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:

Open records request info: disregard for state laws, citizens, and propertyMANDAN - Trouble followed TigerSwan everywhere the security company went in the Peace Garden State. Tasked with the mission to protect the Dakota Access…


​The Dark Net

by Chuck Solly

Did you know that there is a backside to the Internet? I guess we all have backsides, don’t we? The backside of the Internet has many functions, none of which you can access from Google. Dark Net sites are just like normal web…

Thursday July 27, 5pmDowntown CasseltonTake a day trip and cruise down to Casselton. Free car show, 50/50 raffle, cash, prizes, fun galore and just maybe an engine blow up. Hot rods on hot sod? Count us in. Hosted by the Swanks,…


Who asked you?

by Sabrina Hornung

Our opinion: You cannot fool all the people all the time, unless they are from North Dakota.This week Gallup poll reported that at 59% North Dakota has the second largest Trump approval rating in the nation, nipping at West…

A reasonable conclusion: “We should have killed our baby.”For some unfathomable reason, some people think they are immortal, that death is not a part of life. Our culture tends to teach us to avoid the topic of death as if it…

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 a sultry Thursday night, I sauntered into Luna. Situated on South University next to Bernie’s Beer and Wine, it isn’t exactly a hole in the wall, but it is certainly off the beaten path, and as described by their motto it is…

Most of us only hear about world records secondhand. Many might think they’re not up to the challenge, others might not see the point of breaking one, and others just read about them in books and think of them as an exotic…

Luc Besson’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” -- touted as the costliest independent motion picture ever made -- simultaneously melts eyeballs with its gorgeous visuals and narcotizes brains with its stiff…

Within the borders of North Dakota lie many worlds that are each expressing themselves in traditional art and culture. During his time as the state folklorist, Troyd Geist has been documenting a diverse array of cultural identities…

Summer Arts Intensive performs main stage musicalUnder the summer sun, something’s begun, taking over those summer nights. The 1978 movie and musical hit Grease is taking stage as part of the Summer Arts Intensive in West Fargo.…


​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…

Minnesota is certainly well known for being a hotspot for craft brewing. While most of the action has been centered around the Minneapolis metro area, yet another brewer from the Northern part of the state has decided to bring its…

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…

“…the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” – Milan Kundera“It may seem kind of bleak to say that the future of our planet rests in large part on the consciences of Republican…