Heartwood Theater is soon to present "Medea" as a dramatic staged reading, May 10 and 11. First produced in 431 BC, Euripides' “Medea” remains a classic of the dramatic canon, the most frequently performed Greek tragedy throughout the 20th century.
Heartwood’s Artistic Director Griff Braley expounds on his choice to use American poet Robinson Jeffers’ adaptation of this classic tragedy, “This play moves like a freight train. The action is so clear and often concise, the audience gets drawn straight in ….”
“Media” is a piece that will thrive as a staged reading in the Poe Theater, a space where the words so easily resonate and the audience – actor relationship is very close. Of course, ancient theater relied heavily on speech, and with an audience ready to engage aurally, this piece will rock the house.
The plot of "Medea" is simple and stark. After using her powers to save her husband, Jason, on his famous journey, he then casts her aside in pursuit of marriage to Creusa, the young daughter of Creon. This, to solidify his power. Medea is incensed, and with striking fury, she lashes out at Jason, Creusa and Creon, even as the elderly Nurse of her boys and the three Women of Corinth do their best to contain her vengeful passions.
Jeffers’ stark language, familiar to those who know his poetry, matches the intensity of the Greeks, and no violence is depicted on stage. Rather, the heightened language and bare stage elevate the dramatic moments.
In this small theater, a group of talented and committed performers, each in their own light-defined stage space, will transact images in a very personal way, into the shared audience space.
A strong cast of ten Midcoast actors will take on this dramatic staged reading: Elise Voigt (Medea), Joe Lugosch (Jason), Peter Henderson (Creon), Millie Gagnon (Nurse), Jim Stewart (Aegeus), Joseph Cote (Tutor), Mary Boothby, Mary Fraser and Hannah Grady (Women of Corinth) and Jonah Daiute (Slave).
Performances are scheduled for one weekend only: at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11; and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 12 in the Poe Theater, 81 Academy Hill Rd., Newcastle, at Lincoln Academy.