a multi-media theatre performance based on Homer's epic poem
Michael Gunst as Odysseus in THE UNDERWORLD Photo: Ken Miller
Directed by Betsy Tobin
Performed by Michael Gunst, Shana Cordon, Nathan Montgomery & Betsy Tobin
Original music by Michael Stanwood
This production of The Odyssey includes techniques developed in ancient Greek theatre, the use of masks and the chorus, as well as actors, puppets, shadows, and video sequences with original live music. We use experimental multi-layered shadow and video techniques to tell this well-known, dramatic story, a metaphor for life’s journey.
Nathan Montgomery, Odysseus puppet with Athena (Shana Cordon) & Betsy Tobin Photo: Ken Miller
Fabrics billow in all directions to represent seas and storms.
Odysseus’ wife, Penelope, weaves and unravels a screen upon which images of her memories, fears, and dreams appear.
Betsy Tobin, Nathan Montgomery, Shana Cordon & Michael Gunst with puppets of Odysseus' men Photo: Ken Miller
Puppets represent Odysseus and his shipmates in some scenes.
Odysseus (Michael Gunst) tied to his mast as he passes the Sirens Photo: Ken Miller
We project edited video sequences to conjure the gods in their heavens, the shadows of the underworld, the Sirens, and great events such as the Trojan War. Actors don masks to become Hermes, Athena, Eurycleia (Odysseus’ nurse), the Cyclops and other fantastic creatures Odysseus meets on his journey. Athena, the goddess of war and wisdom, appears to step down from the heavens to help Odysseus on his journey.
Odysseus and his men encounter THE CYCLOPS Photo: Ken Miller
The strong visuals transport audience members into the fantastic world of Sirens and Cyclops, man, and beast. Audiences of all ages experience the catharsis Greek drama provides as heroes, heroines, gods, and goddesses spar, each with their own flaws.
Odysseus (Michael Gunst), the Cyclops, Scylla & Eurycleia in THE ODYSSEY Photo: Ken Miller
Puppets and masks designed and created by Betsy Tobin
assisted by Margarita Blush, Emily Mountain, Anastasia Pricco, Tom Finneran & Anna Vernier
Costumes by Betsy Tobin, Catherine Strecker, Henna Taylor & Gretchen Tobin
Lighting by Jessica Bynum
"It was just beautifully done. I felt that those magical transitions between human performers to puppets, the way you staged the whole thing, and the level of the performing was superb. It was a joy to be there. My daughter and her friend loved it, too. It was just beautiful to see and so rich! I hope it gets toured far and wide. Just sending you a huge congratulations."
Beth Osnes, PHD, Puppeteer and Theater Professor at the University of Colorado
Athena disguised as Mentes Photo: Ken Miller
THE ODYSSEY opened in the Canyon Theater of the Boulder Public Library on November 19, 2010 and is currently available for touring.
We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Boulder Arts Commission, an agency of the Boulder City Council, the Boulder County Arts Alliance Neodata Endowment & Addison mini-grant, the Boulder Public Library Foundation, the Puffin Foundation and the Jim Henson Foundation.