The Eureka College Theatre Department will put a modern spin on an ancient Greek classic when it presents “The Frogs” by Aristophanes at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 through March 1 and 2 p.m. March 2 in Pritchard Theatre.
Eureka College theatre professor Holly Rocke will direct the R-rated comedy, in which the characters and set will take on a circus aura, and puppets will share the stage with actors.
“The Frogs” was first performed in 405 B.C. The plot revolves around the god of theater, Dionysus, and his sidekick, Xanthias, who travel to the underworld in search of good playwrights. After many miscommunications, Dionysus meets the most famous authors and referees a battle among them. The 2008 translation by Jeffery Henderson emphasizes humor, some of which involves Dionysus being scared of his own shadow, Rocke said.
“The characters will be over the top in their acting styles,” Rocke said. “Greek comedies were bawdy and politically sharp. Jokes were made at the expense of city leaders, and the hypocrisy of the ruling class was highlighted. Our goal is to break down the stereotypes and emphasize the humor inherent in the script.”
In lead roles are Belle Grober of Peoria as Dionysus and Hannah Lane of Trivoli as Xanthias. Rounding out the cast are Prabhu Venkataraman of Washington as Heracles, Kevin Wickart of Bloomington as Euripides, Anna Dabrowski of Mansfield as Pluto, Kelli Robison of Henry as Aeschylus, Hattie Standridge of Sulphur, Okla., as the snake charmer, Ashleigh Feger of Downs as the ribbon twirler and Heidi Lynch of Eureka as the innkeeper.
The crew includes stage manager and lighting designer Sarah Ackermann of St. Louis, set designer Marty Lynch of Eureka, puppet and props coordinator Jessica Rogers of Ottawa, carpenter Emmalie Dabrowski of Mansfield, technical director Mary Wenzel and electrician Rahmell Brown, both of Peoria, and costumer Cate Hosier of Altoona, Iowa.
Tickets are $5. For reservations, call the box office at (309) 467-6363.