Tri-State Theater

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Interview With "Medea" Actor Mike Murdock

   As the final performances of Medea draw near, let’s enjoy one more interview with the cast.

   One of the area’s finest actors, Mike Murdock (don’t tell him I said that - there will be no living with him), takes the stage to play an authority figure, facing off against a woman who is a force of nature.

   Here’s Mike:

Q: For those not familiar with the show, tell us about Medea.

Mike: Medea is a play about a woman scorned. Jason and countless screaming Argonauts took her from her homeland and brought her to Greece. Then Jason dumped her and married King Creon's daughter. This puts Medea in a rather dark mood for the majority of our play. It's as if she wants to exact a revenge of some sort. I guess we'll see what happens.

Q: How does the show relate to modern-day audiences?

Mike: Funny you should ask. I was just talking to someone the other day about doing terrible things to someone because of how someone else had wronged me. It's clearly still a thing. We all have feelings and we get varying degrees of angry when people hurt us. Medea intends to make Jason pay for what he's done. We can relate to love, infidelity, broken vows and revenge - perhaps more than most things. It's hard-wired into us to care about that kind of thing. This play's got 'em all.

Q: Tell us about the character you play.

Mike: I play Creon, King of Corinth, father of Jason's new bride. I take it upon myself to try to protect my daughter, and in doing so, I open myself up for tragedy. Also, my wife plays Medea, and we get to have a very friendly scene together, which is always fun.

Q: Has it been fun, working with an (almost) all-female cast?

Mike: I can't think of anything better than being surrounded by ridiculously talented, beautiful women every day for six weeks. Such torture. Oh, the humanity. Stop it.

Q: What's your background in theatre?

Mike: I played a Christmas present when I was in Kindergarten which was a wrapped cardboard box with arm holes and I had a bow on my head. That started it all, and now, 32 years later, I'm wearing a toga. #blessed

Q: Why did you want to be part of this show?

Mike: I love working with Leah Turley. She's simply a brilliant actor's director. I knew when we asked her to work at ARTS that she would bring something amazing to the table, and I had to be a part of it. I also love working with my wife.  She's incredible in this show, and I am in awe of her talent. She teaches me something every day. There are many other reasons, including every other member of the cast and crew, but I already see the flash light going off in the back, so I need to wrap it up. Don't forget to tip your waiters.

Q: Why would you recommend this show?

Mike: This show is nothing like ARTS has ever done, and that's the best reason to see it. Not only is the show fantastic and gorgeous to look at it, the director, cast and writer/translator has made yet another ancient text accessible to anyone that comes to see it. We do more adult theatre than anyone else around here, year-round, non-stop, and we're always trying to up our game with each production. There's never a time when we don't put our hearts on our sleeves and give it everything we've got. We're always looking to improve and do things differently than anyone else is doing. We take risks with every show we do and we never back down from a challenge.  This show is another perfect example of all of that. If this show doesn't knock your socks off, you must not have been wearing socks in the first place (and we're not judging you for that, we're just trying to keep things honest).
   Come see my wife do terrible things to myself and others! Live! On stage! EXPERIENCE Leah Turley's exceptional direction and artistic vision! SEE Nathan Bradley's amazing light show! HEAR the incredible all-female Greek Chorus! FEEL Eric Wilson's sweat and tears! SIGH as John Campbell offers HOPE! GASP as Sheila Meade exquisitely relives the HORROR! TASTE the sweet nectar of REVENGE! This weekend - only at ARTS! See you there!

   Thanks, Mike!

  Medea is being presented by Arts Resources for the Tri-State (ARTS). The classic play will be staged on Friday, Aug. 28 and Saturday, Aug. 29 at 8 p.m. on the ARTS Renaissance Main Stage at 900 8th Street in Huntington. Tickets are $15 for the show only, or $30 for dinner and the show. Reservations are required for the dinner - call 304-733-2787. 

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