‘Medea’ receives multiple meritorious achievement awards

PORT ANGELES — Director Richard Stephens, Designer Tim Thorn, student actors Ayah Al-sallaq and Connor West and Eliza Pettigrew, and production manager and Peninsula College Drama Department Chair Lara Starcevich have received Meritorious Achievement awards for their contributions to last spring’s theater production at Peninsula College — Medea.

The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival presents awards to people who have contributed to the overall excellence of a theater production in colleges and universities across the country.

Euripides’ Medea is a classic ancient Greek play about love, hatred and betrayal. Medea was Peninsula College’s first mainstage show since the pandemic forced the drama department to close its doors to live audiences.

“Produced by Starcevich, Medea provided students with a star-studded production team, including director and costume designer Stephens, set designer Thorn, and lighting designer Kelly Doran — all veteran actor/designer/directors who have served in multiple capacities in many theaters across the peninsula and beyond,” according to a press release from the college.

The play opens with the sorceress Medea who is overcome with grief. After helping her husband Jason, leader of the Argonauts, obtain the Golden Fleece, she is furious when she finds out that Jason has married a younger princess and broken his oath to her.

“Given the hostile climate that continues to oppress women globally, the play speaks to the suppressed rage that so many must feel when given no agency,” Stephens said.

Student actors performed all of the key roles in the production, including Ayah Al-sallaq as the Greek chorus woman (Euterpe), Connor West (Jason), Eliza Pettigrew (nurse).

All three actors were invited to compete in the prestigious Irene Ryan Acting competition for Region 7 of the American College Theatre Festival, held in Spokane this year.

Pettigrew attended the competition with her scene partner, Danute Duffy. The week-long intensive offered workshops and acting/design/stage management opportunities along with competitions held like the Irene Ryans.

“It’s wonderful to work at a college that values artistic exploration and that offers students a chance to connect with other theatre artists across the country,” Starcevich said.

The play was filmed and can be streamed free on the Peninsula College Drama department YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/3Zpe8Wd.

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