AUBURN – The Auburn University Department of Theatre will present “Metamorphoses, ” a Tony Award-winning play by Mary Zimmerman, April 10-14 and April 17-21, at 7:30 p.m., with a Sunday matinee April 15 at 2:30 p.m., in AU’s Telfair Peet Theatre.
“Metamorphoses” is based on a translation of The Metamorphoses of Ovid, the first- century C.E. Roman poet. Ovid’s stories are based on familiar Greek myths such as the story of King Midas, whose magic touch backfires when he accidentally turns his daughter into gold; Erysichthon, whose disrespect toward the gods leads Aphrodite to curse him with never-ending pangs of hunger; the tale of Orpheus, whose grief over the death of his beloved bride is so great that he journeys to the underworld to retrieve her; and the story of Phaeton, son of Apollo, whose joy ride in his father’s chariot nearly destroys the earth and all of humankind.
With its mix of classical and contemporary imagery, its universal themes and timeless narratives, “Metamorphoses” has been praised by both critics and audiences.
One of the most notable aspects of “Metamorphoses” is the set design. Zimmerman’s play takes place entirely around and in a fully functional swimming pool.
“The central theme in both Ovid’s poem and Zimmerman’s play is the idea of transformation,” says Scott Phillips, associate professor of theater and director of the AU production. “All of the stories in the play deal in some way with the human capacity for love and its transformative power. Zimmerman’s use of water is elemental and she uses it as a powerful symbol of transformation.”
Installing a swimming pool on the Theatre’s stage was. The amount of water required in the production will put considerable stress on the stage floor, and the AU production team had to bring in a structural engineer to determine the exact load-bearing capacity of the stage before construction could begin. The AU Theatre Website at http://media.cla.auburn.edu/theatre/index.cfm features footage from the department’s “Pool Cam” where visitors can watch a super-speed version of the build process.
“Metamorphoses” features an ensemble of 10 student actors, all of whom play multiple roles, anchored by faculty guest artist Daydrie Hague, associate professor of theater at Auburn and a member of Actors Equity Association.
Set design for “Metamorphoses” is by Magdalena Garmaz, associate professor of architecture, with lighting by New York guest artist Travis McHale. Costumes are by Tracy Oleinick, AU Theatre resident designer. Adrienne Wilson, visiting assistant professor of theater, is the production’s movement coach and choreographer. “Metamorphoses” also boasts an original score – a series of solo piano motifs composed and performed by Elizabeth Greenleaf.
College of Liberal Arts Dean Anne-Katrin Gramberg will host a dean’s reception on Wednesday, April 11, at 6 p.m., in the Theatre lobby. Proceeds from this performance benefit the AU Theatre Patron Scholarship Fund.
For ticket information, call (334) 844-4154 or visit www.auburnuniversitytheatre.org.
General admission tickets are $20. Tickets for AU faculty and staff and for senior citizens are $15. Admission is free for AU students with valid identification. The play contains adult themes and language.
(Contributed by Linda Bell.)