Sep 28

Chromatic Theatre’s production of Medea tells a strong narrative

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments


Euripides’s Medea is a tragic Greek play based on the myth of Jason and Medea. It tells the story of Medea, referred to as a barbarian and a sorceress, who fights with the hero Jason. She was instrumental in his quest for the golden fleece. They married shortly after and have two children. Jason then decides that this marriage isn’t to his liking and he decides to marry the King’s daughter. It is here where Chromatic Theatre’s production picks up.

Medea (Chantelle Han) is devastated. Her nurse (Makambe K. Simamba) is worried what will happen to bother Medea and her children. The chorus of women who support Medea have come to be by her side (Ali DeRegt, Carly McKee, and Jenna Rodgers). Then Creon, the King, comes to inform Medea that she and her children are banished, and Medea manages to convince the King to allow her to stay one more day. Jason (Justin Michael Carriere) arrives to explain his motivation, saying he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to marry a princess. Medea devises a plan to poison his bride and kill her children in an act of revenge, one that she hopes will bring about the most pain to Jason.

Chromatic Theatre’s production of Medea makes use of flashlights, paper lanterns and contemporary costuming to tell a story of a sorceress and her scheme for revenge. In the small space of Motel Theatre, the production tells the story through words, rather than having the action unfold in front of your eyes. We are told how Jason’s new bride was brought to her death and how her father also died by her side. We hear, through Miquelon Rodriguez’s sound design, Medea killing her children. And it is these elements that allow the audience to understand the story with a sympathetic slant towards Medea, even though she committed atrocious acts. We come to see her as someone who only belongs to a society through marriage, and once that marriage is dissolved, she no longer belongs. She is a foreigner on Greek land.

This play has a strong narrative and the production is quite good in its telling. However, I look forward to Chromatic Theatre taking on a more dynamic play in the future. It would be nice to see what they can do when they don’t just tell a story, they show you a story, within the magic of theatre.

Chromatic Theatre’s production of Medea runs until October 3rd. More information is available online.

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