Obed Medina is the director of the absurdist comedy, “Seven Dreams of Falling,” by C. Scott Wilkerson, now playing through September at the Collaborative Theatre Project in Medford. The play is a re-imagining of the Icarus myth. The premise of the play is that Icarus (the young Greek fellow who flew way too close to the sun) is now being forced, by his mythological family, to repeat his humiliation over and over, throughout time.
Icaris and the other characters (Daedalus, Theasus, Ariadne, and the Minotaur) are cursed, trapped into promoting and acting out the catastrophe as a yearly ritual, similar to Christmas. The characters desperately try to exploit the event (each to their own advantage) to imprison each other, and to escape. It’s a powerful play. I met Medina at the Collaborative Theatre to talk about “Seven Dreams of Falling.”
OM: It’s a relatively new play. It premiered in 2013 at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. I visualize a lot of lighting, sound, playing with shadows and light — coordinating together silhouettes. It’s the only way to tell the story and bring it to life, because it’s a Greek myth and has all these fantastical elements.
The text is very heady; it’s a thinking person’s play: there is a lot brewing underneath the text. The sound propels you forward and incites emotion. We have a lot of projections and video that will be used. We try to tell the story and bring it to life with the images: there’s interaction, rather than just dressing the set. We’re taking the conventions of theater and turning them on end.
EH: What will we take away from the play?
OM: We have to explore our potential. Every person that sees the play will see themselves in the character of Icarus, because Icarus is trapped in this monotony, and I think a lot of us are like that.
The message is: “Do your thing, take action now. Don’t be limited to what other people tell you to do. We’re not predestined to live out our lives the way we’re living it. If we have an itch to do something, do it before it’s too late. We don’t know what our end results are going to be. We are not pre-destined. We have to go out and explore our potential.”
It’s very open-ended. I want the audience to leave thinking that they can fill in the ending. That’s the way life works. We don’t know what our end is going to be. Leaving the play open-ended leaves you with something to talk about.
EH: How is the play absurdist?
OM: It’s not a conventional play. It breaks from the traditional structure and creates its own theater conventions. It’s a little whacky, a little weird. There’s a lot of silliness, jarring in a way; at moments it can get very dark and very serious. It re-invents theater. If you can tell the story and affect the audience, in the way you intend, it is theater.
EH: Why is this play pertinent now?
OM: Considering the political state that we are now in, it definitely resonates with today’s political climate. We have a madman in office, and he’s trying to dictate who we should be. This play is telling us that we shouldn’t accept that, and we should take wing and fly.