Performer Info for Medusa

NOTE: The show is no longer part of the Fringe Festival! It is now a Lauren Zehara production.

Compensation: We receive a portion of ticket sales, and share that with performers after paying expenses. However, it may amount to only a token payment. This project is more about creative expression than $$$.

Date: August 16 • 7:30pm

Afterparty: TBD, but it will definitely be within Westport Plaza.

Venue:

Westport Playhouse (2nd floor, right next door to Drunken Fish)

The theater has a video wall backdrop, so we’ll be able to project background images to set each scene.

The theater holds 235 people. There will be a bar out front , and folks can bring drinks in.

There are two large dressing rooms as well.

If you want to see details about the stage size, lighting setup, etc, you can find that at this link near the bottom of the page

Overview

This show tells the story of Medusa from her childhood to her death.

Medusa’s story has been told for centuries through the male gaze, in which women are passive victims, and their relationships with one another are characterized by jealousy and competition for — you guessed it  — the male gaze.

In our version, Medusa is the feisty hero of the story, which means she drives the plot forward through her own decision-making.

Also, her friendships with other women are empowering to her and vital to her story.

Although we’re telling a story it’s still primarily a bellydance show. Please don’t feel like you have to play-act the storyline in a literal way with your dance.

Between dance scenes, there will be narration and animation to lay out the finer points of the story for the audience. The dance segments will tell the story in broad strokes and convey the emotion of each stage of Medusa’s journey.

This storyboard video will give you a clear picture of the scenes, who is in them, and how it all fits together (THANK YOU, LISA!)

Project Trello board: This is where you’ll find details about characters, scenes, and other show elements. (If you’re an invited performer and can’t open the Trello board, send me your email address and I’ll add you).

The Trello board is a place to brainstorm with scene partners & directors and communicate about music and costuming, etc. Trello is our main tool for organizing and communicating information.

The first column is random notes. After that, each column represents one scene in the show. There are 10 scenes, plus possibly an overture to set the mood.

Each column has information about the music, set, characters, and storyline for that scene.

Process

The show is modular, meaning each scene stands by itself as a dance number. That way, each troupe, duet, or soloist can be responsible for developing their own scenes independently and there’s less demand on your time or need for full-cast rehearsals.

I’m envisioning one full-show walkthrough in July. We’ll also have a tech rehearsal at some point, where you’ll have an opportunity to work with the lighting and sound director and get familiar with the stage.

We want each scene to feel completely different, so we want you to express your creativity in your scene! At the same time, we want a cohesive show, so we’ll need to communicate and work together to make sure everything is seamless and makes sense to the audience.

Time Commitment

We’re trying to keep demands on your time to a minimum. Here’s what I’m thinking:

Everyone:

  • April – May: Begin rehearsals for group scenes
  • July: Rough walk-through of the full show & costume photoshoot for promos
  • August: Tech rehearsal & performance.

Group Scene Participants (Ceto, The Graeae, Medusa’s Sisters, Sea Monsters, Child Medusa, Priestesses, High Priestess of the Sea & Pegasus)

  • Feb : Group Scene Noodling
  • April : Group Scene Finalization
  • May: Rehearsal
  • June: Rehearsal

Music

This playlist is a work in progress, and the tracks that are stored locally on my drive won’t play here, but you can get an overview of the music.

Current version of the full story as it will be presented between scenes (still a work in progress)

In this retelling, let’s shift the gaze,
on Medusa’s life from her earliest days.

For no woman’s tale should be constricted,
To the role of victim, with her will restricted.

Our Medusa’s not an object, or a passive pawn.
But a flawed heroine who met her fate head-on.

[Dance: Snakes in Your Hair Solo (optional)]

Deep under the waves, with the blobfish and lobsters,
Dwells Ceto, the mother of watery monsters.

A primordial goddess of the sea,
And matriarch queen of a strange family

Her children are a wondrous horde,
Of immortals who prowl the ocean floor.

The Graeae, her triplets with visions profound,
Share a single eye that they pass around.

The other siblings are a gorgon pair
And they all lurk together in a swampy lair.

[Dance: Waves, Ceto, The Graeae, Siblings]

In this undersea realm where time holds no sway,
And immortals lurk night and day,

No one expected Ceto the goddess,
To birth a mortal girl — such oddness!

Her siblings viewed her as foolish and wild
Never before had they lived with a child.

Their ancient minds, so vast and old,
Struggled to grasp the stories she told,

Of make-believe and teddy bear hugs,
Of scraped knees and captured bugs.

Can you imagine their reactions
to Medusa’s childish passions?

[Dance: Child Medusa, Ceto, The Graeae, Siblings]

So Medusa grew up feeling misunderstood.
She longed for connection and sisterhood.

As soon as she was old enough to roam,
She made the Temple of Athena her new home.

The priestesses welcomed her with a warm embrace.
Within those sacred walls she found her place.

[Dance: Teenage Medusa, Priestesses]

Stories of women, from olden days,
Portray us as rivals for the manly gaze.

We’re led to expect envy and strife,
But let me share a different view of life.

Women’s connections holds power untold,
Sisterhood lets our hearts unfold.

Medusa bonded with Athena — deeply
And their dear friendship changed her destiny.

[Dance: Young Medusa & Athena Duet]

In a battle fueled by envy’s flame
Poseidon sought to tarnish Athena’s name.

Medusa, the favorite priestess of her shrine
Was a perfect target in his mind.

His attack shattered her innocence, and left her in pieces.
— For only a virgin can be a priestess.

Robbed of her chosen family, and her home,
Medusa reeled, lost and alone,

With every tear that stained her face,
Medusa’s sorrow turned to hate.

[Dance: Catharsis Medusa Solo]

Medusa made a choice, in her rage,
To become a monster, fierce and strange.

No man would touch her ever again,
Or gaze upon her flawless skin.

To bring her plan to its monstrous end
She turned to Athena, her dearest friend. (her most magical friend?)

[Dance: Transformation Medusa and Athena Duet]

No longer prey to the gaze of men,
Instead her stare could petrify them.

Medusa reveled in her bizarre might,
Unleashing her fury with full delight,

She was untouchable, fierce, and bold,
A force of nature beyond control.

Medusa made a cave her bower
and there she embraced her newfound power.

[Dance: Monster Medusa Solo]

Medusa, the master of stone,
Wielded magic that chilled to the bone.

But in her solitude, she longed for the bliss,
Of connection, a kind word, a tender kiss,

And the fates had prepared another surprise,
The Graeae foresaw it, with their sooth-seeing eye.

They whispered a secret, dense with despair,
A life growing within, a child she would bear.

And the babe would be no ordinary thing,
But a magical horse with ethereal wings,

destined to be born from Medusa’s severed head
— Her child would only live if Medusa were dead.

In shadows deep, Medusa weeps,
A sorrow that does not rest or sleep.

[Dance: Pregnant Medusa Solo]

She seeks solace from a trusted friend,
Athena, to whom her prayers ascend.

She begs Athena, with trembling voice,
To grant her release and accept her choice,

To end her suffering, her eternal night,
And let her baby be born into the light.

Would Athena view her request with favor?
Could she kill to become a savior?

[Dance: Pregnant Medusa & Athena Duet]

Athena, in her mercy and devotion,
Answered her friend’s plea, though it left her heart broken.

She armed the hero Perseus with a mirrored shield
That would let him fight while staying concealed

From Medusa’s petrifying gaze
and a sword to end her monstrous days.

Perseus set forth on his bittersweet quest,
To face Medusa and put her to rest.

With courage and resolve, he entered her lair,
And she awaited the slaughter there.

[Dance: Dying Medusa & Perseus]

Medusa’s funeral is a somber scene,
Where grief and hope are intertweened.

Her family and friends, hearts heavy with sorrow,
Watch for the birth of a new tomorrow.

For out of tragedy will spring a wondrous life,
A miracle born from Medusa’s sacrifice.

[Dance: Funeral Scene – Ceto, The Waves, Athena, Priestesses, The Graeae, Siblings, Pegasus]

Bellydancer Monologues: A St. Louis Dance Event

Join us for this premiere St. Louis dance event!

St. Louis Dance Event - The Bellydancer Monologues

Aug 19, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
.ZACK Theater
3224 Locust St, St. Louis, MO 63103, USA

Part of this year’s STL Fringe FEST – The Bellydancer Monologues is a celebration of life, body positivity, self-expression, and the power of dance.

Each dancer will present a dazzling solo performance along with her personal story of how dance has healed her relationship with her body, mind, and spirit.

This show will leave you feeling inspired, entertained, and empowered. Come see (and hear about) the beauty of dance in all its forms!

A St. Louis Dance Event Featuring Dance Hipnotíque and Special Guests

Plus sign language interpretation by Ashley Yoch

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