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Odysseus

Bill George, Kingfisher Theatre

Details

Categories: Theater, Storytelling

Dates: September 6, 2023 - September 10, 2023

Run Time: 130 mins

Venue: Pig Iron, Studio B

Overview

” ‘Odysseus’ is more than a tour de force. It is a monumental and important work that puts the follies of men (and women) through the lens of Ancient Greece. The journey is profound and fun in ways unexpected…” –Paul Willistein, ABE Award to Odysseus for Best Original Play 2022

“Odysseus” is a bold and emotional tour de force, a compelling one-man play based on Homer’s epic Greek tale. Accompanied only by musician Rob Aptaker, George commands the stage from the moment he steps barefoot onto the stage.The original work follows the mythical ten-year journey of Odysseus, who is struggling to make his way home after the Trojan War. The script, written by George, is drawn primarily from Alexander Pope’s 18th-century poetic translation and an intense two-hours long, as George prowls the minimally decorated stage portraying a pantheon of characters from gods and goddesses to human mortals such as Odysseus, his son Telemachus and his wife Penelope. He is as comfortable portraying Odysseus’ broken-hearted elderly father Laertes, as he is the love-struck young virgin Nausicaa. It is simply fascinating to watch as George depicts the reunion of Odysseus and his beloved wife Penelope, playing both parts and altering his posture as he shifts between the male and female characters.

Adding to atmosphere is Aptaker’s myriad of instruments to provide an aural back-drop to the story. Aptaker employs a large drum as well as finger piano, bowls, rain sticks, lap harp, flute and more to create Penelope’s cries, Calypso’s song, the shriek of eagles, the twang of the bow, ocean waves, crashing thunder and more. Aptaker also provides several affecting acapella songs delivered in Greek at critical moments during the show.

George was assisted in directorial duties by Gerard Stropnicky in creating this fearless and extraordinary performance.

About the Artist

An English Literature degree from Lehigh University in hand, Bill studied for his MFA with the great Paul Baker at the Dallas Theater Center and went on to several years of study with the master, Paul Curtis, founding genius of the American Mime Theater in New York City. Co-founding People’s Theatre Company in 1976, he, his wife Bridget, and colleague Lorraine Zeller-Agostino went on to found Touchstone Theatre in 1981. Striking out on his own in 1990 to explore “theatre of transcendence”, Bill began Kingfisher Theatre, returning to Touchstone full-time in 2003. Now, roughly fifty years since the creative journey began–newly minted in 2022 as Touchstone’s first Ensemble Member Emeritus–he and Bridget, with their two children, Anisa and Sam, have established a cultural center, Little Pond Arts Retreat, as a refuge for artists and all who are interested in the intersection of creativity, harmony with Nature, and spirituality. It is here where Kingfisher Theatre has its home.


Little Pond rests on the ancestral lands of the Lenni-Lenape people, infamously swindled from them during the “Walking Purchase” of 1737.

Credits

  • Rob AptakerMusician
  • Gerard StropnickyDirectorial Assistance
  • Adrienne ReddFront of House
  • Bridget GeorgeFront of House
  • Ryann CooperTech
  • Bill GeorgeArtist/Performer
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