Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Greek love: Colleges perform Homer

by Brittney Goodman | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Theatre | April 5th, 2017

Ovid’s mythological tales undergo dramatic transformation by award-winning director/playwright Mary Zimmerman as Concordia, MSUM, and NDSU deliver theatrical productions of three of her modern takes on his work.

Concordia’s production of “Secrets in the Wings” kicked off the series from March 30 to April 2. Next up is MSUM’s performance of “Metamorphoses” April 5 to 8, and finally NDSU presents “The Odyssey” April 27 to May 5.

MSUM’s School of Performing Arts presents “The Metamorphoses,” and director, Patrick Carriere, Associate Professor of theatre, says one of the central features and challenges of their production is the construction of a 4800 gallon pool on stage: “It will be a technical and performance challenge for our professional staff and our students.”

Since coming to MSUM five years ago, Carriere has directed plays including “Mother Courage,” “Godspell,” “The Laramie Project,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” For Theatre B, he has directed “Doubt” and “Storefront Church.”

The production includes 12 actors, a production team of 10, and an additional 20 technicians.

Carriere says that it is “a true ensemble piece,” with 12 actors, six men and six women. He adds, “They move in and out of the roles of the play” with some scenes having two performers playing the same role. Carriere says he is “proud of how they have worked with each other and enhanced each other by the sense of the group. “

Carriere describes Mary Zimmerman as “one of the premiere contemporary playwrights. She deals with myth and adapting myth into a modern and a timeless context.” In the three-college collaboration, they managed to get Zimmerman to come for an in-residence visit during the week of March 20 when she visited all three campuses with public meetings, classes with her, and rehearsal visits and input.

Carriere is happy to present “Metamorphoses.” He says that it was Zimmerman’s first real national hit, and she won a Tony for directing it in 2002. He also enjoys the challenge of working with the pool on stage: “It is a challenging process from actor to designer to technician, to work with water on this scale.”

Carriere describes the play as “really engaging,” and adds that it “explores the way myths encounter humanity and both the light and dark sides of our existence -- especially around the concept of love.”

He describes Zimmerman’s take on the “Metamorphoses” as “playful” – “she plays with the narrative structure. She is trying to get to the core of what she feels is important in the story without being locked into a certain formula or a single way of storytelling.”

Carriere summarizes: “There is just some beautiful work that our students have done. They have worked hard.” He also thinks that having it on Gaede stage will be a perfect performance setting with the intimacy of the stage and the structure of the space with people looking down on the pool. Finally, he says: “The audience should expect to see these old mythical tales retold in a way that is magical theatrically, contemporarily, and very moving.”

Next, NDSU Theatre will perform Zimmerman’s version of Homer’s “The Odyssey,” co-directed by Chelsea Pace, Professor of Movement at NDSU, and Journalism major Kara Jeffers. Pace specializes in physical theatre. Jeffers is the first student to co-direct on the mainstage at NDSU.

Pace describes "The Odyssey" as “a timeless epic,” telling a story “of the perils and trials of a journey home, which is more important than ever in a world where people are seeking a safe place to land.” This adaptation begins with a modern young woman who is struggling to understand a translation of “The Odyssey.” The young woman is transformed into the goddess Athena.

Pace says she loves the playwright Zimmerman’s approach to adaptation of classical texts: “She maintains the elements of ‘The Odyssey’ that I remember from reading as a teenager, while leaving the theatre makers lots of room to play.” She also finds the images in the text “really striking.” “As a physical theatre person, those moments offer some unique opportunities. It also creates an opportunity for students to apply physical theatre skills from class to production.”

With an “incredible cast” of 23 people, Pace describes Dan Ajak, Odysseus, as “literally at the helm,” and Marissa Koppy is the guide, as Athena.

Pace describes the production’s focus on music: “The show is written for live musicians, but Kara and I became interested in contemporary folk/blues music, so much of which is focused on telling a story. We found a lot of overlap in themes and topics in that genre.”

Finally, Pace says that the NDSU production is “an epic story and it makes for an epic play. It takes twenty years, but Odysseus never stops fighting to return home.”


MSUM’s presentation of “The Metamorphoses”

7:30 pm, April 5 to 8

Gaede Stage in the Roland Dille Center for the Arts, MSUM

NDSU’s presentation of “The Odyssey”

7:30 pm, April 27 – 29 & May 4-6

Askanase Auditorium, NDSU

Recently in:

FARGO – Expressing disgust over an interview with a local “pro-white activist” on Valley News Live “Point of View,” concerned citizens have started a campaign to pull advertising from the show.Concerned citizens are…


The pyramid of the prairie

by Sabrina Hornung

Nekoma tactical area purchased by the Cavalier County JDAPhotos by Sabrina Hornung“These have all been cleaned and filled with sand and concrete,” said Randy Mehlhoff, who serves on both the Langdon Chamber of Commerce Board of…

Sunday, August 20, noon-5pmND Horse Park, 5180 19th Ave N, FargoFood trucks from Fargo-Moorhead and all over the Upper Midwest. Soft drinks, alcohol, prize giveaways, kids jumpy gym, craft vendors, live band, live radio broadcast.…

Our opinion: We all breathe the same air, and we all drank the same beer.Last weekend I helped a pal plan a small festival in an even smaller town. In fact, you may find me bartending there once in a blue moon, flexing my…


Crazy like a fox

by Ed Raymond

Can we learn anything after we know it all?There’s a 100-page book written by a high school dropout that should be read by all high schoolers, college education students, teachers, and politicians. Michael J.Fox of movie and TV…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

On Wednesday July 19, Luna had their first and very solid convergence with Junkyard Brewing. The beer dinner was comprised of five killer Luna courses with five stellar Junkyard beers. The results were extraordinary. Initially I…

Formed in 1988, The Supersuckers have gained the moniker of being “the greatest rock n’ roll band in the world.” In 2015 lead singer/bassist Eddie Spaghetti was diagnosed with stage 3 oropharynx cancer. Thankfully he…

Reteaming with his “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” leads Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, filmmaker David Lowery has a very compelling tale to tell in “A Ghost Story.” Somber yet funny, and comfortable with exclamations of…

Interactive Hive through Plains Art Museum goes to marketPhoto by Jerry ShervenThis summer, interns between the ages of 11 and 18 participated in Buzz Lab, a program through the Plains Art Museum that gives students the opportunity…

‘Heathers’ hits the Empire stage in Grand ForksBefore the pink-clad Plastics or Cher’s group of popular beauties in “Clueless,” the shoulder pad-wearing, croquet mallet-wielding Heathers ruled the halls of Westerberg High…


​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

If you’ve never had Mankato’s Organ Grinder Amber Ale, you should probably put it near the top of your “must try” lists.If you are a fan of Mankato Brewery you may have been a bit confused the last time you went looking for…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

A few months ago I wrote about the long, strange saga of Jason Halek, the fellow who dumped 800,000 gallons of poisonous oilfield brine down an abandoned oil well south of Dickinson. Back in April of this year, he pleaded guilty to…