After driving for two hours through the pouring rain (and hail!), we’re about 15 minutes away from the site of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s production of Troilus and Cressida. As the rain began to clear, we came to a beautiful bridge across a very narrow part of the Hudson River. The sight was beautiful. The mist was clear and wafty. There was a slight breeze, and the gentle patter of the rain made it all that much more magical. When we passed over it, directly on the opposite side was a pizza parlor/market. The pizza was cooked in a brick oven right in front of us. It was delicious.
Greeks vs Trojans
Upon arriving, we saw immediately that this would be no ordinary performance. The ‘playhouse’ was a tent, with seats around it, overlooking a beautiful picturesque mountain scene. West Point rested on the next mountain. The Hudson rippled 500 feet below, and the entire area was enclosed with woods and gardens. There was almost no place outside of the tent that didn’t shimmer with newly fallen rain. The clouds were dark and swirling, but gentle.
Ajax, Hector, Achilles, Ulysses, Thersities, and Aneas held the play together. Though small character roles, and many very different, they all shared one thing; passion. Whether it was scheming against Achilles, cursing Hector, arguing over Helen, or expressing hatred towards the world, they all did this or that with passion. This gave the rest of the actors the life that they needed.
Photos courtesy of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival