“Wait Until Dark”, presented by the Vertigo Theatre in The Playhouse, was a spectacular production to see. It is the story of a blind woman named Susan (played by Anna Cummer) who finds herself getting terrorized in her own home by con men who are looking for a doll. She discovers that her lack of sight but be her greatest weapon. Susan’s fears and suspense were projected beautifully unto the audience. The acting was well done for each character, from the charming double-faced Mike to the cackling evils of Roat. The props and stage created a realistic apartment setting for the thriller to play out. The two rooms off to the left created suspense as the audience could not see what happened in those rooms. Based off the 1967 film starring Audrey Hepburn, the play does an amazing job at becoming its own unique experience. The directorial decision to move the play back to the 1940’s from the movie’s later 1960 was an ingenious move. The new time setting allowed for a post-WWII film noir feel, through music and costume accordingly. It also brings the overarching service in the war as another complex part of the motivation for multiple characters. The technical work was outstanding, light work created a dynamic use of setting and projected emotions, in one instance putting the audience in Susan’s position. The only downside I noticed was Roat’s one dimensional character. Though portrayed excellently there was no real backstory nor inner reason other than greed that seemed to motivate him. There is a plethora of elements from this play that can be adapted into others, though not all of these decisions would work for every play. “Wait Until Dark” mixed all the elements of theatre to create a spectacular piece for itself.
I will be basing my directorial decisions of “Medea” on the ones made in “Wait Until Dark” [now W.U.D]. There is no specific venue that the play would need but just like W.U.D it would need to be a smaller venue. Vertigo has a perfect ratio of seats to the size of the stage and it creates a more personal experience. As Medea’s inner turmoil is my main focus, I want the venue to be smaller so that her expressions can be seen without the use of over exaggerated makeup.
Continuing with this more personal feel of “Medea” the set and props would portray a Greek garden with a set of stairs stage right that leads to a door. This would be Medea’s garden, symbolizing that it is her space that people keep on encroaching on. The door would play the same role as the two rooms in W.U.D, this is where the scene were Medea kills her children would take place. When other characters enter and leave they will either enter and leave from the stage left or pass by the stairs on stage right.
The casting of Medea would fit into the time zone. Just like W.U.D casted I would cast most of my actors to be tan. Though like W.U.D did with Roat, who wore leather while everyone else wore something plainer, I would want to emphasize Medea’s difference. I would do this with makeup decisions and even things as simple as hair colour. While the Chorus would all consist of brunettes I would give Medea black hair. Just to create subtle difference and emphasize her estrangement to Corinth.
For my performance decisions I want to emphasize Medea’s pain rather than go with an insane kind of Medea. There is a good point that the Artistic director makes about finding inner strength and refusing to be a villain. I will definitely incorporate this into my portrayal of Medea. I would want to emphasize the inner struggles of Medea. Emphasizing the pain of killing her children and even the possible mourning and sorrow as she flies away. I also wish to emphasize the cowardliness and irritating factors of Jason.
W.U.D has an amazing scene where they turn off all the lights yet continue with the act. This is to establish a connection with Susan. There is another scene where Gloria (the helper) goes off to grab a taxi and it is only shown through audio overlap as Susan sits. This lighting and sounds effects are amazing but a bit too noticeable. For Medea the change of lighting would need to be subtle, to help emphasize her mood but not take over it. The sound decision would work though for when she is killing her two sons so that the horrible act is not on stage.
There is only a minor text alternation that I would make. In certain iteration of Euripide’s “Medea” there are lines where Medea damns her child. Either I would cut that line out or add that it is because of their resemblance to Jason. I wish to continue Medea’s struggle. I want her to come to the realization that her revenge took away something precious from her on the last scene. I also would like to add more emphasize on Medea’s contribution to Jason from their Greek mythos. This will come in the form of the Chorus muttering about some of her actions before Jason comes in.
The last scene will also show the chariot leaving. This will be a set design that is hidden behind the door on stage. This is to visually demonstrate that the gods are on Medea’s side. This decision is to further link with her Greek mythos and her connection to Helios.
In the end I want the story of Medea not to be about her going mad, but her anger taking over. I want to emphasize as much as possible that Medea is an outsider. I also want to emphasize that she is pained by her actions. For me Medea is a strong woman that let her anger of Jason’s betrayal take over her better judgement and lives with the regret in Athens.