Medea

Director’s Notes

Murder.  Royal marriage.  Infidelity.  Divorce.  Filicide.  Revenge.  Religious fervor.  A rabidly curious public.  Is it Greek Tragedy?  Sure!  It is also the content of many tabloid headlines at the grocery store, and the fodder for evening investigative news programs such as 20/20 and Dateline.  The human condition and the things that hold our attention span the centuries.  The names and places change; the style of the storytelling varies, but at the core, artists of all generations are exploring what it means to be human.

When COVID turned our season upside down, we found ourselves scrambling to find scripts that we could present without navigating the uncertain terrain of copyright issues, knowing that we would likely be broadcasting or recording our productions rather than performing them live with a live audience.  In doing this we leaned on public domain pieces and new works.

I scanned my bookshelves and MEDEA caught my imagination.  Rather than simply take a traditional approach I wanted to highlight how accessible the story is by nestling the traditional story within a fictional media broadcast.  My research led me to note that Jason’s death some years after Medea’s departure would provide that culture with an impulse to “look back” and retell the story.  This led pretty naturally to treating the chorus – a central feature in any Greek Tragedy – as newscasters, bloggers, and paparazzi.  I spent the summer writing a few drafts of the script in preparation for our production. 

We began rehearsal in January – Sometimes on ZOOM…. Sometimes masked and distanced. Cast members moved in and out of quarantine.   Understudies stepped in.  We explored a variety of outdoor locations thinking we might be able to perform unmasked if we kept safe distance, perhaps in one of the many tents on campus.  The set was designed for that reality.  We learned we would not be able to do that.  We were moved indoors with masks.  Our tent-sized set was finally erected in McCrary Theatre where we performed for two cameras.  Phew!  What a rollercoaster!

Through all the changes, this cast and production team maintained positive attitudes, worked hard, and reveled in their creativity.  Together we shared this exercise in releasing control and rolling with the punches.  I like to think the ancient Greeks would have recognized this lesson in dealing with fate.  They might have also noted that we performed this version of the play in masks as they did- albeit a very different kind of mask.

A final note about our work:  As you watch this recording, please know that our goal was to create a stage production that is documented with cameras; not to make a film version of Medea.  We employed limited camera movement and simple editing to ensure the clearest view.  I hope you enjoy our efforts to bring new life to a classic play, and to doggedly continue our work, even in this time of pandemic.

Fredrick J. Rubeck

Director

Special Thanks

Orlando Shakes, Rick Earl, J. McMerty

Cast

First CorrespondentJohn Luke Lindstrom
Second CorrespondentMari Blake
AttendantCallie Fabac
TutorDrew Ravitz
Child 1/Creon GuardAndrew Altmann
Child 2/Creon GuardNaiya Banks
MedeaKendra Chideya
Chorus 1Caity Ladda
Chorus 2Sivan Propper
Chorus 3Anika Waco
CreonGrayson Lichtenthaler
JasonJaxon Wilkerson
AegeusLiam Heery
MessengerJohn Lee Rudolph
First Correspondent/Tutor U/S Alexander Carnot
Second Correspondent U/SPayton Robinson
Attendant U/SCara Johnson
Child/Creon Guard U/SJordan Kulick
Medea U/SJasmine Smith
Chorus 1 U/SBrynn Lackey
Chorus 2 U/SMonique Fogg
Chorus 3 U/SAngelina Cerami
Creon/Messenger U/SMichael Collier Melendez 
Jason U/SJared Wise
Aegeus U/SBalazs David

Production Team

DirectorFred Rubeck
Assistant DirectorHaley Bronzino
Scenic DesignerEmily Kopchains
Asst. Scenic Designer/Advisor Natalie Taylor Hart 
Costume DesignerJack Smith
Sound DesignerMichael Smith
Lighting DesignerBill Webb
Technical DirectorJP Mullican
Stage ManagerPeyton Otis
Assistant Stage ManagerBrianna Boucher 
Production ManagerBill Webb
Costume Shop ManagerHeidi Jo Scheimer
Props MasterSydney Bell
Paint ChargeEmily George 
MakeupAlexandra Delgado 
Light Board OpAllyson Vogel
Videographer/EditorJordan Young
Front-of-House SupervisorDavid McGraw
House ManagerJack Morrill
Poster DesignSydney Dye

Bios

Fred Rubeck

Fred Rubeck

Sydney Bell

Sydney Bell

Jack A. Smith

Jack A. Smith

Jordan Kulick

Jordan Kulick

Allyson Vogel

Allyson Vogel

Emily George

Emily George

Kendra Chideya

Kendra Chideya

Peyton Otis

Peyton Otis

Jasmine Smith

Jasmine Smith

Mari Blake

Mari Blake

Brynn Lackey

Brynn Lackey

Andrew Altmann

Andrew Altmann

Monique Fogg

Monique Fogg

Jared Wise

Jared Wise

Angelina Cerami

Angelina Cerami

Naiya Banks

Naiya Banks

Natalie Taylor Hart

Natalie Taylor Hart

JP Mullican

JP Mullican

Emily Kopchains

Emily Kopchains

Jordan Young

Jordan Young

Brianna Boucher

Brianna Boucher

Jaxon Wilkerson

Jaxon Wilkerson

Liam Heery

Liam Heery

Anika Waco

Anika Waco

Sivan Propper

Sivan Propper

Callie Fabac

Callie Fabac

Haley Bronzino

Haley Bronzino

Cara Johnson

Cara Johnson

Alexander Carnot

Alexander Carnot

John Lee Rudolph

John Lee Rudolph

Grayson Lichtenthaler

Grayson Lichtenthaler

Caity Ladda

Caity Ladda

Payton Robinson

Payton Robinson

Fred Rubeck

Fred is completing his 33rd year at Elon and is one of the founding members of the Department of Performing Arts. He coordinates the BFA Acting program and served as Department Chair for twelve years. He has directed nearly one hundred productions at theaters in the midwest and on the east coast. Local audiences may remember some of his favorite Elon productions, including Instant Laughter, You Can't Take It With You, Angels In American, Noises Off!, Lend Me a Tenor, The Shadow Box, and many more. They may also remember his performances in the roles of the Stage Manager in Our Town, and Beverly in August: Osage County.

Sydney Bell

Sydney Bell is a junior Theatrical Design and Technology and Arts Administration major from Atlanta, Georgia. Sydney is honored to work on this amazing show with so many talented artists and individuals. Sydney’s notable Elon credits include Beast Mode Champion (Stage Manager), We Will Rock You (Asst. Stage Manager), Clown Bar (Asst. Stage Manager), and 1940's Radio Hour (Asst. Stage Manager). Sydney has enjoyed working with this wonderful team, and she is excited to share this production with everyone! Sydney would like to thank her parents and friends for their love and support.

Jack A. Smith

Jack is an Associate Professor of Performing Arts. He has worked at many regional theaters from The Orlando Shakespeare Theater to The Actor’s Theater of Louisville. He spends most of his summers either working at a small theater in Missouri (City of Maples Rep) or traveling the world looking at textiles, antique garments, or cultural wonders. His passions include antique textiles (specifically American Women’s Costume from the 19th century and the politics of 18th-century French fashions) and his dog, Neha!

Jordan Kulick

Jordan Kulick is so excited to be understudying the Sons and Guards in Elon's production of Medea. She is a Sophomore Acting Major from Stamford, CT. Previously, Jordan played Ella in Pheromone this past fall and understudied #14 in The Wolves last January term. She is immensely grateful to be a part of this amazing team and has loved the opportunity to work with Professor Rubeck. She would like to thank her family, friends, and the entire production team of Medea. This has been an incredible experience.

Allyson Vogel

Allyson Vogel is a sophomore majoring in biology and theatrical design and technology with a focus in stage management. This is her musical stage-managing debut at Elon, and her recent shows include Hamlet (assistant stage manager) and Pheromone (stage manager). She is so proud of all of the hard work put into this show, and she looks forward to what the next school year brings.

Emily George

Emily is a senior Theatrical Design and Technology major and is thrilled to be working as the Scenic Charge on the mainstage Spring productions this year! All my love to the TDT department (past & present). You make this worth it. <3

Kendra Chideya

Kendra Chideya is a senior BFA Acting major at Elon University. Kendra has been acting in theatre since the age of eleven and has acted in films for about four years now. Besides acting, she also enjoys directing, producing, and writing work within the entertainment industry and will continue to have these pursuits within her future career endeavors. Kendra is extremely grateful to her phenomenal and devoted family who are some of the most selfless humans she has ever known. She's eternal thankful to have them in her life and for the amazing opportunity to be in this production.

Peyton Otis

(Stage Manager) Peyton Otis is so excited to be Stage Managing her first collegiate show here at Elon! A current sophomore majoring in Theatrical Design and Technology with a concentration in Stage Management, her past college credits include We Will Rock You (Asst. Stage Manager) and Pheromone (Asst. Stage Manager). She wants to give a huge shout out to the entire cast and crew for all their hard work, flexibility, and openness throughout this entire process.

Jasmine Smith

Jasmine is a first-year acting major and is thrilled to be U/S Medea in her first production here at Elon. Some of her previous credits include: U/S Lydia All My Sons and U/S Sob Sister Radium Girls. She would like to thank her family back home for supporting her in everything that she does.

Mari Blake

Mari Blake is a senior BFA Acting and BA Creative Writing major from New Jersey. Mari is so grateful to be working on this incredible production with such an amazing team. Past Elon credits include Pheromone, Trojan Barbie, The School for Wives and APO's production of Dog Sees God. Lots of love to Mom and Wyatt for their endless support.

Brynn Lackey

Brynn Lackey is a first year acting student and is thrilled to be understudying the role of Ella! She is from Northern Virginia where she has been highly involved in theatre in her high school and community. Some recent highlights have been Hero in Much Ado About Nothing, and Ado Annie in Oklahoma! Brynn is very grateful for this opportunity and is excited for you to see the show!

Andrew Altmann

Andrew Altmann is a 21 year old senior at Elon University. He is very grateful to have had the chance to work with the amazing cast of Medea and perform for Elon this last time before graduation. He was last seen on McCrary Stage in Twelfth Night but was more recently seen in the Zoom production of Pheromone as Jim. He’d like to thank his family and friends for always supporting him.

Monique Fogg

Monique Fogg is a Freshman Acting Major born and raised in Durham, NC. She graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts High School Drama Program in Winston-Salem, NC. Some of her favorite roles include Spirit in Bright Star at Playmakers Repertory Company, Caroline in I & You, and Lord Pinkleton in Rodger and Hammerstein's Cinderella. She is so excited for this school year and couldn't be more grateful for this opportunity.

Jared Wise

Jared Wise is thrilled to have been given his first opportunity in a show at Elon! He would like to thank his loving parents for their support in his endeavor for a BFA.

Angelina Cerami

Angelina Cerami is a first-year acting major at Elon. She is so excited to be the understudy for one of the chorus women in this year's winter production of Medea. Recent roles include Shelby U/S (Pheromone), Wendla (Spring Awakening), Juror 3 (12 Angry Jurors), Drowsy Chaperone (The Drowsy Chaperone), and Logainne (Spelling Bee). She is also the founder, director, and producer of the nonprofit Breaking Barriers Theatre Company.

Naiya Banks

This is Naiya's junior year in the BFA program and she is so happy to add Medea to her list of productions here at Elon! She'd like to thank her amazing family, the wonderful production team, and every one of her friends that have pushed her to be the best. Instagram: @naiya.alexis

Natalie Taylor Hart

Natalie Taylor Hart is a Scenic Designer and the Associate Chair of Performing Arts at Elon University. Selected Scenic Designs: New York: Tech Support (59E59TH, Off-Broadway); Tartuffe (Queens Theatre, Off-Off-Broadway); Slave Shack (Algonquin Theatre); Associate Designer for The Wiz (The Netherlands). Regional: Life in the Fat Lane (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); Having Our Say, Our Town {Scenic Consultant}, Fences {Finalist in World Stage Design 2017 Taipei}, White Lightning (Triad Stage). Exhibitions: USITT Design Expo, Prague Quadrennial, World Stage Design Finalist 2017, Lincoln Center Portfolio Review. MFA, Ohio University. Proud member of IATSE USA Local 829. natalietaylorhart.com

JP Mullican

JP has served as the Performing Arts Technical Director since Fall 2017. Prior to Elon, he worked as a technical designer, lead craftsperson, and project manager. Outside of Elon, he continues work as a freelance technical designer on productions such as the Frozen Australian Tour, The Beauty and the Beast in Shanghai, and The Phantom of the Opera World Tour. In his free time, JP builds custom furniture and runs an ever-increasing number of virtual Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. He couldn’t do any of this without the constant support of his amazing partner, Amanda.

Emily Kopchains

Emily Kopchains is a Senior Theatrical Design and Technology major with a Scenic focus and is so honored to be the Scenic Designer for Medea. She is beyond lucky to be a member of the Elon TDT family and could not be more grateful for the faculty and especially her fellow students who have encouraged her to learn, make mistakes, and push boundaries throughout this process.

Jordan Young

Jordan Young is a junior Cinema and Television Arts major at Elon University. She is currently a show producer for sketch comedy show Elon Tonight and was a member of the Juliet cohort of Elondocs. Some previous projects she worked on have been the short film The Right Black, produced by an iMedia alum, her documentary on representation of HBCUs in media, and Dancing in the Landscape. Jordan is passionate about inclusion and representation in media and is incredibly grateful to be a part of this project, The Moment.

Brianna Boucher

Brianna Boucher is so excited to be Assistant Stage Managing her first show at Elon! Brianna is a freshman who is double majoring in Theatrical Design and Technology (with a focus in stage management) and Arts Administration. She has had such an amazing experience working on this show for the past few months and can't wait to share it with you all!

Jaxon Wilkerson

Jaxon Wilkerson is a BFA Acting Major from Efland, North Carolina. Jaxon is honored to work with such a talented group of individuals in order to bring this show to life. His Elon acting debut was in Hamlet. He would like to thank his mother, Jennifer. He would like to decry all of his haters.

Liam Heery

Liam Heery is a senior BFA Acting major. Over the past twelve years, he has studied a wide range of dramatic styles and has explored all aspects of theatre, including acting, directing and writing for drama, musical theatre and collaboratively devised plays. He has participated in sixteen stage productions, including Sweeney Todd (Pirelli), Spring Awakening (Ernst), The Laramie Project (Dennis Shepard/Rob Debree) and, most recently, Elon’s productions of Arcadia (Ezra Chater), Clown Bar (Shotgun) and Dog Sees God (Matt). Before coming to Elon, Liam studied for six months at East 15 Acting School in London.

Anika Waco

Anika Waco is a junior BFA Acting and Arts Administration major with a Spanish minor. She is from Chicago, Illinois where she performed in Hamlet, The Tempest, and Romeo and Juliet with Chicago Youth Shakespeare. Her Elon credits include #25 in last year's winter term production of The Wolves, Chloe Coverly U/S in Arcadia, and Chrysalde U/S in School for Wives. She is so excited to be working on Medea and is grateful to her family for their love and support and to Griffin for even more hours spent running lines on FaceTime.

Sivan Propper

Sivan is a Sophomore B.F.A Acting major with minors in both Art History and Jewish Studies. Her greatest passion is performing as well as connecting and collaborating with her fellow peers. She is originally is from Los Angeles, California, and plans on moving back once she finishes her studies at Elon to pursue a career in film and television.

Callie Fabac

Callie is a proud member of '22. Last Fall, she made her mainstage debut in Clown Bar. Back home in Kansas City, Callie has worked with Spinning Tree Theatre (Nine, 13, Fiddler), Theatre League (Wizard of Oz), and Courtyard Shakespeare (Twelfth Night, Henry V). She has also participated in film projects (Bresee, Convenience, etc.). She wants to thank her family and loved ones for their support as she pursues what she loves.

Haley Bronzino

Haley is a Senior BFA Acting major from Greenville, NC. Some of her favorite roles at Elon have been #13 in The Wolves, Oronte in School for Wives, and Viola’s understudy in Twelfth Night. She would like to give a big shoutout to her Please Clap! Improv family, her amazing Mom, stellar Professors, and BFA Acting ‘21 ensemble.

Cara Johnson

Cara is a first-year Elon acting student from Paris, TN! She is incredibly excited to be involved in her first production at Elon as the understudy for Medea’s Attendant. Cara is honored to be a part of this process and wants to thank her family, friends, and the amazing members of this department for every opportunity.

Alexander Carnot

Alexander is a first-year acting major and is so excited to be in his first Elon production as U/S First Correspondent/Tutor.

John Lee Rudolph

John Lee Rudolph is a junior BFA Acting major from Charlotte, North Carolina and he is thrilled to be making his Elon mainstage debut in this production of Medea. His past Elon credits include Hamlet (Guildenstern U/S) and Arcadia (Jellaby U/S). In addition to acting, John Lee's other performance pursuits include Improv and Stand-Up Comedy. He would like to thank the entire creative team for their excellent work in bringing this show to life.

Grayson Lichtenthaler

Grayson is a Junior BFA Acting major and is incredibly excited to be a part of Medea! You may have previously seen Grayson in the roles of CB in Dog Sees God, and Dancer/Soldier in Trojan Barbie, as well as a member of the Instant Laughter Improv Troupe. Grayson would like to thank his family and friends for their constant support, as well as his cats Blueberry and Habibi.

Caity Ladda

Caity is a sophomore BFA Acting major from Montclair, NJ. She previously understudied #11 and #13 in The Wolves, but this is her Elon mainstage debut and she is super excited about it! She would like to thank Fred Rubeck for his amazing direction and her incredible cast and crew for all of their hard work.

Payton Robinson

Sophomore BFA Acting Major, Payton Robinson, is excited to be a part of this production of Macbeth as one of the 8 Kings and Malcom’s Understudy. This is Payton’s third production to be involved in at Elon, with her first two roles being #2 (Understudy) in The Wolves and Second Correspondent (Understudy) in Medea. Payton wants to express her immense gratitude for her family and their undying support, as well as the cast, crew, and Professor Shively for a wonderful experience.