Nevertheless They Persisted – Hecuba/Helen

SRT’s 2018 Summer Festival


From Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle:

"Aleta Hayes’ choreography ... keeps Hecuba/Helen ceaselessly dynamic ... This group of young women is constantly darting about the space, pitching, heaving and lunging their limbs, arranging and rearranging themselves like electrons that then pause for an instant to blossom into a kaleidoscopic pattern."

"The script demands that Walsh mine symphonic range out of grief ... A few bold choices, like a foray into song, lend new shading to suffering; she’s like Shakespeare’s Ophelia, at once fathoming too much and not fathoming at all, the song both a veil over a clouded gaze and a clear-eyed immersion into sadness, the likes of which those who hold onto sanity can never know."

"It’s always invigorating to witness one of Western theater’s titanic women, but to see two of them in implied dialogue with one another opens up a new range of possibilities, both for classic drama and for our own."


From Ande Jacobson, A Good Reed Review:

"a stroke of inspiration ... Stanford Rep is known for their unique takes on challenging works, and this year’s production continues that tradition. ... Don’t miss this production."

"Courtney Walsh eloquently plays the title roles of Hecuba and Helen ... Her characters’ cunning and refusal to surrender to authority despite horrific odds are admirable and gripping to watch. While both roles are strong women, Walsh makes each unique, displaying their disparate strengths."

"Composer and sound designer Michael Keck creates a masterful backdrop of sea sounds and original ancient-sounding music to enhance the action. The sound plot is ever-present and accentuated by projections including gorgeous Nile river shots, exquisite sand formations, pyramids, and stellar phenomena."


SRT's Hecuba/Helen featured in Media Center

Read Stanford Review here!

Read a PREVIEW of Hecuba/Helen in the Palo Alto Online!

Video from the Peninsula Backstage:

Listen to the interview about Hecuba/Helen with Director Rush Rehm and co-adapter and actress Courtney Walsh, on KALW's Open Air. It is the first interview on the program:


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To celebrate our 20th anniversary (June – August 2018), Stanford Repertory Theater mounts our most ambitious Summer Festival to date, Nevertheless They Persisted. The festival features a new adaptation of Euripides’ Hecuba and Helen, focusing on two mythic women who seize control of their destinies in startling ways and triumph over the men who try to dominate them.   

On opposite sides of the great Trojan War, Queen Hecuba of Troy becomes its emblematic victim, while Helen of Sparta is reviled as its cause. Despite their apparent differences, each woman turns the tables on those who have wreaked havoc on their lives. Joined together for the first time, and presented in one evening, the iconic heroines of Hecuba/Helen speak to each other and to us, in both searingly tragic and surprisingly comic ways.

With stirring music, vibrant choreography, and stunning visual effects (developed by the artists who created SRT’s award-winning Moby Dick - Rehearsed), Hecuba/Helen reminds us of war’s consequences on the women who pick up the pieces and carry on. Set after the sack of Troy, Hecuba tells the story of a fallen queen facing a life of slavery and forced migration, who exacts revenge by exerting power no one suspected she possessed. In Helen, Euripides offers a marvelous twist on the traditional story – a phantom Helen, rather than Helen herself, was sent to Troy! Exposing the shadowy justifications for an unjust war, the falsely maligned heroine uses her wit and cunning to save her war-hero husband and herself.

Given the current international saber rattling, and the ongoing revelations about male abuse and violence against women, SRT’s Hecuba/Helen could not be more timely. Euripides handles these compellingly modern subjects with insight, passion, theatrical brilliance, and a daring sense of humor.

Hecuba/Helen plays Thursday - Saturday 8 pm, Sunday 2 pm, July 26 - August 19, 2018, in Roble Studio Theater, 375 Santa Teresa Street, Stanford, 94305. The show runs 2 hrs 5 minutes (including a 10 minute intermission). All Sunday matinees are followed by a post-show discussion with director and cast. For tickets, click here

SRT will remount our production of Hecuba in Athens, Greece, at the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation theater September 7, 8, and 9, 2018 at 8 pm.Courtney Walsh (Hecuba) will join an all Greek professional cast, as SRT brings this great tragedy back to the city of its origin. Performed in English, with Greek supertitles, Hecuba will be followed by post-show discussions led by director Rush Rehm and SRT artistic and producing consultant Katerina Zacharia. For background on this exciting initiative, please see here.

SRT's 2017 The Many Faces of Farce was nominated for a Theater Bay Area Critics Award for best production in the South Bay. "It’s a wonderful production, well performed and well directed. … an entertaining and thoughtful evening of theater.”  Palo Alto Daily Post

SRT's 2016 production of Odet's Waiting for Lefty: "Kudos to Stanford Repertory Theater and artistic director Rush Rehm for bringing this pithy production to Bay Area audiences." San Jose Mercury News

SRT's 2015 production of Coward's Hay Fever received three Bay Area Theater Critic Award Nominations: Best Production, Best Costumes (Connie Strayer), Best Supporting Actress (Kathleen Kelso)

SRT's 2014 production of Welles' Moby Dick - Rehearsed received ten Theater Bay Area nominations, and won in four categories: Outstanding Production, Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Direction (Rush Rehm and Courtney Walsh), and Outstanding Sound Design (Michael Keck)