Director Jay Scheib applied lessons in plot development from the modern detective novel in planning his adaptation of Medea. Using a verse text based on Heiner Müller, Euripides and Seneca, enhanced by operatic songs and heightened by multimedia, he intends to put suspense back in the tale by playing the myth backwards. Medea's children are killed at the beginning of the play and the climax is Jason leaving his wife at the end. With the familiar narrative landmarks reversed, the real power of the piece is that it is making a play about Medea's decisions, more like a character study than a tale of fate.
The resulting production, named The Medea, will be the second La MaMa production of Actors without Borders-ITONY (International Theater of New York), a new resident company of La MaMa headed by Zishan Ugurlu, a member of La MaMa's Great Jones Repertory. The troupe's name is an acronymic dedication to the Gengi Ito (1946-2001), the late beloved La MaMa musician and composer.
Original music is performed live by Margareth Kammerer (Germany) with Zishan Ugurlu as Medea and Dan Illian as Jason.