THE DANGEROUS PRECIPICE OF MEDEA Resurrects the Company's Famous No Exit Stage
Imago Theatre's mentor Jacques Lecoq, a theatre icon who influenced the world on movement in the performing arts, taught a concept called "the balance of the stage." In 1998, Jerry Mouawad, Artistic Co-Director of Imago Theatre, designed a deck suspended in a black void three feet off the stage floor that tips and sways in an abyss. It made physical and visible Lecoq's "Balance of the Stage."
Mouawad's staging of Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit on this floating plane was revived three times in Portland from 1998 to 2009. The slightest move of an actor created highly dramatic scenic shifts - the world of the play in motion. "Set as metaphor!" hailed one critic. In 2006, under Mouawad's direction, the production ran at two Tony-award-winning theatres - American Repertory Theater in Cambridge and Hartford Stage Company, receiving praise from prominent press. "Superb!" The New York Times; "Great!" Variety; "Wonderfully imaginative!" The Wall Street Journal; "Deliciously entertaining!" NPR.
Now Mouawad resurrects this illustrious set in a new version of Medea written by Ben Power of the National Theatre of London. Power's elegant and poetic minimalism is gut wrenching and powerful. Anne Sorce and Todd Van Voris tackle the leads Medea and Jason. Playing April 21 to May 20 at Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Avenue, Thursdays @ 7:00; Fridays/Saturdays @ 7:30. Regular ticket prices are $29 to $39; Students/Seniors are $19 to $29 and can be purchased by calling Imago at 503.231.9581 or TicketsWest at 503.224.8499 or online at ticketswest.com.
Carol Triffle, Artistic Co-Director, and Mouawad had been on the lookout for another play to stage on the No Exit set. When they read Mr. Power's version of Medea they ended their search. "Knowing what we know about Medea's ultimate violent act of passion and ultimate sacrifice - turns my stomach each time. It's a harsh and desperate anguish. It will be illuminating to see how Jerry brings Power's version of this tragedy to new heights on the precipice of this seemingly dangerous set." TriffleMouawad has cast titans of Portland Theatre in the leads: Anne Sorce will play Medea and Todd Van Voris will take on Jason.
"I love the line 'The wheels are turning/We cannot step off the road.' Medea's emotions and passion are so intense, out of control. In the past, falling in love with Jason, she did incredibly wild, violent, extreme things for him, because of her love. So when he betrays her and destroys everything for her, the magnitude of her hurt and rage is immense." Anne Sorce
"I am excited to be working on such a dynamic set. Its potential for exploring realms of emotional and physical balance is fascinating. This Greek Tragedy is, of course, epic and timeless, and a production such as this has the capacity to hold such immense love and grief in its heightened physical life. This remarkable adaptation by Power of feminism, abuse of power, love, hate and our societal obligations as we bear witness to these forces, especially in today's socio-political climate. It's going to be a wild, thrilling, and devastating ride." Todd Van Voris
"The delicate approach to staging on this set is you must use it sparingly and with precision, every inch of the actors' steps must be precise in order to pull off the diversity of the scenic range. You must unveil its range slowly. The scenic range and the current of the play must move hand in hand." Mouawad
Mouawad has been prolific in staging works that defy classification. His scenic designs for ImaGo Productions have ranged from elaborate worlds, as in La Belle, Lost in the World of the Automaton, to the minimalism of Harold Pinter's The Caretaker and The Homecoming. Dynamic integration of design and drama has won him several awards, including Best Director from the New England Circle of Critics.
Light Design Jon Farley; Scenic Design Jerry Mouawad; Costume Design Sumi Wu; Sound Design Ryan Mooney; Set Engineering Demetri Pavlatos; Scenic Associate Sarah Andrews; Stage Management Michael Cavazos
Cast of Imago's Medea
Medea - Anne Sorce
Jason - Todd Van Voris
Jason's Attendant - Jim Vadala
Her Sons - Duncan Creagle Doran, Anthony Salomon, Max Wallsmith (understudy)
Nurse - Madeleine Delaplane
Chorus - Carla Grant, Tamara Sorelli, Lucy Paschall
Aegeus, King of Athens - Tom Mounsey
Kreon, King of Corinth - Sean Doran