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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Montage of works to celebrate women’s history on South

Dutchess Finley as a battered wifes best friend in Medea and Friends, a new South Campus theater production that runs Thursday-Saturday, March 1-3, in the Carillon Theatre in the Rushing Center for Performing Arts. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with no late seating.
Dutchess Finley as a battered wife’s best friend in Medea and Friends, a new South Campus theater production that runs Thursday-Saturday, March 1-3, in the Carillon Theatre in the Rushing Center for Performing Arts. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with no late seating.

By Charlean Hall/reporter

Dutchess Finley as a battered wife's best friend in Medea and Friends, a new South Campus theater production that runs Thursday-Saturday, March 1-3, in the Carillon Theatre in the Rushing Center for Performing Arts. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with no late seating.
Dutchess Finley as a battered wife’s best friend in Medea and Friends, a new South Campus theater production that runs Thursday-Saturday, March 1-3, in the Carillon Theatre in the Rushing Center for Performing Arts. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with no late seating.

Medea and Friends, a compilation of scenes by various female playwrights from a variety of plays, opens next week on South Campus.

In honor of Women’s History Month, each scene focuses on a different issue women face in today’s world, ranging from post-partum depression to physical abuse.

The production draws its name from its opening scene, taken from Wendy Wasserstein’s modern adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy Medea.

Medea is portrayed by Casey Hines, who takes on multiple roles as do the majority of the cast.

“ To me, Medea represents that inner voice that says, ‘Look at me … I’m fabulous,’” she said. “She is my favorite character to play.”

After this first scene, each of the other scenes features characters unique to the play and playwright from which they were drawn, with the exception of one character who makes a surprise reappearance.

In her scenes, Heather Dyer tackles the roles of a stoner, a woman scarred from her mother’s emotional abuse and a member of the chorus in Medea. Although she has been acting in community theater since she was a child and is now a member of a local theater company, she said she is excited to take on roles she has never tried.

“ My favorite character to play was the stoner because I’ve never played one before,” she said.

Of the two roles that Skye Owens undertakes, the one that she relates to most is that of an overly dramatic college student.

“ I like her because she has attitude,” she said. “She’s in your face. She wants her opinion out.”

medea1Both she and Phillip Crear, one of the two male cast members of this ensemble, have been acting since high school.

Crear plays an angel who is reincarnated in the body of Elvis Presley, a renowned professor and the offstage voice of an abusive husband. He also serves as props designer for the show.

“ I’m excited to play the angel because he is a funny character. I love to make people laugh,” he said.

The other male cast member, Aaron Plaskonos, is also the stage manager. His favorite role is Jason, Medea’s husband.

“ I’ve been doing theater for the last two years, but I’ve never played the bad guy before,” he said.

Kami Rogers, a special guest from Texas Women’s University, plays the part of Charlotte, a woman suffering from postpartum depression.

The favorite role of Rene Sarradet, who made her debut in the South Campus production of Heaven and Hell (On Earth): A Divine Comedy in 2004, is a woman who wants to be recognized for her physical attractiveness.

“ She has a very provocative monologue,” she said. “Everyone recognizes that she is smart, but she wants them to recognize that she is hot.”

Of all the scenes, Lindy Benton-Muller, director of theater on South Campus, believes Poof!, written by Lynn Nottage, is the most essential.

“ This is the most important piece in the show, I think,” she said.

This piece tells of a battered wife who wishes her husband to Hell, and her wish is granted.

Tamica Akins, in her acting debut, plays the part of the battered wife in Poof! and two other roles.

Also making her acting debut is Dutchess Finley. Her favorite role in the play is the battered wife’s best friend in Poof!.

“ I like that part because of the intimacy and friendship between the two women,” she said.

Benton-Muller chose the pieces by letting the cast choose their favorite scenes out of a box of plays by women playwrights.

“ I wanted scenes that my students and the audience could access,” she said. “I have a different view on life than 20-year-olds.”

Hines, like other cast members, was enthused to have the opportunity to choose her own characters.

“ This was a unique opportunity,” she said. “We weren’t given our scripts. We chose them. We got to be producers as well as actors.”

Benton-Muller hopes that the audience will enjoy and understand the theme of the production.

“ We are celebrating and helping make the artistic female voice heard,” she said.

Sarradet added, “This production is about women getting to express themselves no matter what.”

Akins said the characters in the play are realistic characters people can relate to on an everyday level.

“ The women in this play are women I know. [They are] women I work with or family members,” she said.

The cast and crew also want the audience to know that although the play is about celebrating women, it is not about hating men, nor does it exclude them.

“ It should help other men be more open-minded and sensitive toward women,” Plaskonos said.

Dyer hopes both men and women will see the production.

“ I want the audience to leave touched, changed,” she said. “I also want them to know that we are doing this for them. We aren’t doing it for ourselves.”

Benton-Muller said the production includes adult language and themes, so parental guidance is suggested.

Medea and Friends 
will run Thursday-Saturday, March 1-3, in the Carillon Theatre in the Rushing Center for Performing Arts. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and run for approximately two hours.

Tickets are free for TCC students, faculty and staff with ID, $3 for other students with ID and seniors and $6 for the general public.

No reservations will be taken for this performance, so patrons should arrive by 7 p.m. for seating. The theater allows no late seating.

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