The Northfield Arts Guild and director Marc Robinson present The Odyssey, Homer’s classic and brilliant tale adapted by renowned playwright Mary Zimmerman. This epic and eccentric journey plays August 2-5 and August 9-11 with Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees at 2 pm. The Northfield Arts Guild Theater is located at 411 Third Street W, Northfield.
Zimmerman’s irreverent and witty adaptation of Homer's myth begins with a modern young woman reading Robert Fitzgerald's famous translation of The Odyssey. A muse appears, and the young woman becomes the goddess Athena - a tireless advocate for Odysseus in his struggle to get home. Along the way, he encounters iconic and fascinating characters such as Circe, the Cyclops, Poseidon, Calypso, the Sirens, and more.
The Odyssey cast includes Jonathan Larson as Odysseus, Elin Odegaard as Athena, and Aaron Walker as Telemachus. They are supported by an ensemble cast including Frank Blomgren, Dick Brown, Birch Carlson, Kevin Chapman, Esme’ Etter, Elly Garrity, Alexander Gaya, Marie Gery, Ben Jorenby, Sasha Kazharskaya, Libby Klein, Dean Lamp, Steve Lawler, Courtney Mastin, and Larry Tolle.
“Through his long journey, Odysseus is aided by the gods to bring him home, but it is not an easy journey,” explains director Marc Robinson. “He bears the scars from his earliest adventures as a youth, and he bears the scars of his entire life since. Though they are painful, they are also what make him recognizable as his truest self. The Odyssey is a rich tale and an amazing challenge. The cast looks forward to sharing our nightly revels in the magic of storytelling on the Guild stage.”
Tickets and more information are available online at https://northfieldartsguild.org/theater/2018-19-journey-home-theater-sea..., by calling 507-645-8877, or at the downtown Guild, 304 Division Street S, Northfield. General admission tickets are $17.00 for adults, $12.00 for seniors and students.
ARTIST EXHIBITION AND POST-SHOW DISCUSSION
Throughout this production, the theater lobby will feature an artist exhibition titled Odysseus and Penelope: The Long Journey. This exhibition showcases the work of Kari Halker-Saathoff, who has always been fascinated with stories of adventure. In creating her interpretation, Kari’s illustrations tell the story of Odysseus, while images fashioned on ceramic vessels represent Penelope’s (Odysseus’ wife) remarkable story. Halker-Saathoff depicts the journey within the mythological time period while reimagining the timeless and transcendent story - a story that has stayed with her throughout the years.
While the illustration titles are inspired by the text of The Odyssey, the titles accompanying each of Penelope’s vessels are inspired by the Women’s March of 2017 and news stories. Halker-Saathoff has purposely chosen to align Penelope’s heroic journey within the present context of female struggle and empowerment. Her ambition for this show is to illuminate the many parallels between the present and 650 B.C.E.
Kari Halker-Saathoff will join The Odyssey cast and director Marc Robinson for a talk-back discussion following the matinee performance on Sunday, August 11 at the Guild Theater.
The Journey Home Theater Season is sponsored by Neuger Communications Group and Engage Print. The Guild’s production of The Odyssey is also made possible by sponsored The Contented Cow.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.