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Kennedy Theatre

Media Release

Department of Theatre and Dance
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
1770 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822

Contact: Jessica L. Jacob, Publicity Director
Phone: (808) 956-2598
Fax: (808) 956-4234
Box Office: (808) 956-7655 (v/t)
email: theatre-pr@hawaii.edu

January 10, 2005

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CLASSICAL GREEK ADVENTURE STORY ADAPTED FOR CHILDREN

The University of Hawai‘i at M~noa’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents "The Odyssey," a fifty-minute rendition of Homer’s epic masterwork created especially for children and teens, directed by M.F.A. Youth Theatre Directing candidate Colette "Coco" Wiel. This dramatization of the classic Greek tale, written by Gregory Falls and Kurt Beattie, covers the fanciful adventure of Odysseus’ journey home from the Trojan War. Kennedy Theatre’s upcoming production enacts the journey using colorful and spectral masks, life-sized and giant puppets, theatrical effects, song and mime. "The Odyssey" will be performed in the Kennedy Theatre Earle Ernst Lab Theatre on February 18 and 19 at 7:00 p.m. with a Saturday matinee at 4:00 p.m. on Feb. 19 and a final matinee Sunday, Feb. 20 at 2:00 p.m.. A post-show rap follows the evening performance on Saturday, February 19. Recommended for youth eight years of age and older due to spooky scenes.

This versatile and fast-paced play features Odysseus’ encounters with the man-eating one-eyed Cyclops, the bewitching singing Sirens, the sorceress Circe, King Aeolous, the mischievous trickster god Hermes and many other colorful characters. An ensemble of ten performers will play multiple roles, disguised by exquisite masks and puppet costumes by design student Jill Bowen. A huge shadow screen provides an additional performance space on the raked stage flanked by four large pillars and gigantic god masks designed by scenic design student Angela Price.

Of the many scripts available today, Director Wiel selected the Falls/Beattie adaptation of Odysseus’ journey due to its faithful adherence to the poetic original. According to Wiel, "Odysseus is the classic hero - one that overcomes the obstacles in the way of his goals." The message of perseverance is clear in the piece.

Having grown up with D’Aulaires’ "Book of Greek Myths," a children’s book with bright and colorful illustrations, Wiel seeks to actualize "The Odyssey" in a beautiful, colorful feast for the eyes, erasing the false common impression of ruined hilltops and broken pottery.

A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood, Wiel also completed course work at the American Conservatory Theatre before undertaking Master’s studies at UHM. At UHM, Wiel directed "The Professional" by Kovacevic, "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" by Scott, and most recently, "The Noodle Doodle Box" by Maar.

Tickets for "The Odyssey" go on sale Monday, February 14. Prices are $10 regular, $8 seniors, military, UH faculty/staff, non-UHM students, $3 UHM students with validated Spring 05 UHM ID. Tickets may be charged-by-phone at 956-7655 (voice/text) or purchased at the Kennedy Theatre Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. etickethawaii.com. A $2.00 service charge will be applied to all charge-by-phone sales. For more information or disability access, call the Kennedy Theatre Box Office at 956-7655 (voice/text).

###

WHAT: "The Odyssey"

PRESENTED BY: UHM Department of Theatre & Dance

WHEN: February 18 at 7pm
February 19 at 4pm and 7pm*
& February 20 at 2pm
*post-show rap

WHERE: UHM’s Earle Ernst Lab Theatre

TICKET PRICES:$10 regular, $8 seniors, military, UH faculty/staff, non-UHM students, $3 UHM students
w/ valid Spring 2005 UHM ID

TICKET INFO: 956-7655 (voice/text)

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