If cheating on a spouse can ever be portrayed as a positive development, Stone Bridge High School pulled it off in its production of "Medea."
Jason and Medea have been happily married for 10 years and have two sons and a comfortable life until Jason decides that a royal marriage is in everyone's best interest.
Revenge is all that comes to Medea's mind, and she concocts a devious plan for equalizing the wrongs.
"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" could sum up Medea and her motivations for killing Jason's new wife and both of her own sons, even if the line does come from Shakespeare rather than from Euripides.
The sets, built by students, were delightful and effectively established location and an overall feeling for the production. They included an LCD screen and a representation of mythical beasts through clever, offbeat props such as puppets and large chains. Lighting designer Angie Black did a sensational job with a simple plan and smooth transitions that reflected the emotions on stage.
Katy Cook, as the older Medea, gave an emphatic and emotional performance, revealing pain and a conflicted mind. Liney Pugh, as the younger Medea, provided her "devil on the shoulder" conscience. Mace Sorenson gave strength to the older Jason's character while ably revealing his shortcomings and skewed beliefs.
Zach Kopciak had few lines in his comical role as assistant to Creon, ruler of Corinth, but he added welcome moments of laughter amid scenes of sadness. However, although comical elements worked well at first, at times they distracted from emotionally charged moments. A few times, when the dramatic suspense hit a high note, a character would crack a joke, altering the mood.
Although the agony of the characters was palpable by the end of the play, it was sometimes difficult to discern a central theme. The costumes, set and a few references to pop culture made it a challenge to determine the play's time period. Medea was dressed in what appeared to be traditional Asian attire, but the rest of the cast wore modern street clothes.
The Stone Bridge cast and crew, however, succeeded in making this classic tragedy their own, complete with the chicken dance during a wedding scene. Eclectic and original, "Medea" was a production to be remembered.
Wakefield High School
Stone Bridge's production of "Medea," set in modern times, was a symphony for the eyes and the heart.
The Greek tragedy centers around a scorned lover, Medea (Katy Cook), who is bent on revenge against her former husband, Jason (Mace Sorenson), who has left her to wed into royalty. She devises a scheme to kill Jason's bride-to-be and the two sons she has with him, the former by poison and the latter by her own hand.
The theme of "Medea" is a bleak one, which the cast remedied part of the time with comic relief from such characters as King Creon's assistant, a snide yet dorky Zach Kopciak, and Jason's lawyer, well executed by the coy Vincent Henry.
Cook played Medea with heart-wrenching emotion and was matched well by a gripping Sorenson. The actors who played their younger versions, Liney Pugh (Medea) and Tim Voelker (Jason), were just as compelling and helped to reveal their inner selves.
The sets, designed by Jenna Chew and Kelly Esch, loomed above the audience, dark and majestic. The beautiful light scheme, designed by Angie Black, was immaculate. Shadows and a silk curtain, illuminated in oranges and reds, set the tone for dramatic moments.
Stone Bridge used all the available technology and talent to make its production interesting. It was like a brilliant sunrise -- you could not look away for fear you might miss something.
Annandale High School