Drake University Theatre Arts presents their production of the Greek tragedy, “Medea” by Euripides at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 – Oct 2. and at 2 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Coleman Studio Theatre.
“Medea” will be the first production open to a public audience at the Harmon Fine Arts Center since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020. Face coverings will be required for all audience members to watch the show.
Drake Theatre student Emma Tonn who plays the title role of Medea in “Medea,” said she couldn’t be more excited for a return to live theatre at Drake.
“Seeing the theatre community rally together during COVID to explore and create new ways to perform virtually has been really interesting, but for me nothing will replace live theatre,” Tonn said. “Even if you’re not addressing an audience directly, the energy of simply being in the same room and getting live reactions is what makes theatre theatre.”
“Medea” tells a story of passion and rage as Medea plots to seek revenge on her husband, Jason, who has betrayed her by sleeping with another woman.
Tonn views her character as a symbol of gender inequality. A message she has discovered in this classical text that still has meaning in modern times.
“One of my character’s recurring arguments is the inequality of women, which is still incredibly present today,” Tonn said. “I have these grand monologues that I use to persuade and get other characters on my side, and I think most of those points will ring true for a lot of people in the audience.”
Actor Nico Mohammadi plays the role of Creon in “Medea” and also serves as the production’s Dramaturg. Mohammadi elaborates on his trips to Greece and extensive research process for this play.
“Being able to delve deeper into my research and even go into Greek libraries over my trip this summer and get firsthand research was astounding,” Mohammadi said. “It’s very grounding to know almost everything that happens in the show; it allows me to assist my fellow actors if they have questions about the story or their characters.”
With the ongoing pandemic, Drake Theatre will comply with University face covering mandate and COVID-19 procedures. However, Director Michael Rothmayer has found a unique way to adapt and work with “Medea” while complying with Drake policy.
For this production, we will be using masks that cover the actors’ faces entirely,” Rothmayer said. “The nostrils within the mask are closed and the open mouth portion of the masks will be covered with cloth mask material in compliance with COVID-19 mask protocols.”
Tonn emphasizes the importance of coming to see “Medea,” not just for the return of live theatre at Drake University, but the Greek tragedy playwright Euripides has written.
“People should come see ‘Medea,’ because it’s an opportunity to see a style of theatre that isn’t super common, but don’t be intimidated,” Tonn said. “The translation is very understandable and the show is quite action-packed and dramatic, so we will be sure to keep you entertained.” Tickets for “Medea” are now available by visiting the Drake Fine Arts Box Office at the Harmon Fine Arts Center. Patrons can also reserve tickets online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/drake-theatre-presents-medea-tickets-170465111738 or by calling (515) 271-3841.