History of the Project

It started with some questions….

  • What would it be like to teach the 1974 La MaMa production of Trojan Women, directed by Andrei Serban, composed by Elizabeth Swados, and produced  by Ellen Stewart, to people in places of recent or sustained conflict?
  • Would the themes of Euripides’ 2500-year-old play -  war, displacement, violence against women and children, and genocide - resonate in these places?
  • Would the language of the La MaMa production, made up of ancient languages and pure sound, with no literal meaning, invite a new generation of theater-makers to find their own place for their own stories?

We found that the answer to these questions was yes.

In 2014, two members of the original company, Onni Johnson and Bill Ruyle and two members of the 1996 revival, Kim Ima and George Drance, went to Guatemala to begin our work.  Our team has since grown to include Sara Galasini, another member of the Great Jones Rep, and Maud Dinand, our Project Development Director.

Working first with artists and community members throughout the country of Guatemala, The Trojan Women Project has developed a multi-phased format of exchange that incorporates workshops, rehearsals, performance, and dialogue.  In each encounter, the original La MaMa piece evolves to include story, music, and movement of the participants.

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