Performances for Temple Theaters “The Odyssey” may already be in full swing, but audiences still have plenty of time to stop by Tomlinson Theater to see the show.
The play, originally written by Homer and adapted by Mary Zimmerman, tells the epic tale of a hero’s journey home. Odysseus struggles for twenty years during his voyage home to his wife, he encounters sea battles, goddesses, and war. Temple’s version of “The Odyssey” is directed and choreographed by Brandon McShaffrey.
“It feels and looks like Temple, it’s got a diverse cast using lots of different skills, and is pretty fun and exciting,” says McShaffrey, “When we were looking at the adaptation, we were looking for the one that was most youthful and flexible so that we could do with it whatever we want.”
McShaffrey is no stranger when it comes to directing at Temple University. Most recently he directed the opera Merry Widow, Merrily We Roll Along, and the opera Hansel and Gretel. He has directed one or two productions every year for the past six years. McShaffery casted “The Odyssey” not just simply based on the best actors, but he wanted true artists that could bring different elements to the show.
The cast of the Odyssey refers to the play as being lively, and engaging for audiences because there is always something moving onstage and it’s packed with excitement.
“Normally when students are exposed to Greek Mythology, or Greek plays in general it might be taught in an English class, which could be presented in a stale way,” says Sophomore Tyer Ivey, “But ours is compacted down to the essentials for the story and it definitely moves quicker.”
Ivey is cast as Aeolus and Elpenor and this is his first main stage production. Senior Mary Guarnieri who plays Athena, and Senior Daniel Barland who plays Antinous, A Sailor, and A Phaecian, are excited for students to witness the elaborate show.
“It’s packed with excitement, there’s never a dull moment, everything just keeps on going and going,” says Guarnieri.
“Everything from performance to technical ties it together into a really cohesive package,” says Barland.
Students, staff, and members of the community can get tickets for performances of “The Odyssey” online or at the box office in Tomlinson Theater. Shows run from Wednesday, March 16th through Saturday, March 26th. Student tickets are being sold for $10, staff tickets are $20, and general admission tickets are $25. You can also visit Temple Theater’s Facebook page to keep up with all of the latest information on the theater department and its productions.