Betsy Tobin


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.