Shahrzad Theater Complex to host reading performances of “Medea”

February 17, 2021 - 19:7

TEHRAN – Tehran’s Shahrzad Theater Complex will be playing host reading performances of “Medea”, an ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides.

The performances set for February 20 and 27 will be directed by Afshin Qasemi with a cast of 14 actors, including Golnaz Eidi, Ali Shahbazi, Azin Aqai, Sara Zamzam and Saman Alizadeh.

“Medea” is based upon the myth of Jason and Medea and first produced in 431 BC. The plot centers on the actions of Medea, a former princess of the kingdom of Colchis, and the wife of Jason. She finds her position in the Greek world threatened as Jason leaves her for a Greek princess of Corinth. 

Medea takes vengeance on Jason by murdering Jason’s new wife as well as her own children, after which she escapes to Athens to start a new life.

Euripides’ play has been explored and interpreted by playwrights across the centuries and the world in a variety of ways, offering political, psychoanalytical, feminist, among many other original readings of Medea, Jason and the core themes of the play.

Iranian directors have frequently referred to this play and its themes over the past few decades.

In May 2019, Ali-Asghar Rasekh-Rad directed a loose adaptation of the tragedy at Qashqai Hall. He had earlier staged “Medea” during the 22nd International Iranian Festival of University Theater in Tehran.

“The play shows a certain reverence for mothers and women,” he said at that time.

“In the original story, Medea’s love leads to hatred and revenge due to a great sense of betrayal, but in our version, the betrayal led her to showcase motherly dignity,” he mentioned.

Iranian theater troupe Bohemi led by director Fariborz Karimi performed “Medea” at the 42nd edition of Festival of Monodrama and Mime, which took place in Belgrade, Serbia in June and July 2017.

Photo: A Poster for director Afshin Qasemi’s reading performances of “Medea” at Tehran’s Shahrzad Theater Complex.