Medea Embodied

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2020

Spatial interpretation of Euripides' Medea

#StudioScenography #Master-Thesis

Based on ancient Greek tragedy Medea by Euripides, the spatial interpretation «Medea Embodied» researches traditional drama as a source of contemporary, immersive scenography. The project is positioned at the interface of traditional drama theatre and contemporary, accessible, sensory scenography: It aims to bring up new ways to present traditional drama and drama’s set design in contemporary context.

In the form of an immersive theatre performance, «Medea Embodied» explores boundaries of what a contemporary theatre performance can be, and in which ways drama text can be spatially interpreted. It conveys the relevancy of ancient tragedy by opening the familiar theatre format and transferring the audience members from their traditional role as observers to the stage in the middle of action.


The stage of Medea embodied is round, surrounded by a loose, non-symmetrical structure that reminds of a fence or scaffoldings, simultaneously keeping one safe and imprisoned, as well as forming a house to live in and a cage to fight against. «Medea Embodied» explores the potentiality of engaging the audience in the action both as part of stage design and as active participants taking on the the role of the Greek chorus.

When entering the performance space, spectators will be given a mask that they wear during the whole performance. Masks brings both anonymity to the spectator and also gives them a new identity as a chorus member. The chorus represents the society of Corinth, and its voice can be interpreted as a public voice. Hence the project turns attention to the audience and asks what role does a single person have in a group and what is an individual’s responsibility in society.


White masks don’t only hide spectators identity but give them a new a one. Strongly made-up facial features are distinguishably real. With this new identity, spectator can explore the boundaries of their presence. If not identifiable, is a single person in a group still responsible for their behaviour?

Medea, dating back to 431 BC, belongs to the western theatre canon and is one of the most performed antic Greek tragedies. Medea is based on the myth of hero Jason and barbarian witch-princess Medea, after Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece. But what makes it still relevant and the story still insatiable? Medea explores universal, perpetual behaviour and emotions: passion, pride, isolation, vengeance, grief, rage and love. Medea highlights the deepest aspects of humanity and raises unanswerable questions of justice and morality.

Mentorat:

Prof. Uwe R. Brückner

, Studio Scenography & Exhibition Design

Ruth Scheel

, Studio Scenography & Exhibition Design

Heike Dürscheid, Martina Ehleiter

, Studio Scenography & Exhibition Design