| AandE

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Classic satire of 'Frogs' still rings true today

Andy Meholick and Carolyn Cole in Aristophanes’ “The Frogs,” presented by Seton Hill University Theatre and Dance Program Credit: Seton Hill University

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

‘The Frogs'

Presented by: Seton Hill University Theatre and Dance Program

When: Friday-Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sunday and 10:30 a.m. Oct. 3

Admission: $16; student and group rates available

Where: William Granger Ryan Theatre, Performing Arts Center, 100 Harrison Ave., Greensburg

Details: 724-552-2929 or

Daily Photo Galleries

Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, 9:12 p.m.

Theater students at Seton Hill University open the curtain on a new season by tackling a centuries-old comedy and political satire with messages that still ring true today.

“The Frogs,” by ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes, translated by Ian Johnston, is a crowd-pleaser that should leave audiences laughing, according to director Denise Pullen, an associate professor of theater and dance. And, in this presidential election year, she hopes the political messages will motivate patrons to vote.

Set during a time of turmoil in ancient Greece, “The Frogs” takes place in Athens, which has just lost a battle against the Spartans. Dionysus, the god of theater and wine — played by Kelsey Riker, a freshman musical-theater major from Douglassville — decides that only a playwright can bring peace to the country. Dionysus travels to the Underworld to bring the best one back from the dead.

In Hades, playwrights Aeschylus and Euripides stage a poetry competition, and Dionysus must choose the winner.

“We've set up the poetry competition between the playwrights as a cook-off, letting the chorus provoke the ‘studio audience' into offering up their own opinions,” Pullen says.

It's not an easy script for theater students, who have been researching the references to mythology and Greek politics and culture to interpret its message. And, there's language that isn't always clear.

“The text is nothing like I have ever experienced before. It is written in verse and has many ancient Greek references that we had to look up in order to understand,” says Gabriella DeCarli, a sophomore musical-theater student from DuBois and a member of the chorus.

Riker agrees that speaking in verse is a difficult part of the production, which also requires a great deal of stamina from the actors.

Andrew Meholick, a senior theater-performance major from Reynoldsville, portrays Aeschylus. He says the cast is working very hard to comprehend the classic Greek comedy and make the show one that audiences will enjoy.

“Everyone involved with the production is making new discoveries nightly. We want to share that experience,” he says.

The director says her students are having a good time working on “The Frogs.”

“The physical demands of this play and the challenge of the verse have kept things exciting,” Pullen says. “Staging the Greeks is in many ways like staging a musical — with dance and movement, chants, bold-stroke characters, pratfalls, poetry. It's been a lot of work and a lot of laughs.”

Candy Williams is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Burnett pitches well in farewell, but Pirates lose to Reds
  2. Steelers cut Scobee, sign free agent kicker Boswell
  3. Kessel addition, better health could have Pens scoring like it’s 1990s
  4. New book credits Nunn for Steelers’ 1970s success
  5. Pitt holds off Virginia Tech in ACC opener
  6. Are Pirates better positioned to win it all this postseason?
  7. Pirates fans on edge as season again coming down to wild card
  8. Steelers notebook: Safety Mitchell shrugs off Ravens WR’s comments
  9. Penguins at a glance entering 2015-16 season
  10. More employers adopt generous leave policies
  11. Shaler man charged in death of girl, 6, not prosecuted in repeated alcohol cases