Medea Myth: Love. Destroy. Love Again.

“What causes us to destroy that which we most love?”​

Devising theatre is a bit like muddling your way through a swamp in the moonlight. Even when you have a good map, you’re never completely sure how to get where you’re going. Back tracking, dead ends, mud-stained hands, feet, knees and face are inevitable. But in the moonlight it is all beautifully romantic. Then the dawn of an impending audience reveals that you still have several miles to go and really need a shower. You can see where you are going now and how to avoid the bogs, though, so you pick up the pace and scrape off the mud as you go.

Medea Myth has been traversing the bogs for longer than I care to admit. After two local workshops and some time at Celebration Barn Theatre in Maine, she is starting to emerge from the sweet mugginess of moonlit development. And, frankly, I am proud of her. The work that you will see has been a labor of love for more than a dozen artists who came and went as time allowed. This cast has spent many hours and immeasurable energy to shape her, clean her, and move her down the path. She may have a few lingering mud-stains, but her figure is a marvel.

[ Photo by McLean Jesse ]

Exploring this epic has been a process of wading through the countless permutations that accumulate around a 3000 year old myth. In my exploration, I always wondered why in the world would Jason and Medea get together in the first place. It clearly ended as badly as a relationship possibly can. Why didn’t they see that coming? What was so compelling about their early relationship that kept them together? Pondering the origin of their relationship introduced me to the question of the myth’s origin. Upon what inciting incident has this epic myth been built and rebuilt over the millennia? Medea Myth is an imaginative answer to those questions, along with one other: “What causes us to destroy that which we most love?”

My special thanks go first to the generous producers at TheatreLAB, whose willingness to risk boldly is inspiring. I also want to thank Celebration Barn Theatre for accepting this work into their residency program last summer, and PrismCo Theatre for their artistic input. Thanks to the University of Richmond for loaning us this beautiful floor that is keeping my actors alive. Finally, thank you to my thesis committee; Aaron, David and Noreen, this would have been a lot less fun and a lot less successful without your guidance. Thank you.

-Brandon Sterrett

Director, MEDEA MYTH

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