Trojan Barbie is an adaptation of Euripides’ classic tragedy Trojan Women. Euripides is one of the famous Athenian playwrights whose works still remain. His plays were often critical of Athens, an aspect that earned him much criticism, and Trojan Women is no exception. The play explores the atrocities of war and its effect on the surviving women of Troy. When it was written, Athens was in the midst the Peloponnesian War, this time against Sparta. Trojan Women was a clear social criticism on the war and its effect on women.
Euripides wrote Trojan Women for a Greek audience in which the Greeks are the oppressors. He's saying to them, 'Remember these atrocities that happened 800 years ago that we still can’t get over? We’re still making these mistakes.'"
- Director Kim Shively
Theatro Ena, Nicosia, Cyprus; 2018
Why Greek? Why now?
People have been adapting ancient Greek tragedies for centuries. They act as a piece of living history that appeals to audiences across time. Part of what makes these plays so relevant to today’s audiences are the overarching themes that still crop up. In the case of Trojan Women, the theme is the cost of war. In Trojan Barbie, it is unclear whether the soldiers are Greek or American, yet the issues and conflicts that arise between the characters remains the same. As long as the horrors of war remain the same, so too will the importance of telling the story of Trojan Women and modern women impacted and displaced by war.
So, why I think the Greeks are still relevant is because we’re still telling the same stories. If you look at a lot of what’s going on on cable - in terms of scripted television, it’s all very Greek. And so, there’s nothing new under the sun, and the stories that were written thousands of years ago that are about the human condition are still really relevant now."
-Director Kim Shively