Medea addressing a current issue with a thousand-year-old script

Grace+Kelly+Fulton%2C+%E2%80%9820%2C+portrays+the+titular+character+Medea+in+the+upcoming+production.+The+show+breaks+the+ancient+tradition+of+having+an+all+male+cast+by+replacing+it+with+a+cast+full+of+women.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Medea addressing a current issue with a thousand-year-old script

Grace Kelly Fulton, ‘20, portrays the titular character Medea in the upcoming production. The show breaks the ancient tradition of having an all male cast by replacing it with a cast full of women.

Grace Kelly Fulton, ‘20, portrays the titular character Medea in the upcoming production. The show breaks the ancient tradition of having an all male cast by replacing it with a cast full of women.

Courtesy Mikki Schaffner

Grace Kelly Fulton, ‘20, portrays the titular character Medea in the upcoming production. The show breaks the ancient tradition of having an all male cast by replacing it with a cast full of women.

Courtesy Mikki Schaffner

Courtesy Mikki Schaffner

Grace Kelly Fulton, ‘20, portrays the titular character Medea in the upcoming production. The show breaks the ancient tradition of having an all male cast by replacing it with a cast full of women.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






This April, the WHHS theatre program invites you to travel back to Ancient Greece, the age of the epics, to witness an updated version of a classic tale, Euripides’s Medea.

The production will be different from many of the other shows that WHHS has done in the past because the cast of this show is all female. “Traditionally classical Greek theatre pieces, such as Medea, would be performed by a cast of all male actors, in part because acting was seen as an unbefitting profession for women,” Bettina Ernst, ‘20, the Assistant Director of the show, said.

Medea, a sorceress and a mother of two who has been abandoned by her husband, Jason, and seeks revenge.

The casting decision helps change the powerful message. “This story is about… a complex female character, subjected to the patriarchal systems in place during the time period, especially in terms of women’s relationships with their husbands,” Ernst said. “We believe it’s really important to tell this story using women’s voices.”

Other stylistic choices include minimal set pieces, and the addition of the famous Greek theater masks. “The set is painted black, in order to really showcase the actors,” Ernst said. “The costumes are traditional Greek costumes, and we are incorporating traditional masks for all characters except Medea and her family. Using this style against the stark black background will really demonstrate the brilliant performances of the actors.”

This story is about… a complex female character, subjected to the patriarchal systems in place during the time period, especially in terms of women’s relationships with their husbands.”

— Bettina Ernst, ‘20

Courtesy Mikki Schaffner
Medea (Grace Fulton, ‘20, pictured in the center) and her family are the only characters in the production who do not wear traditional masks. This choice emphasizes the performance of the actors, as they will stand out to the audience.

Of course, adapting a thousand year old play in order for it to remain fresh has its challenges.

“The main challenge was demonstrating that the heightened and more presentational style is purposeful and specific,” Ernst said. “We addressed this by…making sure that both through movement and vocal patterns, the more extended and direct style is consistently used throughout the play.”

Medea is a tale of deceit, revenge and family, involving characters from the story of Jason and the Argonauts, that is definitely worth seeing. “The script was translated by a poet who created beautiful and poetic dialogue that will be beautifully spoken by our actors,” Ernst said. “[Audiences] should come to see the wonderful performances by our talented…actors in a style of acting that is not seen often.”

Medea will be performed on April 27 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and on April 28 at 2:00 pm in the Black Box theater. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students.