On August 4 and 5 Artpark presented a production of Homer’s “Odyssey”, but it was a production like no other.
With the principal roles filled by professional actors, all of the minor roles and bit parts were portrayed by members of the western New York community for a massive production of epic proportions.
Loosely based on the original epic poem, the tragedy offered some comic relief with the introduction of modern elements into this ancient tale.
The 90 minute production focused on only a few of Odysseus’ adventures including the episode with the Cyclops which featured giant pieces of foam “bread” for a sandwich made with the Cyclops victims, a giant mobile phone to call 911 and report the attack by Nobody, and some authentic paramedics to answer the call and care for the injured Cyclops.
A song written for Odysseus led to a “selfie”, biker dude suitors complete with motorcycle wooed Penelope, and Beau the dog made a few sometimes reluctant appearances as Argos the dog also offered some comedic moments to the musical.
Veteran actor Terence Archie played the role of Odysseus, Courtney Balan was Penelope and the siren Circe, with Jake Hayes playing the role of son Prince Telemachus. Members from People Inc., Empower, the Buffalo Public School Adult Education Division, the Lewiston Fire Company No.1, the Iroquois Indian Marching Band, the Skybots School of Music, Art, and Dance, Mount Erie Baptist Church Choir, The Artpark Academy, the Artpark Youth Orchestra, Random Ninjaz, and various western New York residents all came together to help make the production a success.
In ancient times the Greeks put on tragic and comic plays, but with this musical extravaganza the creator shave joined the two forms to create a delightful production that gave the audience plenty of opportunities to join in, laugh , and to sing along.
photos courtesy of Artpark