Modern take on classic drama takes to Leitner stage


Lindsey Halliday

Medea (Laurie Griffith) blames Jason (Dylan Emory) for her sorrows.

Dylan Emory and Alexis Blanton

The TJCA Drama Department is proudly presenting their winter show, Euripides “Medea.” First produced in 431 B.C., the play is based on the myth of Jason and Medea and Medea’s quest for revenge when Jason tries to climb the ladder of power by marrying another woman.

Opening with Medea in a blind rage towards her husband, Jason, for arranging to marry the daughter of Creon, the ruler of Corinth. The play follows Medea’s transformation from caring mother to an evil monster. Senior Dylan Emory plays Jason, with freshman Laurie Griffith playing the lead role of Medea.

Both Emory and Griffith are drama department veterans, having been in several plays each over the last two years. The cast features TJCA students in both middle and high school.

“‘Medea’ has been my favorite play since I first read it in college,” said Director Jonathan Foust, who teaches drama at TJCA. “I have always wanted to produce it, but have never had a cast with the skill and maturity to pull it off. This is the cast that I’ve been waiting on.”

Foust and his cast and crew have put a unique spin on the classic play, choosing to reset it in the 1920s.

“I chose to set it in the 1920s to highlight the Gatsby-esque theme of reaching for that American Dream,” Foust explained. “For Jason, it’s the Corinthian Dream, but the idea is the same. He’s so committed to the idea of living the good life, that he is willing to throw away his whole family to get it. The price he pays for it is every bit as dire as the one Gatsby pays for chasing his dream.

However, Foust said, Jason doesn’t think about the fact that Medea is not a woman homegrown.

“Medea is the wrong woman to betray. Jason counts on Medea being a good, quiet Greek woman and simply moving on after he betrays her. His biggest mistake, though, was forgetting that Medea… she ain’t from here!”

While he is always proud of the TJCA drama department, he is especially happy with this show.

“This show is not just good high school theatre, it is good theatre!” Foust said. “This is our big show for the year, and it is everything that Greek tragedy is supposed to be!”

Showtimes for the play are 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $8 at the door.