Photo credit: Rich Keen
Dane Walker, left, and Rylee Merrill, right, audition for the Blue Ridge Community College Theatre Department’s spring production of “Medea.”
Get ready to laugh at a tragedy as the Blue Ridge Community College Theatre Department premieres its spring production of “The Making of Medea: The Musical? The Movie!” on Friday, April 22 via YouTube.
Produced as a “mockumentary” filmed in a fashion similar to NBC’s “The Office,” this pre-recorded production turns the classic Greek tragedy of “Medea” into a comical affair.
According to Theatre Department faculty Jennifer Treadway, the continuous presence of COVID-19 made switching their usual live, onstage production to a film all the more simple.
“Live theatre is still taking a huge hit, because if even one of our cast – of an onstage production – gets COVID, countless others will have to quarantine and it just puts the entire production on hold,” Treadway stated.
Contrary to a live production, a video has multiple benefits, Treadway said, including the flexibility of time schedules for actors. Also, since each scene can be filmed in any order, there’s never a time when the entire cast has to be present at once.
The classic Greek tragedy “Medea” centers around the titular character as the wife of Jason, of “Jason and the Argonauts.” When Jason leaves Medea for another woman, Medea kills his new wife and her own two sons as revenge.
The College’s “Medea” plot will center around a college theatre department attempting to put on the traditional onstage “Medea” play.
“Since it’s a mockumentary, viewers will get to see all the wild antics that happen when a theatre department tries to put on a play,” Treadway said. “So it’s more about the people putting it on rather than the play ‘Medea’ itself.”
To maintain the semblance of a mockumentary and to collect b-roll footage, the auditions and rehearsals were filmed and will be included in a portion of the final version. The first rehearsal took place on Feb. 7, and there are now more than 30 cast and crew members.
Filming will take one month of work, with a shorter turnaround time to edit. The runtime will be approximately 30 minutes long.
While current students comprise the majority of actors in “Medea,” the cast is also composed of faculty members, alumni, homeschooled students, local South Carolina thespians and even professional actors from Asheville. Treadway believes this diverse cast will be a great experience for her students.
“That’s my jam right there. Working with all these different people with varying skill levels and different experiences will be a great learning experience for my students,” Treadway added.
While it is completely free to view the film, donations are always welcome and appreciated. You can donate to the Blue Ridge Theatre Department through a special link that will be included in the official video on YouTube.
Treadway stressed the importance of donations to the theatre fund, as it’s through donations that multiple items are purchased like costumes and set pieces.
You can tune in and watch the “Medea” film on the Theatre Department’s YouTube page at https://www.blueridge.edu/blue-ridge-cc-theatre-yt.
To learn more, contact Jennifer Treadway at firstname.lastname@example.org.