The Ithaca Ladies Read Medea
by Arthur M. Jolly
The year is 1953, and the House Unamerican Activities Committee is at its peak, fomenting suspicion and distrust, nowhere more so than in the insular world of Academia. Adjacent to this world, but inextricably intertwined, five women, shackled by societal constraints, defined by their husbands careers and politics, are meeting for their monthly play reading – knowing that one of them has betrayed the others to save her husbands position at the University. This is the evening they have chosen to read Medea – and as they delve into the classic Greek tragedy, their own stories unfold, their secrets and betrayals are brought to light, and their friendships are tested, shattered, and renewed.
- Cast Size: 1M 6W
- Running Time: 90+ minutes
- Royalty Rate: $75 per performance
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History is sometimes best seen through a microscope: examining not just the events but how they touch the lives of people who have no role in them. This gathering of ladies at their monthly gathering to share literature is part comedy of manners and, in a gauzy black and white turn, a peek into the room where politics and innuendo becomes its own farce and drama. Arthur M Jolly’s rapier-like wit and strong sense of characters is on full display, and while the events may be nearly seventy years past, they are prescient for all of us today.