Sept. 18, 2013
By Mary Moates ‘14
The Maryville College Theatre Department will perform Euripides’ “Medea” Oct. 17-20.
In this classic Greek tragedy, translated by award-winning poet Robin Robertson, Medea is abandoned by her husband, Jason, who leaves her and their two children for a younger woman. His new bride is the daughter of Creon, the most powerful man in Corinth. Medea and her sons are forced to depart from the state and become refugees.
However, Medea is not a woman to accept disrespect passively. Strong-willed and intelligent, she turns her formidable energies to working out the greatest and most horrifying revenge possible on those who have slighted her.
Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. Oct. 17-19 and 2 p.m. on Oct. 20 in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Haslam Family Flex Theatre.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for seniors, MC Theatre alumni and area students. Admission is free for MC students, faculty and staff, although a printed ticket is required for admission. You may purchase tickets online or by calling the Clayton Center Box Office at 865.981.8590.
The production is directed by Dr. Heather McMahon, associate professor of theatre at the College.
According to McMahon, the department’s performance of Euripides’ tragedy will have a classic and contemporary approach.
“While the set and costumes will have traditional nods to ancient Greece, there will also be plenty of modern touches, including the use of projection,” McMahon said.
In addition to modern influences, McMahon said that the audience will appreciate the new translation of Euripides’ classic.
“Robertson has kept the beauty of the original language but made it very easy to understand,” McMahon said. “The characters manage to sound modern, even as they retain the powerful metaphors and imagery that make the original text so enduring.”
The cast includes senior Caitlin Campbell of Maryville, Tenn., as Medea; junior Cameron Hite of Kingsport, Tenn., as Jason; senior Matt Lyscas of Maryville, Tenn., as Creon; junior Sara Deatherage of Knoxville, Tenn., as the Nurse; sophomore Chase Condrone of Maryville, Tenn., as Aegeus; sophomore Kristian Moats of Maryville, Tenn., as the Tutor; junior Sarah Bond of Memphis, Tenn., as the Messenger; and freshman Kayla Hatcher of Rockford, Tenn., as Jason’s Bride.
The chorus includes sophomore Blaine Coyle of Knoxville, Tenn.; sophomore Raine Palmer of Maryville, Tenn.; senior Christiane Frith of Memphis, Tenn.; sophomore Lounedine Louis of Fort Myers, Fla.; freshman Rebecca Schucker of Henderson, Tenn.; and freshman Sarah Rose of Strawberry Plains, Tenn.
Senior Rachel Jarnagin of Knoxville, Tenn., is the stage manager. Junior Daniel Noles of Knoxville, Tenn., and sophomore Haley Sullivan of Franklin, Tenn., are the assistant stage managers. Jennifer Luck, technical director of the Theatre Department, will act as the technical director for the production.
McMahon said she chose the play because of the importance of performing classical tragedy as an exercise in the education of young actors, providing them with a safe space for learning how to deal with language, theme and character.
“Students can’t approach this text in the same way they would a contemporary realistic play, and that stretches them as actors,” McMahon said. “It challenges them to adapt what they know about acting in contemporary plays, so that it can work in a play that was written long before modern theories of acting were developed.”
Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state‘s third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for its academic rigor and its focus on the liberal arts, Maryville is where students come to stretch their minds, stretch themselves and learn how to make a difference in the world. Total enrollment for the fall 2013 semester was 1,168.