The Love of the Nightingale brings Greek myth to life

The latest play in TRU’s Actors Workshop Theatre touches on the struggles within a patriarchal society

From left: Stephanie Morrison as Queen of Athens Zeuxippe, Avery Reid as Philomela, Kuup Peters as Tereus and Erik Stephany as King of Athens Pandeon I. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

From left: Stephanie Morrison as Queen of Athens Zeuxippe, Avery Reid as Philomela, Kuup Peters as Tereus and Erik Stephany as King of Athens Pandeon I. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

TRU’s Actors Workshop Theatre’s next show, The Love of the Nightingale, is an adaptation of a tragic Ancient Greek myth about Philomela, who is raped by her brother-in-law and King of Thrace Tereus, and plots revenge with her sister Procne. TRU’s rendition stars Avery Reid as Philomela and Kuup Peters and Tereus.

“Philomela is a young princess, and she is very trusting and naive, and very adventurous. She just wants to see the world and explore and just wants to know everything, but the thing is she’s very sheltered so she doesn’t know how dangerous the world can actually be. As she goes to Thrace with Tereus to see her sister who had been married off, she begins to see that not everyone is as good as she wants them to be,” Reid said.

Tereus, on the other hand, is a man used to getting his way.

“This is a very challenging role for me and it took me a while to settle into the fact that this is a tragedy. I am a very comical guy, and Tereus is a character with a lot of power and he has this sense of entitlement that was a very difficult shift for me,” Peters said.

The play views the myth in a feminist light, exploring the power struggle between men and women in a patriarchal society.

“Looking at an ancient myth and how it relates to our times now, it speaks to the part that women could play and should play in our society,” Peters said.

As their character arcs progress, they must also decide whether some questions are worth asking, or if it is sometimes better not to know the truth: a lesson Philomela learns the hard way.

“You’re not going to be able to figure everything out about the world. There are some things that there is no concrete answer to, and also playing with what is right and what is wrong. Is there really a right and wrong? It all comes down to perspective and choices,” Reid said.

The Love of the Nightingale runs Feb. 26 to 28 and March 3 to 5 in TRU’s Actors Workshop Theatre. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at the box office outside the theatre.