Euripides’ Greek drama to open MC Theatre season

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The Maryville College Theatre Department will be showcasing a production of “Medea” on Oct. 17-19 at 8 p.m. and 20 at 2 p.m. in the Haslam Family Flexible Theatre at the Clayton Center for the Arts.

“It is not a play written by Tyler Perry,” said Cameron Hite, a junior at MC and the male lead of the production.

“Medea,” written by Euripides, was originally performed around 431 B.C. The story begins with the classic Greek characters Medea of Colchis, played by senior Caitlin Campbell, and Jason the Argonaut, Hite, and their marriage — which is rocky, to say the least. After Jason leaves Medea, she is exiled from Corinth, and the play progresses as she attempts to exact revenge upon her ex-lover. The play utilizes its five-person chorus to inform the audience of what has just happened, both on and offstage.

“This play is considerably different from what the department has produced in recent years in the respect that it brings a completely different style of language from the actors to the audience,” Hite said.

According to Hite, this version of the classical Greek drama will incorporate projector images of thoughts running through Medea’s mind during key scenes, as well as specialized lighting and set constructions.

“As a director, I want to be aware of what other directors have done, but I also want to be free to create my own interpretation of the play,” McMahon said.

McMahon said that audiences should be prepared for a combination of both a classical Greek dramatic context and a more modern translation on the MC stage. While the language may present a challenge for many contemporary performers, the actors in this production said that the new translation by Robin Robertson has proven helpful in interpretation.

“The audience is very much so supposed to identify with Medea and sympathize with her,” Campbell said. “This is more modern, and we’re going to see it from a modern woman’s perspective.”

Hite said that through exploration of style of language and movement, actors in the show are gaining useful theatrical knowledge that will assist them in the real world on stage.

Campbell and Hite will star alongside characters played by Sara Deatherage, Chase Condrone, Sarah Bond, Matt Lyscas and Kristian Moats, as well as a five-person chorus consisting of Blaine Coyle, Becca Schucker, Raine Palmer, Sarah Rose and Loudine Louis.

“The acting in this production is phenomenal,” McMahon said. “Caitlin Campbell is giving a tour de force performance. She is on stage for almost the entire show—and she is able to sustain a powerful, compelling performance the entire time. I think people will be amazed at how talented she is.”

McMahon said that she believes the audience will be “amazed” at how talented the senior is.

“This play has taken a lot of time,” Campbell said. “But anything worth doing does.”

Hite said that, ultimately, “Medea” is the perfect production to kick off MC Theatre’s new season for several reasons.

“It will show new and returning students what we are about here at the MC Theater Department,” Hite said.

“Hopefully, it will provoke them to come back to our many other shows this year and in the future.”

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