by David Provost
On Thursday, April 10, Sewanee’s Theater Arts department was delighted to welcome acclaimed translator and poet, Charles Martin, Ph.D to the Mountain. Martin is currently continuing his work on a translation of the ancient tragedy Medea, excerpts of which he shared to students, faculty, and thespians alike.
Written by Euripides, the play was originally performed in Ancient Greece, circa 431 BC. It follows the hero, Jason, after the events of his quest for The Golden Fleece. Medea, Jason’s wife, struggles with her internal battle as her husband is on the verge of marrying another woman for political reasons.
David Landon, Professor of Theater Arts, brilliantly lead a cast of advanced-level Sewanee actors as they performed a live-reading of Charles’ translation. Medea, played by Sarah Weldon (C’14) owned the stage in displaying the pain and suffering of this wronged woman, constantly emoting even when not speaking. Although the play is ultimately a very sad story, Martin’s perspective adds some subtle humor, illuminating the shocking social differences in the ancient world compared to our current time. The combination of the wonderful student performances paired with Martin’s translation made for a very powerful and unique adaptation of the ancient classic. Both long-time fans of Euripides’ controversial text and first-time viewers thoroughly enjoyed this Sewanee event.
Check out information on his translation and more of Charles’ work <a href=”poetryfoundation.org/bio/charles-martin”>here</a>.