Homer’s “The Odyssey” is making a grand comeback from freshman year English to appear on the big stage – Powell, to be exact. But this year, things are happening a little differently. Going above and beyond to ensure quality, director Steven Broyles contacted the agent of the playwright, Mary Zimmerman, who adapted the epic to the stage herself.
“We’re cutting it down to size so we can take it to One-Act,” Broyles said. “We have to ask permission from the artist.” One-Act is the theater competition hosted by the Georgia High School Association, an event Wesleyan intends to win. The Wolf Players are always looking to impress the audience, and a shortened play length is one aspect that keeps them engaged.
When asked about how he planned to impress the audience, Broyles said, “It’s going to be something very unique. Technology now makes things look very real… this is sort of stepping back from that.” He explained the more traditional, personal methods Wesleyan is using to prepare. The bamboo poles for props, blue lights casted over chairs for a boat in the sea and skill of the actors are all meant to bring back the essence of theater.
“I hope to teach the audience that imagination can be much more vivid, much more powerful than the most real thing you can see in a movie.” With such a clear vision, there is little doubt that Broyles expects the audience to feel immersed with Odysseus on his journey home.
Senior Leandro Haddad, a veteran of Wolf Players, who is taking on multiple roles, is up for the challenge. Haddad said, “When you’re portraying three different characters, you have to switch your mindset… You go, ‘I’m a completely different person with a completely different life and family.’ I’m definitely excited.” Paige Wyatt, a freshman new to Wesleyan, revels in the school’s confidence. She said, “I think it’s more organized than what I used to do… I like it like that here.” The entirety of Wesleyan’s actors are working in tandem to tackle one of their most complex plays in the past few years.
The theater department’s ingenuity, effort of its director and upcoming competition means that the Wolf Players are ensuring that “The Odyssey” will be a big hit. Students and faculty are encouraged to watch Odysseus make his way back home on Sept. 28, 29 and 30 in Powell Theater.