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USD Theatre Presents World Premiere of Contemporary Greek Tragedy

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USD students Taylor Gravert, Emmy Hewitt, Megan Gilbreath, Skyla Sanders, Vivian Klein, and Claire Vetter in the production of These Women of Troy Taylor Gravert, Emmy Hewitt, Megan Gilbreath, Skyla Sanders, Vivian Klein and Claire Vetter (pictured L-R) in the production of “These Women of Troy.”
VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota’s Department of Theatre is proud to present “These Women of Troy,” an original adaptation written by Joe Stollenwerk, Ph.D., assistant professor in the theatre department. The show runs Feb. 17-20 in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre.
This new adaptation of the classic Greek anti-war play follows the aftermath of the siege of Troy and annihilation of most of its populace. In the face of this devastation, the remaining women gather on a remote beach and contemplate their futures. Written in free verse and placed in a timeless setting, this new play infuses Ancient Greek tragedy and mythology with a contemporary sensibility and commentary.
Stollenwerk is proud to see his writing fully produced on the USD stage for the first time. “It has been a joy to watch the work of director Chaya Gordon-Bland and our talented design team bring the play to life,” said Stollenwerk. “My favorite part of the process was watching the first week of rehearsals, hearing the text and seeing it up on its feet, and making many small changes to improve the script based on the work the actors are doing.”
Senior B.F.A. musical theatre student Patrick Simonsen is excited to design costumes, hair and makeup for the world premiere of a new play. “It’s been really interesting working on a new play and getting to have my own spin on who the characters are and it being the first adaptation of the costumes,” Simonsen said. “My favorite moment from the design process has been getting to collaborate with the actors on who their characters are and how their ages and their different social standings affect the clothing.”
“These Women of Troy” performs Feb. 17-19 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance on Feb. 20 at 2 p.m. in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre on the USD campus. Tickets ($15 Adults, $12 Senior Citizen [62+], $10 K-12 & non-USD students with ID, and free for USD students with ID) can be purchased in the afternoons (12-5 p.m.) starting Feb. 10 at the USD Theatre Box Office or by calling 605-658-3484; tickets can also be purchased now online at
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USD’s College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.
Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News


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