"I am of another mold," Medea announces as Euripides' tragedy moves inexorably toward its dark end.
As the title character in the impressive production by 4th World Theater, Anna Burrell captures the many moods of Medea, who has been rejected by her husband, Jason, and who has been banished from Corinth by Creon, father of Jason's new wife.
Burrell captures Medea's separateness from the world in which she is forced to live.
Medea's trials are written on the face of Burrell, whose eyes and even hair suggest a woman who refuses to be tamed or to acquiesce to patriarchal whims.
Medea famously kills her sons in her quest for revenge against her husband. I couldn't help wondering if she would have done the same to daughters.
Under the direction of Kevin Gavin, "Medea" moves quickly through the expository passages so it can plumb the emotional depths of the characters.
The play gains steam when Medea and Jason, played powerfully by Jim Morekis, have their first encounter. The argument is laden with sexual tension as Jason dismisses Medea's contributions to his success.
The violence takes place offstage, but the audience can see and feel it in monologues. As Aegeus, Adam Bailey has an especially fine moment on stage as he reports the gruesome aftermath of Medea's vengeance.
Aegeus becomes increasingly distraught; Medea almost smirks behind him.
J.R. Roberts as Creon proves an able foil for Burrell. Lucia Garcia and Alice Clifton are compelling as the chorus, which passes judgment on Medea and Jason.
Twice in the play, Garcia steps stage right to join Matt Duplessie as part of Electric Grandma.
Garcia has a beautiful, almost ethereal voice - the songs seemed a perfect fit for the tragedy.
The production features a couple of brief dances choreographed by Sophia Morekis. The formality of the movements seemed a reflection of the rigid society that Medea rejects.
Lubomir Kocka's visual projections contribute to the emotional tenor of Medea's descent. Later, in a powerful moment I don't want to spoil, the screens play a crucial role in the staging.
Bill Dawers writes City Talk in Savannah Morning News and blogs at Savannah Unplugged (www.billdawers.com). Contact him at email@example.com.
IF YOU GO
What: "Medea" presented by 4th World Theater
When: 8 p.m. Aug. 23 and 24
Where: Muse Arts Warehouse, 703 Louisville Road, Savannah
Cost: $10, $5 for students