Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Seamus Heaney’s “The Cure at Troy” is a play about betrayal, abandonment, hope and ultimately forgiveness. Just as Philoctetes is about to sail with Odysseus to fight at Troy, a snake bites him and he becomes terribly ill. The crew is so disgusted by his illness that they abandon him on a deserted island rather than tend his wounds. After 10 years at war, the gods make it known that the Greeks cannot win without bringing Philoctetes to the front lines. However, Philoctetes has no intention of helping the Greeks again – the only thing he wants is to exact revenge on Odysseus.
“The Cure at Troy” is Seamus Heaney’s adaptation of Sophocles’ “Philoctetes”. The play was originally written in the 5th century BCE and performed at the festival of Dionysus in 409 BCE. “The Cure at Troy” was first produced in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1990, by the Field Day Theater Company. Heaney’s adaptation features some of his own poetry along with his translation. During the final moments of the 1998 Northern Ireland peace process it was often quoted by a number of political figures including Gerry Adams and Bill Clinton.
This production is the Honors Directing Thesis of Niccolo Aeed Moretti ’10. The design team includes: David Reynolds (set), Griffin Dowdy ’13 (costumes), Jacob Gilbert HC ’12 (lighting) and Daniel Perelstein ’09 (sound). The cast features Michael Edmiston ‘12, Nia Gipson ‘10, Ben Hattem ‘12, Paul LaFreniere ’13, Genevieve McGahey ’12 and Sophia Naylor ‘13.
This text is the Theater Department’s summary of the play.