Medea-finalThe Greek tragedy of Medea, freely adapted by Robinson Jeffers, is coming to Swarthmore College this Fall, directed by Joshua Wolfsun. 

Written for an ensemble cast, this critically-acclaimed adaptation of Euripides’ disturbing classic renders Medea in all her terrifying, tragic, oppressed, unnervingly relatable humanity. This Fall’s production will bring the myth outdoors, following Medea — in a world that leaves her no escape or justice — through her ever-darkening, twisted attempts to exact vengeance.

The night Jeffers’ Medea first opened on Broadway, it received 13 curtain calls. Brooks Atkinson of The New York Times wrote, “Jeffers’ Medea is a landmark of the modern stage. His verse is modern, his words are sharp and vivid….His imagery austere and brilliant….Although Jeffers has retained the legend and the characters, he has freely adapted Medea into a modern play.”

Auditions open September 13 & 14 (Swarthmore students can sign up for a time slot on the Drama Board bulletin in Parrish).

Student News receives Amherst Media’s “Jean Haggerty Award”

On October 17, 2013 Amherst Media (ACTV) presented Joshua Wolfsun and the Student News team with the Jean Haggerty Award for Community Engagement and Social Change. Student News aired once a month on Amherst Media Channel 12 from 2009 to 2013.


JESSICA (Press Release)

Jessica_poster-show2 Jessica_poster-show--v2

October 30, 2013 – A group of Swarthmore College students is taking over an entire building on campus to create an ambitious, immersive theatre performance that combines Merchant of Venice, Fiddler on the Roof and stories from the Hebrew Bible. Entitled “Jessica,” this original show explores issues of faith, identity, love, and anti-Semitism. Performances will be held on November 23 and 24 at 6PM in Swarthmore College’s Bond Hall and are open to the public.

Inspired by PunchDrunk Theatre’s revolutionary “Sleep No More,” Jessica is constructed as an immersive theater experience. When they enter Bond Hall’s four-story “stage,” audience members will step into a theater experience unlike any other – they will be given masks and encouraged to move wherever they want to go throughout the building. Scenes will be happening simultaneously in different parts of the building, so audience members experience unique versions of the show depending on how they move through the space. More than 20 students are involved in the production – acting, directing, designing the sets and costumes, rigging a sound system, and composing a score to play throughout the entire building.

Jessica centers on the character of Shylock’s daughter from The Merchant of Venice. In Shakespeare’s original – and arguably anti-Semitic – play, Jessica falls in love with a Christian man, and decides to leave her Jewish father, take all of his money, and convert to Christianity. To Jessica co-writer/director Joshua Wolfsun (19), Shakespeare’s portrayal of Jessica was unrealistic. “Trying to abandon your identity is not easy,” he explains. “In Merchant, Jessica barely reflects on her decision to abandon her Jewish family, culture and religion. We wanted to give that decision process a harder look – what does it actually mean to try to excise central elements of who you are? I think we end up with a pretty dark result.” Continue reading

On the precipice of war

Hope that they will heed
your angelic, calm advice.
Hope that they kneel before the height
of your ivory intellect.

But do not act — oh, no, do not.
They are not your brothers.
They are wretched.
They are God’s responsibility…

Yet, now the knife is turned on Cain.
And that we cannot have.

Change them
with righteous fire.
Change them
with the sight of dying lovers.
Change them
with burning flesh of children,
with shattered mirrors,
with no end to death and violence.

Yes, we can restore America
as the beacon of the world
by charring all the rest of it.

Oh, say
can you see by the dawn’s early light
what so proudly we hailed?