What is it that makes her one of the most compelling women in history?
From Euripides through succeeding centuries, she is at the center of a ritual myth that provides one of the most powerful and contemporary
dramas in Western theatre... contemporary in its portrayal of a woman trapped between her submission to a man's possessive love and her refusal to submit to the dominance of a
At the end of Euripides' remarkable view of what it is to be a woman and a woman of power in a man's society, Medea leaves a day of
horror, somewhat repentent, but unpunished. This stunning climax has stuck in the craw of Western society, particularly Judaic-Christian society for over 2500 years. The result has
been thousands of self-redeeming, self-righteous performances and scholarly critiques that relieve themselves with a conclusive portrait of a witch, an evil woman, the nightmare
that echoes under the marriage bed… an opaque, self-serving and totally false portrait.
In 2002, Talos Ensemble was commissioned by the Ancient Theatre Alive Festival in Athens, Greece to create a continuing version of the story. Medea Noir ~ Athens,
taken in part from the Euripides story with newly adapted translations of the original. It follows Medea to Athens and the sanctuary of its king, Aegeus, who becomes the mirror of
her passion and her continuing anguish. There, ten years after the original story ends, a new story begins. And with it, a new myth of Medea the woman, the woman of power, and a
woman haunted by the torment of memories that must finally be reconciled with her will to live.
The fully mounted production of Medea Noir ~ Athens was scheduled to open at the Herod Atticus Odeon in Athens. From there it was to tour Europe and Asia before premiering in the U.S. Just as actors and staff were to board their chartered flight, a major political disturbance erupted in Greece and shattered the Festival. Other than its three final dress rehearsals, Medea Noir ~ Athens has not been performed before a live audience.
This is the first time that Talos has released the play for publication.
It's yours for the reading in this issue of Scene4.