Love and loss, rage and sorrow fill East 3rd Street with Love, Medea, a contemporary adaptation of Euripides’ classic drama now at Off-Off-Broadway's Bullet Space Theatre. Certainly the themes could not be more timely, and as such, the show will extend its run to Oct. 13. Performances began Aug. 29 for a run that was to end Sept. 29.
Director Charles Schick, who also appears in the production, told Playbill On-Line Sept. 26 that the show is "going well. We missed four performances but were back up the following week. We're a small space, but the play is strangely relevant to what's going on, and some scenes are eerie. I've noticed in the paper that some theatre companies go the other way. If [a show] has anything to do with tragic events, they want to run away from it towards escapism. But by coincidence, themes in this play parallel what's going on in the world: revenge, two forms of civilization, a primal reaction against civilization, the destruction of innocence, someone overreacting with the instinct for revenge, and the psychological reasons for that."
"The play is about a woman who feels betrayed by her husband (though he presented her with a reward worthy of his betrayal because he's brought her to civilization). It's about someone who has too much passion versus someone who has too much control, and all hell breaks loose. It's interesting, it's cathartic and worth seeing to explore these things."
Love, Medea is culled from various translations. It also features additional text by Schick and excerpts from the journal of Regina Bartkoff, the actress playing Medea, the Greek mythological sorceress notorious for killing her sons.
Schick and Bartkoff have lived on Manhattan’s Lower East Side for 20 years and wanted to incorporate into the production the rhythms of the neighborhood, where hippies, yuppies, junkies and artists have roamed. The cast includes their daughter, Hannah Bartkoff-Schick, as a member of the chorus, which represents Medea’s hallucinatory mind. Also in the cast are Melonie Diaz, Suzanne Present, Doree Lanouette, Michelle Mazzarino, Rick Luanda, Jasmine Marte, Gillian Roberts and Chris D. Cruz.
The Bullet Space Theatre is at 292 E. 3rd St., NYC. Tickets are $10. For more information, call (212) 505-8312 or check www.artpig.com.
— by David Lefkowitz