One of our biggest cultural myths is that of the college fraternity. From movies like Animal House and Old School, to scathing “20/20 Investigates: Hazing”-style undercover reports, to the propaganda spread by national Greek organizations. Fraternities have been portrayed as everything from fountainheads of debauchery, to shadowy secret societies for the elite, to saintly service organizations. America’s love/hate affair with these groups has so thoroughly saturated our culture, that nearly everyone holds strong opinions as to both the practices and the value (or lack thereof) of the Greek system. Yet only a fraction of Americans, have ever actually participated in said fraternal traditions.
The play Trojan Men takes a look into the lives of the “men” of the Omicron Omicron Omicron Fraternity as they struggle to rebuild their brotherhood in the wake of an all-too familiar scandal. While initiate members like Mark Henley and David Greenwood look to find their place, both in the fraternity and university life, older members like Nathan Mills and Timothy Foley clash over the direction the Chapter should take. Unknown to everyone, another, more serious scandal, approaches, with a shocking confession that will test the brothers to their very core. This is not a story about the wacky-hijinks of the next John Belushi, nor is it a thrilling look into the “secret world” of The Skulls.
Trojan Men is a one act-play with an ensemble cast of 12 twenty-somethings (ten men and two women) which boasts a run time of about 90 minutes. It might be dismissed as “juvenile” and “foul” by prejudiced or timid critics, but, not far, beneath the layers of colorful language and the haze of booze, the thoughtful, will find a fresh and heartfelt look into the nature of male friendship, and the regimentation of coming of age. This play will leave an audience not just with a deeper understanding of what it means to be ‘a fraternity man’, but what it means to be a brother.
Trojan Men received a staged reading at the University of Kentucky and was solicited for the 2009 Humana Festival of New American Plays reading cycle at Actors Theatre of Louisville.