Guest Artist Stars in Medea

10.03.2005 | Fine ArtsThe University of Dayton theater program will present Medea, based on the play by Euripides and adapted by Tony Dallas, local playwright and director. The performances will be 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21; Saturday, Oct. 22; Thursday, Oct. 27; Friday, Oct. 28; and Saturday, Oct. 29 in the Kennedy Union Boll Theatre on UD's campus. A performance also will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23.

Actors' Equity guest artist Kelly Taffe will portray the role of Medea.

Tickets are $10 for the public and $6 for students, faculty and staff. Call the Kennedy Union box office at (937) 229-2545.

Medea is a classic tragic tale of betrayal and revenge. When Medea's husband, Jason, leaves her for a younger woman, she resorts to violent acts of revenge against his new, young wife, Cassandra; Cassandra's father, Creon; and her own children.

Medea is one of the most commonly produced Greek tragedies, but according to Dallas, nearly every production uses an adaptation rather than a pure translation.

"While the character Medea as Euripides wrote her is one of the most extraordinary depictions of a full-fleshed, complicated human being ever written for the stage, all other characters in the play are quite thinly constructed," Dallas said. "It is a play Euripides wrote in his early years. It shows both his genius and his inexperience at the craft."

Dallas' adaptation moves the classic Greek tale into the modern era with a 1930s setting.

"I believe anything that brings the play closer to the audience makes the play's impact more accessible," he said.

His adaptation also gives the supporting characters stronger roles.

"The best thing about the adaptation is that it is not just about Medea," Taffe said. "It is an ensemble effort that really puts the students on the stage."

The UD theater program occasionally brings in guest artists so its students can work with professional actors and actresses, while students also can see how professionals approach rehearsal, production and creating a role. Based in New York City, Taffe has worked off-Broadway, in regional theaters across the country and at the Lincoln Center. She made her New York debut in Mustapha Matura's Playboy of the West Indies at the Lincoln Center Theater.

In television, Taffe has appeared in Chappelle's Show for Comedy Central and the daytime serial One Life to Live. She is a graduate of William Esper's Studio Program for Professional Actor Training and Playhouse West, where she studied acting with Robert Carnegie and Jeff Goldblum.

"This past spring I saw Taffe act in a play at the Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville," Dallas said. "She's an extraordinary actress. She has a clarity and passion and will bring those elements to her portrayal of Medea."

For media interviews, contact Darrell Anderson at (937) 229-3986 or via e-mail at Darrell.Anderson@notes.udayton.edu. For more on the University of Dayton theater program, see http://artssciences.udayton.edu/Theatre/.