for Polymathic Study! The production was very interesting. It mostly held true to Euripides’ original script, but there were some additions that really helped incorporate the political atmosphere today. The story of the play follows the women of Troy immediately after the Greeks conquer the city as they wait to find out what will happen to them. Like most Greek tragedy, it is very dark; all the women either die or are separated from each other and sent into slavery. It’s an interesting script because even though it was written by a Greek, it really captures the idea that no one wins in war.
At first, it would seem like this particular play would seem dated and not at all applicable to modern times. But it was amazingly moving, particularly because there are still parts of the world where this portrayal of the aftermath of war is still accurate. In addition, the lead actress playing Hecuba, the queen of Troy, gave an absolutely phenomenal performance. It is so incredible to me that a play written thousands of years ago can still have so much to say to a modern audience!
But I have to say that the best part of the night was after the play. It was amazing to be with a group of students from all different majors who wanted to talk about the play, what it meant, and what they liked or didn’t like. We were talking for an hour, and still had more to say when we got back to USC!
All in all, it was a fantastic experience and I can’t wait to go back to the Getty Villa again! Although the run of the show is over, I still definitely recommend the Getty Villa. It’s a beautiful place, with amazing gardens and a gorgeous museum, all modeled after ancient Greek, Roman, and Erutrian aesthetics. It’s also free, you just have to book a time in advance at http://www.getty.edu/visit/
I know I’ll be heading back soon!