Thursday, March 28, 2002

Next wave: Actress scorns easy road to 'Medea'

Research crucial to develop character

By Ellen Blevens
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Corinne Mohlenhoff knows that the essence of acting is to transform yourself into another person. For her latest role, she has to work as hard as she ever has.

        Ms. Mohlenhoff plays the title character in a translation of Euripides' Medea, a Greek mythological story of a scorned woman's revenge.

   What: Euripides' Medea, presented by Stage First Cincinnati.
   When: 8 p.m. today-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.
   Where: Fifth Third Bank Theater, Aronoff Center, downtown.
   Tickets: $17.50; $13.50 for students and seniors at the Aronoff box office or call 241-7469.
        Medea is a Greek legend who betrayed her family to be with Jason, her husband and the father of her children. When she discovers that Jason plans to leave her to marry someone else, she vows to seek revenge. She kills Jason's fiancee, then their children, knowing that this will hurt Jason more than anything.

        “Medea kills for retribution, revenge, what she sees as justice,” Ms. Mohlenhoff says. “With the intimidation factor, this has been my biggest role yet.”

        To prepare for Medea, she researched the play and the character.

        “There's a number of different adaptations and translations,” she says.

        Ms. Mohlenhoff, 26, who grew up in New Jersey, moved to the Tristate three years ago. She has been active in local theater since then, including a season with Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival.

        Prior to her move, she was in several theater productions at Pennsylvania's West Chester University as a student, and she performed with the Warehouse Theatre in Greenville, S.C.

        She began acting at a young age when her mother encouraged her to be in a show. She says it was then that she was bitten by the acting bug. But it wasn't until college that she devoted herself to her craft.

        “Before college, it was just something I did,” she said. “It was kind of like a hobby.”

        But when Ms. Mohlenhoff arrived at West Chester University, she decided to dive into her passion and majored in theater.


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