March 9, 2011

MEDEA opens March 11th

Medea is a force to be reckoned with as she rises from the ashes of a broken marriage. As declared by the Los Angeles Times, this Greek tragedy "taps into primal emotions that frighten and fascinate." It is the classic tale of a woman scorned.
STUDIO THEATRE performances are:
March 11 & 12 and 17-19 at 8pm
March 12 & 13 and 19 & 20 at 3pm

To purchase tickets, call 352.4245 or visit the Box Office during office hours, Monday-Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. For further information or to purchase tickets online, visit us at

Derek Martin
Here are some thoughts from Derek Martin, Director of Medea...

You are about to embark on a journey that was first performed almost 2,500 years ago. The Greeks believed that their tragedies were put forward in order to better the human experience; that through catharsis, a person would identify with the plight of the protagonist and therefore change his or her own ways so that he or she wouldn’t fall victim to the same iniquity.
Medea is considered the classic tale of a woman scorned. Her husband Jason (of Jason and the Argonauts) leaves her and their children to marry the daughter of the king in order to provide his family with position so that they will want for nothing. Medea, out of pain, anguish, hatred and revenge, goes on a rampage to destroy everything dear to Jason. Finally, she trespasses on the vilest immorality by killing her own children.

As a Christian I was left to ponder the justification of the action, and I found myself bankrupt for an answer. But as I looked deeper, I realized this story presents serious and important moral quandaries: “What are the responsibilities of our own actions, even the most seemingly harmless?” “What are the consequences of destroying the sacred ?”

These questions lead us to my central theme, “The death of the sacred is the birth of the profane.” We can see that Jason’s act of breaking the sacrament of marriage plants a seed of destruction deep within Medea.  She allows pride, hatred and evil to squelch the love in her heart and, ultimately, the consequence of his actions drive her past madness into an almost demonic possession in which she destroys the very things she holds most dear.

We don’t agree with her choices; we abhor them in the realization that she is acting in pure evil. However, we must turn the story around on ourselves and ask if we are quite sure that our actions are truthful and pure at all times. The Bible reminds us, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25). This verse shows us we must be on guard and take responsibility for our actions and words. Furthermore, it is a sober reminder that we are not the highest authority of what is good. The story of Medea illustrates the wreckage left by unatoned sin.

Below is a history of Jason and Medea—the myth from which Euripides pulled this excellent piece of tragic work. Please ponder the themes in this piece. May the difficult things presented in art change us and teach us so that we will not make the same mistakes.

The Myth of Medea

Medea was one of the great sorceresses of the ancient world. She was the daughter of King Aeetes of Colchis and the granddaughter of Helios, the sun god. Jason and the Argonauts were sent to Colchis by his uncle Pelias to obtain King Aeetes’ most valuable treasure, the Golden Fleece. Medea loved Jason and used her magic to help him obtain the Fleece through a series of almost impossible tasks. In return, Jason promised to marry Medea.

Jason fled in the Argo with Medea and her brother, Absyrtis. King Aeetes pursued them. To delay the pursuit, Medea cut Absyrtis into tiny pieces and threw him into the sea. King Aeetes stopped the pursuit in order to gather up pieces of his son for proper burial.

When they arrived back in Iolcus, Pelias would not give up his throne to Jason, even after promising he would if Jason obtained the Fleece. Medea had Pelias’ daughters cut their ill father up into pieces and boil him in a broth. Medea told them that this would heal their sick parent. Jason and Medea fled to Corinth where they had two sons. There, King Creon offered Jason the throne and his daughter Glauce’s hand in marriage. Jason accepted, and Medea got revenge for Jason’s abandonment by killing the king and his daughter with poisoned garments. Medea fled Corinth in her grandfather Helios’ dragon-pulled chariot, taking the bodies of her two sons, whom she murdered to cause Jason further pain.

She took refuge with Aegeus, King of Athens, and bore him a son named Medus. When Theseus, Aegeus’ long-lost son returned, Medea tried to trick Aegeus into poisoning him to secure the throne for Medus. Unsuccessful, Medea fled with Medus from Athens to another land where Medus became king and that land was later called Media.

Source referenced: "Medea." Encyclopedia Mythica from Encyclopedia Mythica Online

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