After a season-and-a-half in the Village of East Davenport, the Prenzie Players are returning to Rock Island with “Troilus and Cressida,” which opens next weekend.
“We kind of knew when we were looking for another place that it would be downtown Rock Island,” artistic director Cait Bodenbender said.
The Prenzie Players, in the middle of their eighth season of performing classical theater in non-classical locations, was one of several companies that had its performances at the Village Theatre in the Village of East Davenport.
But Bodenbender said rehearsal time was limited there since several companies shared the theater, and the performers — who generally used the entire space — wanted as much rehearsal time in the actual location as possible.
“Because there were so many companies at the Village Theatre, you really could only get in there for a very short period of time before your show went up,” Bodenbender said.
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The former Glass Impact location in The District of Rock Island will hold about 50 in the configuration being used for “Troilus” and about 80 for “Cyrano de Bergerac,” which Prenzie is staging this spring.
“We’ll stay there as long as we’re able to and as long as it makes sense,” Bodenbender said.
Directed by Maggie Woolley, “Troilus and Cressida” is considered one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays,” Bodenbender said. Action in the play jumps ahead in time, she said, without giving much of an indication to the audience. The Prenzies have tried to alleviate that by reducing the time lapses, she said. It also is difficult because the play shifts back and forth between several different locations.
Andrew Koski and Jaci Entwisle play the title roles, a Trojan prince who romances a fellow Trojan before she is exchanged for a prisoner of war. Other cast members include Pat Flaherty as Greek king Agamemnon and J.C. Luxton, Steven Quartell and Michael King as Greek princes Ulysses, Achilles and Diomedes, respectively.
“We’ve got a lot of really strong men in this one because it needs it,” said Bodenbender, whose company has frequently cast females in male roles before.
Much of the script looks at the war between the Greeks and the Trojans, she said.
“This play feels so contemporary with the language and the decisions people make,” she said. “It’s about the events of the Trojan War, but the discussions and the decisions they make are very contemporary.”