Friday, October 5, 2012

Wanderings of Odysseus

Today is the last showing of Wanderings of Odysseus, which is the first half of Homer's epic The Odyssey, put on by the Stanford Summer Theatre. We went to see the show last week to add a bit of arts & culture to our otherwise law and technology -heavy schedules. 

Paul Baird as Odysseus
Courney Walsh as the Cyclops
Wanderings showcased minimalism at its best. I was impressed by how a small cast of six carried a 2-hour play. Each actor embodied multiple roles with the three males sharing the voice of Odysseus. They transitioned before our eyes by synchronizing lines and passing a symbolic object like a sash. It was very well done. They were all equally convincing and confident as Odysseus and illuminated different aspects of the character's personality. It was never confusing who was who.

The other thing that really impressed me was the set design and use of props. When we arrived at our seats, the stage was pretty much bare save for a few blocks. There were also almost no props - a rope here, a sheet there. But so much was done with so little. Everything came alive as the story unfolded and I had no trouble believing that a waving sheet was Poseidon's angry sea or that a few blocks were Calypso's seductive boudoir.

I hope to see more of Stanford's artsy side in the weeks to come. 

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