Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

A Living Artifact: “Trojan Women (after Euripides)” Premieres Tonight

Tonight at 8:00 p.m., the Getty Villa becomes a stage for the premiere of Trojan Women (after Euripides).

It’s the culmination of years of work and refinement, both for SITI Company (presenting the play) and for the team at the Getty Villa that has helped shape the production. “Being here is remarkable because of the passionate relationship that the curators, in particular, have to what we’re doing,” says Anne Bogart. “They care and they have an opinion and it ultimately, I am sure, will make what we are doing a much stronger artifact, a living artifact.”

In this third part of our video interview series (see parts one and two), Bogart, playwright Jocelyn Clarke, and SITI Company cast members Ellen Lauren and Leon Ingulsrud discuss what it’s like working in a museum setting. “We’re treating the theater and the museum as a site-specific place; we’re not building a fancy set. Lighting is huge in our production, because the way you light that building and the environment—and the brush, bushes, and everything—is an aesthetic event.”

They also discuss the impact Trojan Women has had over time, and will have on the audience today. If you’d like to join that audience, get tickets here; Saturday nights are sold out, but some tickets are still available for Thursday and Friday evening performances.

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      The Queen Who Wasn’t

      Louis XIV clandestinely wed his mistress, Madame de Maintenon, at Versailles on October 9 or 10, 1683. The marriage was much gossiped about but never openly acknowledged. She was never queen.

      Madame de Maintenon had been the {judgy} governess to Louis XIV’s children by his previous mistress, Madame de Montespan. Louis gave these children moneyed titles—such as the comte de Toulouse, who ordered the tapestries shown here for his residence outside Paris.

      Louis’s secret marriage ushered in a period of religious fervor, in sharp contrast to the light-hearted character of his early reign. Madame de Maintenon was known for her Catholic piety, and founded a school for the education of impoverished noble girls at Saint-Cyr in 1686 that stayed in operation until 1793. This engraving of the Virgin and Child was dedicated to her by the king.

      Virgin and Child, late 1600s, Jean-Louis Roullet after Pierre Mignard; Johann Ulrich Stapf, engraver. The Getty Research Institute. Tapestries from the Emperor of China series. The J. Paul Getty Museum


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