One woman helps a man complete a seemingly impossible task, betraying her family in the process, and runs off with him to another country to be his wife. He repays her efforts by leaving her, arranging for her exile and marrying the local wealthy beauty.
What would any woman do in such a situation? Unless your name is Griselda, you probably wouldn't take such an indignity laying down. But the lengths one woman goes through to exact revenge on her ex-spouse makes for a brutal, gripping Greek drama.
"Medea," which opened Oct. 18 and runs through Nov. 4, tells of the aftermath of Jason and Medea, after the former's immortal quest for the Golden Fleece. Jason and Medea (played by Daniel Taylor and Sally Groth) have settled in Corinth and have had two sons together (played by Mika and Kai Takahashi). But Jason decides he is tired of his marriage with his foreign bride and marries the young daughter of Creon, the ruler of Corinth (played by David McNees) in an effort to put himself in a position of power. To add insult to injury, Creon seeks to have Medea and her two young sons exiled from the land.
What Medea does to get her revenge is brutal and shocking, even by today's standards. In case the reader isn't familiar with the story or, like me, hasn't read it in some time and has forgotten much of it, I won't give away the ending. Let's just say that the phrase "hell hath no fury as a woman scorned" takes on a whole new dimension. Groth's Medea is frighteningly energetic, coy and persuasive one moment, and savagely vindictive the next.
"The leading actress had a very strong presentation," said John Hall of Hudson. "I wonder what kind of emotional toll it takes to do it. All the supporting actors, especially her nurse, were very professional."
Paula Duesing plays Medea's nurse, serving as a sort of narrator to the tragedy that unfolds. Her fears and concerns for the depths of darkness consuming her mistress is almost palpable. Alicia Kahn, Rose M. Darling and Marcia Mandell play the women or Corinth, the Greek chorus and further commentators of the events that transpire. Bud Graske plays Aegeus, a friend to Medea, and Scott Thomas plays a slave.
The show runs just under two hours, without intermission.
Ticket and show information
Performances of "Medea" continue through Nov. 4, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 on Fridays and Saturdays, $22 on Thursdays and Sundays. College students and seniors receive a $2 discount at all regular Thursday and Sunday performances. Students under age 18 are admitted for half price. Season subscriptions and Discount Coupons are now available. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more.
Tickets can be purchased by phone by calling 330-342-0800 or online at actorssummit.org.
Actors' Summit, compliments of a grant from the GAR Foundation, also is offering shows to students in economically depressed schools during the day. Shows are offered Oct. 29 through Nov. 2.
Next on stage
Actors' Summit will next stage the holiday classic, "A Child's Christmas in Wales," which will open Nov. 29 and run through Dec. 23.
The theater also will bring back "A Winnie-The-Pooh Christmas Tale" for the younger set. Shows will be from Dec. 6 through 22. Performances will be Thursdays through Saturdays at 10 a.m. Tickets are $8 for everyone 12 months and older, and half price for those under 12 months, with group rates available for parties of 10 or more.
Phone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3153