Sunday, July 17th at the Chernuchin Theatre at6:30PM (314 West 54th Street, New York City)
First produced in 431 B.C, Medea is the classic story of the jealousy and revenge of a woman betrayed by her husband. The play takes place in Corinth where Jason brought Medea, a barbarian, after she, out of love, used her sorceress’s powers to help him obtain the Golden Fleece from her father King Aeetes. As the play unfolds, Jason abandons Medea and promises marriage to the daughter of Creon, King of Corinth. Fearing her temper, Creon orders Medea banished. Medea then pleads with him to remain in the Greek world. When he refuses, she begs for one more day in Corinth which Creon grants. It is on this fatal day that Medea’s rage toward Jason drives her to commit an exacting and anguished revenge.
Euripides produced Medea along with his lost plays Philoctetes, Dictys, and the satyr play Thersitae. Medea won the third prize (out of three) at the Great Dionysia Festival in Athens. A quintessential story of passion, Medea has inspired subsequent artists to do adaptations since antiquity including playwright Jean Anouilh and composers, Darius Milhaud and Samuel Barber. Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1970 film version of Medea starred the legendary Maria Callas in her only screen appearance. Other great Medeas have been portrayed by Sarah Bernhardt, Katrina Paxinou and Zoe Caldwell.
American Thymele Theatre, founded by producing artistic director and accomplished character actor Stephen Diacrussi, was created to promote Hellenic culture in America. It has produced a wide variety of works including some in their original 19th century Greek, as well as a popular comedy festival and a 50th anniversary revival of Maxwell Anderson’s Barefoot in Athens. In 2009, ATT’s production of Rhesus became the first outdoor play in itsNYC Euripides Free Summer Festival Series. The Festival returned last year with an acclaimed production of Alcestis. The company’s approach to tragedy is traditional with classically stylized staging.
Director Nichole Hamilton, also an actor and teaching artist, worked in the San Francisco Bay Area where she directed Madama Butterfly (Mission City Opera), The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Abridged (Bus Barn Stage Company) Americana Absurdum (Renegade Theatre) and Voluntary Amnesia (City Lights Theatre Company).