Traffic In Women III: A Retrial of the Danaids
The issue of violence against women has found a voice through female characters in Greek mythology portrayed in a trilogy of plays written by University of St. Thomas English Professor, Janet Lowery. The latest installment, “Traffic in Women III: A Retrial of the Danaids” will be performed at Jones Hall Auditorium, 3910 Yoakum, on the UST campus at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30 through Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008. Performances will also be held Wednesday, Feb. 6-9 and Monday, Feb. 11, 2008.
“Traffic in Women III: A Retrial of the Danaids” is about the 50 daughters of Danaus I, the King of Libya. Forced to marry their cousins, they carried out their father’s order to slay the men on their wedding night. In the afterlife, the Danaids were condemned to pour water into leaking pots for eternity. The play centers on an imagined retrial of the Danaids.
The play’s first act dramatizes the amassing of the judge (Persephone), the jurors (the Sibyls and six ancient female deities including Nemesis), the prosecutors (the Furies) and the defending attorneys (Cassandra, Eos and Thalia), all famous female characters from Greek mythology. The second act is the trial itself.
“I began writing the Traffic in Women series as a way to draw attention to the problem of human trafficking,” said Lowery. “Women and girls are often sold to dealers or into prostitutions, many times by their own families. These plays focus on women who have survived such violations of human rights.”
A wall-mural will be on display at Jones Hall, 3910 Yoakum, marking modern day human trafficking routes. Information in the form of brochures will also be available on this topic.
“Greek mythology provides a wealth of powerful female characters. The plays show women supporting women in efforts to resolve the intrusion of violence in their lives,” said Lowery.
The Traffic in Women trilogy initially began as a series of poems for Lowery and later developed into the plays, all original works. UST associate professor of communication and alumna, Dr. Livia Bornigia, co-produces and co-directs all three plays with Lowery. She has also acted in all three plays, portraying such characters as Aphrodite, Helen of Troy, Medea and Laodamia. In “Traffic in Women III,” she plays main Danaid, Pirene, as well as Melpomene, Muse of Tragedy. Other alumni working on the play include Ann Candler Harlan, actress and costume designer, and Lindsey Hurst, actress and choreographer.
Tickets for “Traffic in Women III: A Retrial of the Danaids” are $5 at the door. There are no reserved tickets. For more information, call 713-525-3177 or 713-525-3172.