program note from 2017
“This production of MEDEA at Macalester represents a wholly original collaboration between the Department of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance. Three equal elements — drama, dance and music — interact to portray an agonizing classical drama that is at the same time virtually a current event. How the disparate elements are woven together has evolved through a creative process between the three principal directors. At the heart of the experience resides the Euripides drama, adapted and directed by guest artist Barbra Berlovitz. The powerful orchestral music, written by American composer Samuel Barber as a ballet score for Martha Graham, is brought to life with new choreography by the Director of Macalester’s Dance Program, Wynn Fricke. The presence of the full Macalester Orchestra on the stage of a Mairs Hall transformed by sets, lighting and costumes makes this concert hall a place where something truly unique can occur: a fusion of artistic disciplines that makes irrelevant barriers between past and present, classical and modern, blending all into one seamless artistic experience.
MEDEA is ultimately the story of a woman. A powerful woman who has been disenfranchised by those with power; a foreigner who is deprived of rights, home and family; a once-beloved figure who, when stripped of her rightful place, takes hideous revenge through what she feels is the only means left to her. It must be acknowledged that this story bears unfortunate relevance for our present time, and this work represents, in part, a response to the injustice we see around us.”