The Trojan Women Project

December 05 - December 15, 2019

The Trojan Women Project Festival is an extraordinary culmination of five years’ international exchange and partnerships between The Trojan Women Project and artists in Guatemala, Cambodia, and Kosovo. The Festival will feature performances of a newly-envisaged staging of The Trojan Women directed by Andrei Serban that will unite an international cast with artists from La MaMa's Great Jones Rep, as well as workshops, panels, and more. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

San Juan Comalapa, Guatemala

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Pristina, Kosovo

About the Trojan Women Project

The Trojan Women Project sends artists from the Great Jones Rep to communities worldwide to work with actors, musicians and designers in re-creating the music and staging of LaMaMa's groundbreaking production of The Trojan Women, first produced by Ellen Stewart in 1974.
The Trojan Women is an old story - the play is more than 2500 years old. But its themes - war, displacement, violence against women and children, genocide - continue to be relevant throughout the world. For this reason, The Trojan Women Project seeks to engage with communities where there is a recent history of conflict, and a desire on the part of these communities to use theater as a means of addressing contemporary issues.
Using the text, music, and scenarios originally developed by Elizabeth Swados, Andrei Serban and the Great Jones Repertory Company, workshops focus on the exploration of sound and gesture. In rehearsal, actors and musicians are encouraged to incorporate their own instruments, music, dance and design elements into the production. The workshops and rehearsals lead to performances for their communities, after which the production remains with the participants to use as they wish in their future work.




The Trojan Women Project grew out of a desire to share this particular way of working which began in the late 1960’s at LaMaMa and culminated in the The Trojan Women. Using a mix of ancient and indigenous words and phrases, the composer Elizabeth Swados created a new, non-literal language. Meaning is transported through sounds, rhythm, music and gesture. Andrei Serban’s staging physically involved the audience throughout the piece, turning them into participants and witnesses, not just spectators. The production has been performed in more than thirty countries throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East. For performers, musicians and audiences over the years, it has been an extraordinary experience. We believe it is time for a new chapter.
There is something about this way of working that opens up voices, bodies, and our imagination to create a space, a shared space, where we can experience the story beyond words, making room for individual stories and histories to resonate. Ellen Stewart spent her life bringing people together with theater, dance and music. She crossed borders, opened doors, and encouraged everyone to do the same. The Trojan Women Project is committed to working in this spirit, encouraging all of us towards a collective vision of peace, hope, and the understanding that comes with hearing stories, making theater, and being together in one communal space.

About the Original Production

THE TROJAN WOMEN, created by Andrei Serban, Elizabeth Swados, and the Great Jones Repertory Company, premiered at La MaMa in 1974 to critical acclaim. Featuring several ancient languages such as Navajo, Ancient Greek, and Aztec, the play deals with the effects of war and atrocities towards women and children caught in interminable struggles for power. This story is 2,500 years old but continues to resonate around the world. Since its premiere the play has toured more than 30 countries and has been passed down several generations of artists.
The Great Jones Repertory Company founded by Ellen Stewart in 1972, is an Obie award-winning multi-cultural, intergenerational performing company. Under the direction of Andrei Serban, with original music by Elizabeth Swados, the company created landmark works that remain a significant part of La MaMa’s history, most notably, FRAGMENTS OF A GREEK TRILOGY (1972), which ushered in a new movement in American ensemble theatre and was noted as one of the most brilliant works of its time.
Banner Photographer: Majlinda Hoxha