by: Nick Salamone
directed by: Jon Lawrence Rivera


In this version of her story, written just three years after his Trojan Women, Euripides’ Helen is no wanton seductress, but rather a faithful wife and innocent victim of Olympian plots. By a trick of the gods, this Helen never travels to Troy at all, but is replaced by a phantom double before she can be kidnapped by the Trojan prince Paris. Magically transported by Hermes to Egypt for safekeeping, the real Queen Helen waits out the Trojan War in an ironic celibacy, far from the battle.

Euripides’ play picks up Helen’s story seventeen years later, as the now middle-aged queen – stranded on the banks of the Nile, oblivious of her infamy and ignorant of the War’s outcome – wonders whether the gods, the world, and above all her husband have forgotten her forever.  As the plot unfolds, an irreverent fantasy ensues, filled with mistaken identities, daredevil escapes, and the inevitable “deus ex machina.”


  • “Playwright Nick Salamone has reimagined Helen for a contemporary, movie-savvy audience, taking vast liberties with the text in order to grant it a late-20th century Hollywood setting. Thus, instead of a dusty old slab of classic theater, we get a visually splendid romp”
    LA Weekly
  • "... there are plenty of hearty laughs to be had in this contemporary version of a classic”
    Los Angeles Times
  • “This is a spectacularly one-of-a-kind evening of theatre… an experience to remember.”
    Broadway World
  • "This production shows, once again, that the best, most varied, and riskiest theatre in America is taking place in Los Angeles these days."
    Culture Weekly
  • “Rivera’s production swerves… between consequences-of-war pathos and high comedy, usually defaulting to the latter.”
    Back Stage
  • “This is the most interesting Getty Villa production since… Aristophanes’ Peace in 2009. Both Peace and Helen had their roots in LA artists, which perhaps helped tailor the material more precisely to LA audiences. Also, both of these plays have been seldom seen in other versions.”
    Stage Scene LA
  • starring: Robert, Almodovar, Carlease Burke, Melody Butiu, Maxwell Caulfield, Anita Dashiell-Sparks, Arsene Delay, Chil Kong, Jayme Lake, Robert Mammana, Natsuko Ohama, Christopher Rivas, Rachel Sorsa, Leslie Stevens
  • original music: David O
  • Dramaturg: Mary Hart
  • scenic designer: John H. Binkley
  • lighting designer: R. Christopher Stokes
  • projection designer: Adam Flemming
  • costume designer: Mylette Nora
  • sound designer: Bob Blackburn
  • prop designer: Lorely Trinidad
  • casting directors: Russell Boast and Raul Clayton Staggs
  • assistant directors: Shaunessy Quinn and Daniel Enrique Segura
  • stage manager: Jacklyn Kalkhurst
  • production stage manager: Don Hill

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PLAYWRIGHTS’ ARENA accepts unsolicited full-length plays from Los Angeles-based playwrights only and that comply with the company’s mission statement.

We do not accept one-acts (less than 70 minutes long), one-person shows or “kitchen sink” dramas. Please submit the entire script with a cover letter and playwright’s bio using the form below.

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