Students present ancient mythic themes in a contemporary setting
The Austin College Theatre Department will present Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman November 16-18 at 7:30 p.m. in Beardsley Arena Theatre of Ida Green Communication Center on campus. Tickets are $8 per person or free with a valid Austin College ID. The production includes adult themes.
Based on Roman poet Ovid’s original “Metamorphoses” poem, the play is told in 13 episodes. The action explores the themes of family, home, and love—lost, unrequited, and fulfilled. Eleven student actors portray more than 40 different characters, using contemporary language to refashion ancient Greek myths. The set features a literal swimming pool inside Beardsley Arena to represent the power and importance of water as an agent of change and volatility.
Metamorphoses cast members, who takes on various roles, include:
Kyle Andrle of Allen, Texas;
Alexandra “Xan” Baker-Livingston of Richardson, Texas;
Hannah Barry of Dallas, Texas;
Bailey Carrell of San Antonio, Texas;
Christopher Cooper of Midland, Texas;
Jacob Dowell of Little Rock, Arkansas;
Harris Drake of Whitesboro, Texas;
Finn FitzGerald of Georgetown, Texas;
John T Haynes of Fairview, Texas;
Theodora “Teddi” Jamie Fokas of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and
Hayden Soika of Flower Mound, Texas.
Stage manager for the play is Caroline Hodge of Carrollton, Texas, with assistant stage managers Brooke Reiche of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Katie Gaskill of Savoy, Texas.
Costume designer is Aurora Hadzic of Lubbock, Texas, with Kat Forbus as assistant designer. Properties designer is Kathryn Van Dinh of Austin, Texas, with Alex Garcia of Austin, Texas, as assistant designer. Liz Banks, assistant professor of theatre, is the set and light designer, and Dan Pucul is the department’s technical director.
“It is through myth that we make sense of the world,” said Elizabeth Parks, Austin College visiting assistant professor of theatre and director of the production. “At a time when our country is so divided, the universality of the human experience unifies us. At the core of all human experience, in all of its beauty and ugliness, is the need to have a place in the world.”
Parks’ favorite line from the play says myth is a public dream, and dreams are private myths. “The myth is used to make sense of the world,” Parks said. “When there’s an earthquake, thunder, or someone dies, the myth makes sense of the chaos. It explains the lack of logic.”
Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses won the 2002 Tony Award for Best Play Direction and was nominated for the 2002 Tony for Best Play.
The Austin College Theatre Department will produce student-directed, one-act plays in December and offer three productions in the spring term.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.