This semester Quinnipiac University students will be performing the old Greek tragedy, “Medea,” written by Euripides.
The play this semester, however, seems to be a little more special. Award winning actress Mary Vreeland will be making a guest appearance as the title role. Not only is Vreeland’s appearance special because she has been on Broadway as well as in CBS television movie “Have you Tried Talking to Patty?” but she is also deaf. Her character does not speak, but instead uses sign language. Maegan Pachomski, a junior occupational therapy major, will be playing the nurse who helps interpret what Vreeland’s character says.
“Mary is just phenomenal,” Pachomski said. “I think it is very interesting to work with her.”
Some other members of the cast agree. Christina Dello Buano, a sophomore public relations major, was a bit apprehensive at first. “I didn’t think it would be so easy, but she makes me feel so comfortable,” she said.
Vreeland has also taught the cast many skills to help improve their acting. “She’s a truly magnificent actress and an even better teacher,” said Mark Medaglia, a senior media production major. The cast explained that because she can only see, not hear, she can tell when their acting is fake and when it is from the heart. “It helps us with our physicality and it helps us to relax,” Medaglia said.
This semester’s play is also featuring a new director, Kelly Morgan, who is a professor of theatre at Quinnipiac. The cast has nothing but praise for Morgan, who started teaching here last fall.
Morgan’s style as a director is a little different than what the cast is used to.
“He kind of makes you really get into your character because he makes you think and react,” Derrick McCloud, a junior broadcast journalism major said.
During rehearsal Morgan stops almost every other line to give the students feedback and to help them with their role. He makes sure the cast understands the dialogue so they can also understand what their lines mean.
When McCloud’s character, the children’s tutor, pushes Pachomski’s character during a rehearsal, Morgan stops this in the middle. He asks McCloud, “How do you feel? What are your opinions?”
McCloud answers and Morgan says, “Show it.”
The next time around, McCloud pushed Pachomski a little bit harder, really showing his character’s feelings at that moment.
Quinnipiac’s production of “Medea” will be on the main stage at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven. This will mark the first time that Quinnipiac has been able to perform on the main stage. As Morgan explains this new arrangement, the cast’s eyes light up as they nod their heads in excitement.
The show runs from Feb. 27 to March 1 at 8 p.m. and March 2 at 2 p.m. There will be shuttles taking Quinnipiac students to the show on Thursday, Feb. 28 and Sunday, March 2. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors and $10 for adults.
E-mail [email protected] for tickets.