Medea's Got Some Issues
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Emilio Williams
September 20, 2012
What is your job on this show?
What type of theater do you like most to work on?
I love intimate spaces under 100 seats. I'm most interested in words and acting. I love theatrical experiences that don't depend on bells and whistles. I'm suspicious of productions that abuse gimmicks and the use of technical spectacle. Usually that can of theater is either compensating for a bad script or is underestimating its audience ability to be entertained without the need for a circus experience.
Why is this piece a solo play (rather than a multi-actor play)?
I write for actors.I wanted to write a piece that would be a vehicle for a great actress. The play is a tribute to actresses who get too close to their roles (in this case Medea) The actress playing Medea defends her so much, she must make use and abuse of demagogy. (And important theme for me) I was interested in making the Euripides classic accessible to all, and a one woman show was for me a great format to make that play more down to Earth.
Who are some of the people who helped you create this show, and what were their important contributions to the finished product?
The original idea for this show was inspired by my friend and muse, actress Mercedes Herrero. She always defends her villains with such enthusiasm I though it would be great to see her defending Medea. I finished my first draft in Spain, working with a great actress Debora Izaguirre. We worked on the draft for months. I developed special sections to match her skills. It was a great challenge for both of us. Her premiere in Madrid was one of the most beautiful theatrical experiences of my career. Ana Asensio, who works and lives in New York city asked me for a play to work on. I translated and adapted this piece for her. It's a different show but I love it as much as the original. Ana has a great balance between passion and kindness. She is a pleasure to work with and she is very loyal. She understands the priorities in life and art. I'm very grateful to both Debora and Ana for bringing my Medea to live with such commitment, intensity and humor.
For Election season: which American political figure do you think would like your show best, and why: Barack Obama, Ann Romney, Paul Ryan, or Hilary Clinton?
This is easy: Hilary. I think she would relate to this strong woman, in a man's worlds, who is not willing to take prisoners. Also, Bill Clinton reminds me of Jason. And Monica would be the Princess of Corinth.
How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
In the US, I'm very committed to develop great roles for under-represented minorities, and actors with accents. Our films, TV and theater roles represent characters who do not look or sound like everyday people. And when they do they are stereotypes developed by White Straight Men. I think is ridiculous that actors with accents are not giving a fair chance in such a diverse country as this one.