Madea: A modern retelling

Jenna Webb

Herald Contributor

During the first weekend of the spring semester, RWU senior Addison Powers presented her thesis project, a modern retelling of the Greek myth “Medea,” at the Performing Arts Center.

The play is centered around two young boys, Leon and Jasper, and their mother as they come to terms with their parents’ separation. The show was a three-person production starring junior Anthony Martin as Leon, sophomore Mitchell Kiliulis as Jasper, and junior Emily Dittmar as the namesake of the play.

“I chose ‘Medea’ because it was one of my favorite pieces that we saw during my study abroad semester in London,” Powers said. “I’ve always loved Greek mythology, and this particular production made me see the classic myth in a completely different light. I knew I wanted to do it for my thesis almost immediately.”

The four participants, including the stage manager, sophomore Olivia Tellier, spent most of the winter intercession on campus working on the production and making sure that Powers’ vision came to life.

It was a small, intimate production where the actors’ talents were truly given the chance to shine. With two out of three of the actors coming back from their own semesters in London through the Theater Department’s study abroad program, it was an opportunity they did not want to miss.

“I auditioned for ‘Medea’ because I hadn’t had the chance to work with Addison under her direction, and I couldn’t pass up the chance,” performer Dittmar said. “I was so intrigued by a chance to portray a complex character like Medea. The experience of it all helped the cast and crew really bond in a more trusting, intimate way.”

The show also allowed for the exploration out of comfort zones and playing roles the actors were not familiar with. Mitchell Kiliulis was tasked with playing a eight-year-old boy, and Anthony Martin’s role was not much older. With the two of them working off of only each other, they were responsible with carrying much of the show. All three actors had high praise for Powers’ role as a director.

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