Women’s hope, fear, horror on center stage for ‘Mythos’ at Catawba

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 2, 2023

SALISBURY — The Catawba College Theatre Arts Department and the Blue Masque are bringing senior Michelle Medina Villalon’s honors thesis to live in a production that starts Friday.

“The vision of my thesis was to create an original work of horror that focused on addressing the genre’s shortcomings regarding female representation,” Medina Villalon said.

“Mythos” is a realization of her honors thesis, “She’s Alive!: Devising a Feminist Horror Narrative for the 21st Century Theatre.”

“I am an avid fan of the horror genre, and I was interested in exploring the disparity between real American women and their representation in horror media,” Medina Villalon said.

The senior’s production tells the stories of La Llorona, Marie Laveau, the Bell Witch and the Lady in Red, all based on urban legends. Mythos unmasks these mystical characters, removing the veils of horror and mystery to reveal the real female experiences behind the myth, including their suffering, pride, joy and power.

The production’s cast focuses on female empowerment as well as overcoming adversity, and through the characters reclaim those stories from myth and legend.

“These women exist in the shadows of our rooms late at night, creeping in the corners of our eyes,” Medina Villalon. “Generations have repeated these stories, but we’re left wondering, who are these women?”

Throughout the play, Medina Villalon and the company aim to guide the audience to a deeper understanding of the characters who speak to themes that the director indicated are still relevant today.

‘Mythos’ is a student-produced show that is a fundraiser for the Blue Masque, which has a long tradition of producing student-led works like ‘Mythos’ and generous patron support keeps the tradition alive.

Catawba student, faculty and staff free tickets may not be used for Mythos.

The cast includes sophomore Winter Hamilton as La Llorona, first year Aslyn Goodwin as The Lady in Red, first year Ila Deese as The Bell Witch and first year Alana Williamson as Marie Laveau.

The student production staff includes Kenzie Cloninger as stage manager; Sarah Ann Burke as box office and publicity manager; Zac Hunter as scenic designer; Julia Rockwell as costume designer; Colleen Welday as lighting designer; Cameron Barnes as sound designer; and Kiera Whittemore as makeup designer.

The show will run in the Florence Busby Corriher Blackbox Theatre, behind the Robertson College Community Center, on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. For tickets and additional information, visit catawba.edu/theatretix or email the box office at boxoffice@catawba.edu.
Tickets $10 for faculty, staff and the general public; $8 for adults 60+ and non-Catawba students aged 7-17; and $5 for Catawba students. Mythos is not recommended for patrons younger than 14.