A Modern Medea: Fitting into a Digital Age and the Methodology Behind Writing a Play
Dr. Patrice Rankine and Dr. Choonghee Han
In an era where getting the news on Twitter or Facebook is commonplace, and connecting with people is easier than riding a bicycle, it is hard to imagine how a play that is thousands of years old still has a place in mainstream society. Euripides’ Medea is a play that has survived in popular culture since its inception in 431 B.C.E., but the question remains if it can survive in the eyes of millennials and command the same attention it always has. My solution was to give the play a social media facelift by replacing the Greek chorus with fully-fledged social media accounts for all characters that interact with the audience in real time before, after, and during performances. I will argue how this keeps an ancient play relevant and expands on the theory of environmental theatre by Richard Schechner. Also, I will be arguing that including social media, to the extent that I do, creates a new type of immersive theatre. The lesser degree of active involvement that this take on immersive theatre requires, allows for broader audiences to engage, interpret and digest the material while keeping the integrity of the theatrical theory. In keeping with the long-standing mythic tradition of adding to and changing narratives, I will also demonstrate how my decision to change a few key plot points is in line with this tradition and pays homage to how Euripides wrote his version of the myth. Finally, I will discuss my methodology in writing my adaptation and how it leads to the innovations I made.
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