Euripides (Playwright), ca. 480–406 B.C.E., was the last of the three great tragedians of classical Athens (the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles). Ancient scholars thought that Euripides had written ninety-five plays, although four of those were probably written by Critias. Eighteen of Euripides' plays have survived complete. Fragments, some substantial, of most of the other plays also survive. Euripides is known primarily for having reshaped the formal structure of Athenian tragedy by portraying strong female characters and intelligent slaves and by satirizing many heroes of Greek mythology. His plays seem modern by comparison with those of his contemporaries, focusing on the inner lives and motives of his characters in a way previously unknown to Greek audiences. Euripides' greatest works include Alcestis, Medea, Trojan Women, and The Bacchae. Also considered notable is Cyclops, the only complete satyr play to have survived.
SHAWN KAIRSCHNER (Director/Sound Designer) has performed and directed in numerous venues in the United States and in Europe. Favorite acting roles include Berowne in Love's Labours Lost, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, and Antonio Vivaldi in Theresa Bassoon. He is proud to have been in the first cast of American actors to perform at the new Globe Theatre, Southwark, London. As a director, he has worked on both coasts, including a three-year stint as the Artistic Director of the Sideway Theater Company in Berkeley, CA, where he directed or produced a variety of pieces from Shakespearean comedies to original one-person shows. For Villanova Theatre, he most recently helmed last Spring's production of Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses. Other directorial credits include The Caucasian Chalk Circle in Williamstown, MA and A Midsummer Night's Dream at Stanford University, where he received his Ph.D.
This February, Villanova Theatre presents - Euripides' Medea, directed by Villanova Professor Shawn Kairschner, who directed Villanova's wildly popular Metamorphoses last season. The aesthetic of the production evokes elements of the late-1950s and early-1960s, with costumes by Marla Jurglanis, set by Lisi Stossel, and lighting by Jerold R. Forsyth. Medea will be on stage February 2-14, 2010.
Villanova Theatre is located in Vasey Hall on the Villanova University campus. Performances will be held at 8:00pm on Tuesday – Saturday and at 2:00pm on Sundays. Tickets cost $20-$24, with discounts available for seniors, students, and groups, and may be ordered through the Villanova Theatre Box Office at (610) 519-7474 or online at www.theatre.villanova.edu.
Medea is a scorching tale of passion, love, and vengeance. When her husband, Jason, is granted permission to marry another woman, Medea is banished from her home and sent away from her young children. Unhinged by grief, she lays plans for swift and terrible retribution, leaving catastrophe in her wake. A towering figure in Greek tragedy, Medea remains an enthralling character centuries after her creation.
Though many productions paint Medea as a witch and a sorceress, director Shawn Kairschner considered it essential that she be a sympathetic character: "It's important to me that the audience can feel for Medea," he says, "and that they know her ultimate decision is very difficult for her. I want it to be evident that she commits her act of revenge against her husband knowing full well that it will rip her heart out. With influence from the Chorus – five strong women who intervene actively in the action of the play – Medea rewrites her own history and, in keeping with the male heroic tradition, is rewarded for her actions. I think that's what makes so many people think of Medea as a 'feminist' play."
Shawn Kairschner has performed and directed in numerous venues in the United States and in Europe. As an actor, his favorite roles include Berowne in Love's Labours Lost and Vivaldi in Theresa Bassoon. He is proud to have been in the first cast of American actors to perform at the new Globe Theatre, Southwark, London. As a director, he has worked on both coasts, including a three-year stint as the Artistic Director of the Sideway Theater Company in Berkeley, CA, where he directed or produced a variety of pieces from Shakespearean comedies to original one-person shows. For Villanova Theatre, he directed last year's production of Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses, as well as productions of Shakespeare's The Tempest and Brecht's Mother Courage. Other recent directorial credits include The Caucasian Chalk Circle in Williamstown, MA and A Midsummer Night's Dream at Stanford University, where he received his Ph.D.
The 15-person cast of Medea features 11 current students and one graduate of Villanova's M.A. in Theatre program, one Villanova faculty member, and two children. Kim Fairbanks, who entered the program this fall with numerous area and off-Broadway acting credits, will play Medea.
The Villanova University Theatre Department was inaugurated in 1958 under the leadership of Dr. Dick Duprey. Today, Villanova's Theatre Department offers both a Master of Arts degree and a Graduate Certificate in Practical Theatre. Students enrolled in the theatre program undergo a course of study that combines both scholarly and practical approaches to theatre. Guided by award-winning faculty and staff who are actively involved in the region's professional theatre industry, students gain knowledge and experience through hands-on production work and in-depth academic study in the areas of dramaturgy, script analysis, dramatic literature, playwriting, acting, and directing.
Medea will be on stage February 2-14, 2010. Show times are 8:00pm Tuesday – Saturday and 2:00pm Sunday. Tickets cost $20-$24 (plus handling fees) and may be ordered by calling the Villanova Theatre Box Office at (610) 519-7474 or online at www.theatre.villanova.edu.
Ushers are needed for every performance. Ushers arrive one hour before the show, hand out programs, help seat patrons, and see the show for free! Please contact the Villanova Theatre Box Office at 610-519-7474 if you would like to usher.
We need volunteer crew members to help build sets, hang lights, and sew costumes. This is a great way to experience theatre "behind the scenes" and meet new people. Please contact Business/Production Manager Elisa Loprete Hibbs at 610-519-4897 to volunteer for production crew.
Medea: Kimberly F. Fairbanks
Jason: Chris Serpentine
Nurse: Danielle DeStefano
Tutor: Tom Saporito
Older Son: Alex Barnett
Younger Son: Gabriela Petrone
Chorus Leader: Jessica Bedford
Chorus: Lizzy Dalton- Negron
Creon: Patrick White
Creon’s Herald: Nelson Barre
Aegeus: Tim Horner
Messenger: Will Windsor Erwin