Euripides’ Medea to be staged in Bengaluru on March 2

The timeless tale of passion, revenge, and the complexities of the human condition, Medea, penned by the ancient Greek dramatist Euripides, continues to captivate audiences over two millennia after its inaugural performance in 431 BC. Euripides’ Medea, which has withstood the ravages of time when its companion plays in the original trilogy faded into obscurity, will soon grace the stages of Bengaluru in a compelling new adaptation.

Chennai’s acclaimed Theatre Nisha is spearheading this modern interpretation, titled “Why She Did, What She Did.” The creative force behind this production is the multifaceted artist Shakthi, who not only directs but also performs the titular role. The staging is enriched by the expertise of V Balakrishnan from Theatre Nisha, and the auditory experience is brought to life with live percussion by Vishwa Bharath. After its premiere in Chennai in December 2023, the play is set to make its much-anticipated Bengaluru debut on March 2nd.

Shakthi, a theater artist and contemporary dancer, articulates her conviction that the themes underscored in Medea continue to resonate in contemporary society. Speaking from her Chennai home, she reflects on the persistent struggle for female agency, an issue just as pertinent now as it was in antiquity. “We would all like to think that we have moved on from the fact that women did not have agency in their lives,” says Shakthi. “Unfortunately, the idea of agency for a woman is still contested.” She longs for a world where the narrative of Medea ceases to be relevant, though she acknowledges the ongoing relevance of its message.

“Why She Did, What She Did” is a rare treat, a solo performance that allows Shakthi to weave together her skills in rhythm and movement, theatre, and dance into a potent narrative vehicle. With a 12-year tenure in theater, Shakthi brings not only her extensive acting experience but also her academic background—a diploma in Movement Arts from Attakalari in Bengaluru (2016), an undergraduate degree in commerce with a focus on marketing, and a postgraduate degree in English literature—to bear on her artistry. She emphasizes the interconnectedness of varying disciplines and how they serve to enhance creativity within performance arts.

Shakthi is particularly thrilled to be presenting this fresh perspective of Medea to Bengaluru’s audiences, who, in her opinion, show an exceptional enthusiasm and understanding of the theater and performing arts. She admires the city’s engaging audiences who seek to connect deeply with the art, even when the subject matter delves into darker themes.

Being alone on stage for Shakthi is far from being a show of ego. She is quick to highlight that theater is the culmination of collective creativity involving the playwright, the musician, the lighting designer, and others who contribute to the narrative experience. Together, they present a performance not merely for applause but as a profound and humbling shared expression.

The performance of “Why She Did, What She Did” is set to transpire at the revered Swastika School of Dance and Music in Jakkur on March 2nd, beginning at 6:30 pm. Accessibility to the arts is reflected in the affordable ticket price of ₹300, available for purchase on BookMyShow. The play carries a recommendation for those aged 16 and above, inviting a diverse audience to witness this reinterpretation of a classic story that remains, against all odds, a visceral portrayal of the human psyche.

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