After reading Ovid to her daughters, Creator, Director, Writer and the all-around extraordinaire Sophie Amieva decided to take on the age-old myth of Medusa and turn it on its head with Medusa Volution, a play currently presented by Samieva Theater Company at happylucky no. 1 in Bed-Stuy.
In Medusa Volution, Sophie unabashedly and successfully delves deeper into the histories of Medusa, Salome and Eve and turns them into herstories…. Buckle-up your seatbelts.
In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Medusa was a young maiden in service to the temple of Athena. When she caught Poseidon’s attention her fate was sealed – the God forced himself on her in the temple, yet Athena condemned Medusa for having lost her purity and turned her into the hideous gorgon monster we know, with snakes for hair, so dangerous and hideous that her gaze will turn a man to stone.
Sophie’s re-examining of this Greek tragedy is quite timely. We’re in an era where misinformation is king but not queen. Occurrences are twisted and distorted to please the well-suited few but not the many. Volution finally gives our female archetypes a chance to tell their story, reassess the version we know and asks a lot of questions.
Why is Medusa always depicted with rage-filled murderous behavior– even after she is beheaded? Why does Salome, a displaced teenager with relatively absent parents and a lot of free time on her hands, get single-handedly blamed for the beheading of one Jesus’ most fervent evangelists? And why do all fingers point to Eve, when it clearly takes two to tango?
Who exactly created these stories in the first place? And why are women generally categorized as hysterical, wanton, sexual predators and the root of all evil when they can’t be controlled?
Susu Bagert, co-writer extraordinaire, hits back hard at these myopic viewpoints and shatters the idea that women are subservient and powerless. The dialogue hits you with an unexpected rapid fire of emotions which keeps you mesmerized. The trial scene is deliciously sticky, and you take it home with you.
Volution has more substance in its one act than some presidential administrations. The explosive actors, (multicultural mavens, really) flow and are extremely adept in giving you their all. Raw topics such as identity, sexual harassment, dating, motherhood, unhappy marriages are covered in “sound-bites” where an apple is bitten and a story retold. I say retold because somehow, you know you’ve heard the story before but not nearly as truthful.
These stories are surgically dissected and relayed with grit, emotion and anxiousness resulting in raw introspection. This is helped by the undulating flow of visual and auditory symbolism. The floating apples, womb-like plastic tarps, soul-revealing lighting, subliminal flashing clips, embryonic beats and my favorite — the boxing ring bell — keep you riveted and alive.
Yes, Medusa Volution goes there and keeps it real, as we all should.
Created and directed by Sophie Amieva | Written by Sophie Amieva and Susu Bagert | Presented by Samieva Theater Company
When: Until February 24, 2019
Where: happylucky no. 1, 734 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
For more information and tickets, go here.
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