We Players Announce Cast for THE ODYSSEY ON ANGEL ISLAND, 5/5-6/1
We Players has announced the casting for its island-wide performance adventure, THE ODYSSEY ON ANGEL ISLAND, which will run May 12 through July 1, 2012 at Angel Island California State Park. Tickets go on sale early-April.
Twelve cast members will play over forty characters, from lotus-eaters, nymphs, servants, sailors and suitors to Odysseus’s wife, Penelope. They’ll be in near-constant motion to switch costumes and locations throughout the 5-hour, site-specific, traveling production.
The cast includes three veterans of We Player's production of Hamlet on Alcatraz: the goddess Calypso, who falls in love with Odysseus and keeps him on her island for many years, will be played by Caroline Parsons; the messenger god Hermes will be played by Ross Travis (also of We Players' Odyssey underway aboard the schooner Alma, and company member of Naked Empire Bouffon Company); and Odysseus’ mother, Anticleia will be played by Rebecca Longworth (Odyssey aboard Alma and director of Buried Child with Boxcar Theatre). Joining the cast are Nathaniel Justiano (Artistic Director of Naked Empire Bouffon), who portrays the Wind King Aeolus and the god Zeus; Julie Douglas (Road to Hades with Shotgun Players) plays Odysseus’s patron goddess, Athena, and the witch-goddess Circe; Michael Moerman (On The Waterfront at San Jose Stage and Death of a Salesman at Sierra Stage) will portray the blind prophet Tiresias and Odysseus’ faithful servant Eumaeus; Libby Kelly (SF debut) is featured as Penelope, Odysseus's wife. Other cast members include Maria Leigh (The Collaboratory), Frieda de Lackner (Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre Programs), Joan Howard (Co-founder of Main Street Theatre), and Claire Slattery (Hanging Georgia with Theatre First). James Udom will portray Telemachus, Odysseus’s son.
The production will also feature live music performed by a rotating roster of seven Bay Area musicians, with original music composed by Music Director Charlie Gurke (composer and musician with The Bitter Honeys, Carne Cruda, and the Gurke/Woodcock Duo).
The Odyssey on Angel Island is an adaptation of Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, conceived and directed by We Players Artistic Director Ava Roy. The audience will follow Odysseus's journeys as they work their way through a self-guided adventure across the island.
Using maps and “survival kits” provided by We Players, "audience participants will engage all their senses in an all-day theatrical event that will connect the ancient story with the history and environment of Angel Island," says Roy.
Roy has adapted The Odyssey on Angel Island from several sources, including the translation of Homer’s Odyssey by Robert Fagles. A wide range of supplementary texts provide inspiration for the ensemble development process, including Johnathan Shay's "Odysseus in America," "The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel" by Nikos Kazantzakis, and poetry including AlFred Lord Tennyson's Ulysses and The Lotos Eaters, and C.P. Cavafy's "Ithaka."
The Odyssey on Angel Island is a centerpiece of We Players’ artistic residency at Angel Island State Park. Their year-long residency is the first of its kind at a California State Park, and is designed to explore themes found in the history of Angel Island, namely journeying, war, homecoming and refuge.
We Player's past productions include Shakespeare’s Macbeth at Fort Point and Hamlet on Alcatraz Island.