For Dante she was the erotic power that could destroy men. Freud saw in her hair a nest of terrifying snakes symbolizing castration. For Perseus and his patriarchal culture she was a dangerous female monster to be destroyed. Medusa’s reputation has transformed over time, and continues to intrigue and inspire us. Women see her as a noble victim of the patriarchy. The fashion house Versace celebrates the lure of her mysterious face and puts it on underwear, luxury bags, and expensive dinnerware. Politically charged media superimposes her image onto powerful, successful women. In our culture now she is once again a power player demanding to be recognized. Demanding we examine the journey from maiden to monster.
Medusa still transfixes us.
The project ensemble consists of international artists representing four different countries. Their common desire to challenge themselves and create a global rehearsal room, brings together the talent, passion, and experiences of many identities committed to breaking down barriers that might exclude portions of the population from artistic dialogue.
In conversations around the contemporary social issues that were most pressing to the ensemble, the themes of intersectional feminism, a wider societal mistrust of women and femmes, and the role of powerful women in patriarchal power structures brought the most resonance.
In an effort to find an anchor to frame our experiences of these issues, we turned to the mythical figure of Medusa; common ground to all our countries and cultures.
Through devised theatre workshops in London, Paris, Piacenza, and Chicago, we will create opportunity for the audience to encounter Medusa’s journey, physical transformation, and isolation through all 5 senses, challenging the objectification of women, and humanizing Medusa’s experience.
We aim to examine Athena’s position as a woman in a place of power within a patriarchal power structure, women’s position as oppressors of other women within that structure, and the ramifications of punishing victims of sexual violence, rather than their aggressors.
We aim to deconstruct the legacy of mythology, and the historical precedent for the oppression, objectification, and exclusion of those whose identities fall outside of the majority, with specific focus on gender expression and ability.
We aim to create an abstract sensorial journey to encourage audiences to reevaluate how they experience storytelling. We hope to create multiple access points for audience members, with intentional focus placed on the experience of people with disabilities, language barriers, and the aesthetics of access design.
We are also honored to be supported in the incubation of this project. The Chicago based Production company Pop Magic Productions will be supporting the fourth workshop of Medusa in Chicago this summer, and mounting the production that we bring together from all this work, and then tour! This will include rehearsal space and compensation for artists, budget for American Sign Language Interpretation and Audio Description, travel/housing for our facilitation team, and more.
If you are interested in supporting this exploration as it comes to Chicago, please visit https://www.popmagic.org/medusa and share with anyone you think would be excited to support revolutionary, intersectional, anti-exclusionary devised theatre.
All donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar by an investor!
A Curated Conversation
In an effort to reduce waste, we chose to go paperless for our play programs!
Check out the contributing artists on our digital program page.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
27 OCTOBER 2017
Climate Change Theatre Action - Chicago
A Curated Conversation
November 14-16, 2017, 6:30pm
The Pride Arts Center, 4147 N. Broadway, Chicago
Chicago – Producers Denise Yvette Serna and Iris Sowlat are pleased to present Climate Change Theatre Action - Chicago, three evenings of readings and performances on the topic of global climate change in support of the United Nations COP23 meeting chaired by Fiji and hosted in Bonn, Germany. This multi-disciplinary international event features short films, dance, puppetry, live performances, and a call to activism. Developed with artists from China, France, Italy, Slovakia, Spain, The United Kingdom, Canada, across the United States and Chicago, this collective effort supports and encourages individual action on climate change and steps towards a better future for all. Performances are pay what you can, and will have general admission and re-seating all evening.
Climate Change Theatre Action (CCTA) is a worldwide series of readings and performances of short climate change plays. The series features 50 playwrights representing over 25 cultures, from industrialized and developing countries, urban and rural areas from every inhabited continent on the globe. Some are from low-lying island nations threatened by sea level rise, others are from countries facing severe heatwaves, floods, or droughts. Some are recent migrants, some inhabit the country their ancestors chose or were brought to, and many live on and fiercely protect the land where they were born. Together, they create an incredibly diverse and talented group with widely different perspectives.
With collaboration from Global Hive Laboratories, Pride Arts Center, BoucheWHACKED! Theatre Collective, La Compagnie Certes, Fusion Theatre Company, and in association with the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, NoPassport Theatre Alliance, The Arctic Cycle, Theatre Without Borders, and York University, the event will include live performances directed by producer Denise Yvette Serna, producer Iris Sowlat, Olivia Lilley, Carolina Migli Bateson, Ryan Oliveira, and material developed with artists across the globe.
Readings will include new works by Elaine Avila, Carolina Migli Bateson, Amy Berryman, Clare Duffy, Angella J. Emurwon, Kendra Fanconi, Jordan Hall, Lisa Schlesinger, Marcia Johnson, Hiro Kanagawa, Sarena Parmar, Katie Pearl, Ryan Oliveira, Caridad Svich, and Jordan Tannahill.
Check out our event, and others worldwide at the official website of Climate Change Theatre Action 2017.
Links to Participating Theatres:
Global Hive Laboratories: globalhivelabs.org
The Arctic Cycle: www.thearcticcycle.org/ccta-2017
NoPassport Theatre Alliance: www.nopassport.org
BoucheWHACKED! Theatre Collective: www.bouchewhacked.com
The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts: www.sustainablepractice.org
Theatre Without Borders: www.theatrewithoutborders.com
York University: http://www.yorku.ca
Pride Films & Plays: pridefilmsandplays.com/
# # #