Jonathan Unger ’14
On Saturday, November 23, the St. Edward Knights of the Tiber, after weeks of practice and rehearsal, were awarded second place at the tenth annual Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Dionysia for their performance of Hecubabe, an original play written by Jonathan Unger ‘14, Andrew Mudery ‘16, and Nicholas Taylor ‘16 based on Euripides’ famous tragedy Hecuba. The cast included Latin thespians Greg Pataky ‘14, Alex Tomoff ‘14, Unger, William Beatrez ‘15, Greg Margevicius ‘16, Mudery, Sam Tollet ‘16, Kevin Ward ‘16, Jay Zola ‘16, and Dylan Haney ‘17. Based loosely on the Dionysia, a fifth century BC Athenian religious festival celebrating their theatre god Dionysus, the CWRU Dionysia is an annual theatre competition between the Knights and members of the Shaker Heights High School Latin Club that challenges young classicists to modernize a play from Ancient Greece or Rome. Last year, with their modernization of Sophocles’ Ajax written by Unger, the Knights took first, as they had done consistently for the past several years, with prior scripts written by Dillon Bak ‘12 and Andrew Boudon ‘11. However, this year, the Knights took artistic liberties that left behind some of the play’s essence during translation into the twenty-first century.
Euripides’ Hecuba is a tragedy that follows the former queen of Troy, Hecuba, who, grief-stricken by the murder of her children, power-bereft by the siege of Troy and enslaved by the Greek conquerors, strikes brutal revenge upon her son’s killer. The Knights, intending to remove graphic violence and overtones, centered their play, Hecubabe, on a paintball tournament. After the disqualification of key players by rival paintball team “Achaeans are Super Manly” (ASM), the Hecubabes blindfold the man who sent Hecubabe’s son to math camp. Although this proved too much for the judges, the Latin thespians practiced hard and hope to reclaim first place next year as they are now tied with the Shaker Heights Latin Club for number of victories. The Knights also look forward to Certamen matches this winter and the 2014 Ohio Junior Classical League (OJCL) Convention in March.