Bullet Space Theatre
"Love, Medea"

a play directed by

Regina Bartkoff as Medea

"Love, Medea" by Euripides et al.

August 29 - October 13, 2001 at Bullet Space
292 East 3rd Street, Manhattan
Wednesday -Saturday at 8:00 pm
Tickets: $10.00
Information & reservations: (212) 505-8312

Michael Draper, Press Representative: 718.789.5977, 917.722.7170 directorstheatre@aol.com

"Love, Medea" is a Lower East Side adaptation of Euripides' classic drama of violence, sorrow, rage, lust, betrayal and the family. Charles Schick and Regina Bartkoff have created a play in which Medea stalks the stage like Ahab stalked the deck, swearing her women to silence, gaining their approval with the intensity of her own mission. Performed by a cast of seven, with live music by flautist Kristine Friend and the Chorus.

"Love, Medea" is taken from various translations of the classic play by Euripides (431 BC) but the ritualistic scenes make use of the bloody and supernatural imagery of Seneca. Interwoven is additional text by Charles Schick and excerpts from the journals of Regina Bartkoff. Schick recalls "When I first read Regina's early journals I was struck by their immediacy, the harsh uncensored words torn straight from the gut and nerve endings ....she would write in order to relieve an anxious state. When we decided to do Medea, we of course wanted to put our own stamp on the material. One of the places we made use of Regina's writings is in Medea's opening monologue:

...tearing life between my teeth! Eating at me at the same time!
Walking into its mouth chewing me up. Hate and scorn and rage in these bones,
Bones, hard, no flesh, always holding down the howling rage,
I'm torn and worn thin, thin to the bone, I feel the eyes in my head,
As this great passion eats at my flesh and only grows stronger,
Longing . . . longing . . .they must be torn down and trampled beneath my feet,
They must die and be brutally murdered! All of them! All of them! 
I despise them all! Their petty lives . . their cunning ways . . 
How to get to them? What kind of blood runs in their veins? 

Another scene culled from Regina's journals is the candlelight procession in which the
chorus of women reveal doubts, hopes, prayers, thoughts, and fears about bringing children into the world:

...they are perfect when they are born, untouched, uncorrupted 
Something deep is hurting beyond the rosy glow, 
Make it hard for me, just make the child be all right. 
I'm hemmed in! I'm hemmed in! What if she doesn't like me? 
The baby eats, she's beautiful ... 
Anger and tenderness is motherhood.

Hannah Bartkoff-Schick, whose birth to Regina seventeen years ago triggered the diary entries, is now a member of the chorus, which is used to depict hallucinatory fragments of the mind of Medea.

Schick and Bartkoff have lived on the Lower East Side of Manhattan for the last twenty years, witnessing riots and evictions, breathing in the hippies, yuppies, crackheads, junkies, poets, squatters and punks. They wanted to incorporate a version of the language, rhythm, and emotion of the street. Hence Medea's parting words to Jason after their first quarrel:

Run along little man
Run along to your hollow life.
Run along to your convenient wife,
Her legs are spread and Daddy has his wallet out,
Say hello to your new father-in-law,
And while you're kissing his Royal Ass,
Tell him Medea says hello...

The play also explores the relationship between the state and the individual, with the tension, law and violence needed to enforce it. Medea is violently evicted by Kreon in his golden wheelchair-throne and his white-masked terrorist soldiers. Regina's performance is a relentless revelation of the depths of rage and sorrow. She is willing to go very deep to lay bare the heart, soul and mind of Medea.

Powerful, intense acting, the intimate setting of a very small theatre, brilliant design elements, and the timeless genius of Euripides make
Love, Medea a unique theatrical experience, not to be missed.

Love, Medea:

  • Text adapted from Euripides and Seneca, with additional text by Charles Schick, and excerpts from the journals of Regina Bartkoff. 
  • Directed by Charles Schick. 
  • Cast: Regina Bartkoff, Hannah Bartkoff-Schick, Melonie Diaz, Suzanne Present, Doree Lanouette, Michelle Mazzarino, Rick Luanda, Jasmine Marte, Gillian Roberts, Charles Schick, and Chris D. Cruz. 
  • Flute music by Kristine Friend Assistant direction, lighting design and photography by Mike Scott. 
  • Sets by Karl Ottersberg, Johanna Bartlet, Andrew & Paul Castrucci. 
  • Lighting installation by David Boyle.

Regina Bartkoff was born and raised in New York City, the daughter of a subway motorman; she is a painter, waitress, actor and mother. Charles Schick is a painter, bartender, writer and father. Their paintings can be seen at www.artpig.com.

"Love, Medea" will be performed at Bullet Space, one of the few surviving artists' squats of the Lower East Side, where artists of many disciplines present edgy and wonderful works of music, painting, performance, sculpture, and theatre. The space is an urban artists' collective which came into existence as a squat in 1985 when a band of activists cut the bolts and entered a long-abandoned building.

To get to Bullet Space by public transportation, take the F train to the 2nd Avenue Station, exit the subway at 1st Avenue and Houston, walk East on Houston to Avenue C, North 1 block to E. 3rd Street, then East half a block to Bullet Space at 292 East 3rd St.