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FROM THE PLAYWRIGHT | Medea: Re-Versed

Red Bull Theater and Bedlam present MEDEA: RE-VERSED on stage at the Sheen Center Shiner Theatre, in a world premier co-production with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival for a limited Off-Broadway engagement, September 12 - October 13, 2024.

Insights | Arden of Faversham by Brandi K. Adams

I first learned about Red Bull Theater when Jesse Berger directed a production of Tis Pity She’s a Whore at UNCSA my freshman year. I had never realized all the blood, sex and rock 'n roll the classics held.  When I graduated school, I auditioned for Red Bull and while I never booked a full production I was often invited to perform in readings. It was this connection with Red Bull and Nathan Winkelstein that set the groundwork for Medea. I was playing Malcom in a production of Macbeth and had written a Diss Track style rap from my perspective against MacB. I showed the song to Nathan expecting nothing more than a chuckle and a ‘good job’ but Nathan recognized the potential of my verse. He pointed me toward Medea and 4 years and two workshops with Red Bull later we made it on the boards.


Now, Music and Myth making is one the oldest of human traditions. In excavating the past, I discover what resonates with the present. When I set out to modernize Medea I asked myself who am I writing this for? First, I needed to honor the memory of the original Medea. Meaning the very woman who fought for her own justice when no one else would. Her suffering was not a play, it was lived and I was compelled to write with that reverence in mind. Second, I am writing to expand the traditional theater audience. Musically, I wanted to compose a piece that broke out of the mold of musical theater. A three-piece band with simple music that anyone could play and, most importantly, that non-theater goers would headbang to in their cars the same way they would to Joyner Lucas, Rage Against the Machine, or Evanescence. Thirdly, it needed to accentuate the live theatrical experience. In a world of streaming, the communal exchange of vibration and energy in the present moment is what sets theater apart. So by looking back to Shakespeare I set out to create a new form of theater that encourages audience participation and channels it into the storytelling itself. Using these three pillars as my compass, I began writing Medea.


I looked up the testimonies of women who had committed filicide, intrigued by why they felt that was their only option and the kind of spousal relationships that fostered these outcomes. In particular, toxic narcissistic males, like Medea’s husband Jason, were a common theme. I researched the societal opinions of foreigners in Ancient Greece, who were considered to be barbarians. I exposed myself to several adaptations of Medea and was captivated by the apathetic nature of the gods/universe. I tried to imagine the terror a pregnancy in ancient times meant for a woman. Despite the high mortality rate of childbirth and lack of medicine, Medea survives childbirth only to be left out of the village alone, emotionally abused and abandoned.  Tonight, I invite you to honor her suffering and the sacrifice of all of our ancestors who came before us.

LUIS QUINTERO

 

Luis Quintero is an actor, playwright, lyricist and composer hailing from Houston, Texas. He will also serve as Emcee in Medea: Re-Versed and is thrilled and humbled to be making his playwriting/composing debut in NYC with Red Bull Theater and excited to share this play with audiences and generous collaborators at HVSF and Bedlam. Graduating from UNCSA in 2016, Luis has worked all over the United States as an actor at theaters such as DCPA, Old Globe San Diego, The Alley, Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, Stages Repertory Theater, Triad Stage and more.


For complete details about MEDEA: RE-VERSED, visit here.

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