The Department of Theatre Arts is kicking off its spring 2021 production lineup with virtual readings of “The Killing Fields,” a modern adaptation of epic Greek literature set against the backdrop of the 1980s crack epidemic, on Saturday, Feb. 6 and Sunday, Feb. 7.
“The Killing Fields” is written by Anya Pearson, and this production will be directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Martine Green-Rogers.
About “The Killing Fields”
“The Killing Fields” recasts the Greek playwright Aeschylus’s tragedy of the king Agamemnon, widely known to modern readers as the Greek commander during the Trojan War, and his sacrifice of his daughter, Iphigenia, as penance to the goddess Artemis.
Set in East Oakland, California, Pearson’s “The Killing Fields” adapts Agamemnon’s story through the lens of Black Americans during the height of the crack epidemic. Cly, the protagonist, engages in an epic struggle to rescue her daughter from a life of addiction.
“Recently there has been more attention, and scrutiny, on how the actions of the federal government in the 1980s affected the Black community regarding the ‘war on drugs,’ and I am interested in the way the playwright incorporates that into the world of this play,” Green-Rogers said, “I hope this play will inspire some interest in the tales the Greeks told, mostly because there are some lessons in those stories we need to relearn.”
As with all previous Department of Theatre Arts productions for the 2020-2021 academic year, “The Killing Fields” will be presented virtually due to ongoing restrictions on gatherings during COVID-19 pandemic.
Please be advised: The music played in the pre-show and during the show, as well as the show itself, contains explicit language around subjects that include, but are not limited to, race, women’s bodies and sex/sexual acts.
Performances of “The Killing Fields” will be given on:
- Saturday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m., and
- Sunday, Feb. 7, at 2 p.m.
Guests are required to RSVP in advance to join the virtual audience for this live-streamed production from SUNY New Paltz’s Department of Theatre Arts.
After RSVPing, ticket holders will receive a confirmation email with a link to the live stream. The link will be active about 15 minutes before showtime. Simply click or copy the link into your browser to view the performance.
Reservations are offered on a “pay what you can” scale and are limited to four tickets per person.
Hundreds of community members registered for tickets in support of the department’s productions during the fall 2020 semester. The Department of Theatre Arts thanks the community for supporting our students’ education and creativity during these unprecedented times.
Please use this link to read more about how our work is continuing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Martine Kei Green-Rogers is an associate professor at SUNY New Paltz, where she teaches courses related to her research interests which include dramaturgy, world theatre, gender and race in American theatre, and issues of sustainability in the theatre.
As a proud member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and past president of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA), she also serves as the fellowship associate for the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the 2020-21 season.
Green-Rogers is a scholar and writer who thrives on interdisciplinary work with two books currently in progress: “In the Studio: Dramaturgy and Stage Design,” which is co-Authored with Jesse Portillo (Southern Illinois University Press), and “Devising and Dramaturgy” (Routledge).
She holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Theatre and Drama at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master of Arts in theatre history and criticism from the Catholic University of America, and a B.A. in theatre from Virginia Wesleyan College. More information, including dramaturgical credits, can be found at https://www.martinekeigreenrogers.com/.