Call for Participants: CAMP production of Euripides’ Helen
2021 SCS/AIA Annual Meeting (Online), January 5–10, 2021 (exact time TBD).
Directed by Mary-Kay Gamel
With New Ancient Music by John Franklin
Artwork by Glynnis Fawkes
New Translation by Students, Alumns, and Faculty of the University of Vermont
The Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance will present this year’s staged reading online via Zoom. Euripides conjures a colorful and cartoonish Greco-Egyptian fantasy of a ‘new Helen’ prevailing against coercive authority and damning repute. Persistent comedic elements enrich traditional tragic pathos for a “poignant, powerful message about what women can accomplish if only men would get out of their way” (A. Robinson).
The production will attempt to transcend the limitations of Zoom by creative exploitation of e.g. View modes, custom virtual backgrounds by Glynnis Fawkes (in lieu of scenery), and shared-video entr’actes for choral odes by Glynnis Fawkes and John Franklin (example here).
We'd love to cast actors from every background—all are welcome, no previous experience required! We also hope that there will be opportunities for silent roles, if you want to give CAMP a first-time try. We also invite people with technical experience (costuming, technical, etc.) to join the crew.
Reading rehearsals will take place via Zoom sporadically throughout the fall, with full run-throughs on the two days before he performance. This will give us time to iron out technical wrinkles, and let the players develop some chemistry with each other.
Possible roles include:
HELEN: The unexpectedly virtuous heroine, trapped in Egypt for 17 years and now threatened with forced marriage to king Theoklymenos.
TEUKROS: Exiled veteran of the Trojan War, en route to a new home in Cyprus.
CHORUS and CHORUS LEADER: Captive Greek maidens, who have somehow come with Helen to Egypt.
MENELAOS: Helen’s husband, sacker of Troy, who has wandered for seven years with a phantom-double of the real Helen, which he took from Troy. He is pompous, blustering, self- important, often slow and more than a little pathetic.
DOORKEEPER/OLD WOMAN: Comic character who humiliates Menelaos and warns him of the local danger to Greeks.
SERVANT (OF MENELAOS): Delivers first messenger speech about departure of the phantom.
THEONOE: Prophetic sister of the Egyptian king Theoklymenos, against whose wishes she helps Helen and Menelaos escape.
THEOKLYMENOS: Buffonish and blustering Egyptian king who, now that his virtuous father Proteus is dead, would force Helen into marriage.
EGYPTIAN MESSENGER: Delivers climactic speech about escape of Helen and Menelaos.
DIOSKOUROI (KASTOR AND POLLUX): Helen’s twin brothers, who appear ex machina to bring the action to a close (by forbidding Theoklymenos to chase Helen and Menelaos).
If you are interested in participating, please email both Mary-Kay Gamel (firstname.lastname@example.org) and John Franklin (email@example.com) by Friday, September 11 to let us know how you might like to participate and contribute. We will aim to have a preliminary Zoom meeting with everybody the weekend of September 19–20.