New Theater Company Started on Impulse Opens with Medea

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Josie Burgin Lawson, Kara Cantrell and Andrew Hibbs rehearse Medea. Photo Courtesy of Impulse Repertory Co.

With the creation of Impulse Repertory Co., Atlanta has a new addition to its vibrant theater scene. As stated by its mission statement, “Impulse Repertory Co. is a small professional theatre company dedicated to producing intimate, provocative works that nurture the actor-audience relationship.”

Founded by Kara Cantrell, Rachel Jones and Justin Anderson, the theater company has its roots based in an idea of Cantrell’s. “Impulse Rep. was an idea for a theater company that I originally began mulling over about a year and a half ago with my friend and fellow actress, Sara Holton Gard, as a means of producing our own work,” Cantrell describes.

While plans for the theater did not get put into motion immediately, Cantrell has recently acted on the idea after thinking about it for some time. She says, “About seven weeks ago, I found myself slightly panicked that I might not have an opportunity to do much legit work for the coming year as I was nearly five months pregnant at that time.”

The role of Medea was one that Cantrell had desired to play for a while. Wanting to pick a project to feature her pregnancy, Cantrell presented the idea of a “pregnant Medea” to Justin Anderson and Rachel Jones. Intrigued by the idea, Anderson agreed to direct and Jones agreed to adapt E.P. Coleridge’s translation of Euripides’ Medea to fit Cantrell’s idea.

Cantrell explains, “In the original, of course, Medea is not pregnant, but we felt having a pregnant Medea ups the stakes on the horrible things she does, intensifies her dynamic with Jason and makes the show extra creepy and perfect for Halloween.”

Jackie Costello, Kara Cantrell and Andrew Hibbs rehearse Medea. Photo Courtesy of Impulse Repertory Co.

Although the creative team is making some changes to the classic text, the essence of the piece is not lost. “We’re having our way with the text while still, I think, telling a timeless story of the bitter dynamics that can happen between husbands and wives faced with infidelity,” Cantrell says. The production will also feature modern staging elements and a quick running time of about an hour. “We’ve tried to make the piece very compact,” she mentions.

After Medea, the future of the theater company is somewhat unknown. Describing her hopes for the company, Cantrell says, “I’d like to try to produce a true repertory of small-venue plays, perhaps over two weeks, at some point in the next year or two.” Keeping in tune with one of her original goals for Impulse Repertory Co., she adds, “I also still like the idea of being able to use the company to produce original work that my partners and I feel the need to express.”

The production will be presented on October 28 and 29 at 8 p.m. in the Alliance Theatre’s Black Box, and tickets are available at the door for $10 ($5 for students). A special free preview performance will be presented on October 27 at 8 p.m. In addition to Cantrell, the play’s cast includes Chad Martin, Josie Burgin Lawson, Andrew Hibbs, Jaclyn Costello, Olivia Aston, Dorothy Ripps and Reid Meadows. More information about Medea can be found on the Facebook page for Impulse Repertory Co.

By Andrew Wesley