Terence Archie & Emily Skinner Lead Western New York Premiere of THE ODYSSEY

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Terence Archie & Emily Skinner Lead Western New York Premiere of THE ODYSSEY

Today Artpark begins rehearsals for the musical THE ODYSSEY with 100+ participants. THE ODYSSEY is a story of high adventure and true love, and a theatrical celebration for the whole family adapted from the Homer's epic tale. Broadway stars, regional actors, students, regional performance groups and community members join onstage in an unprecedented area effort of theatre of, for and by the people. Performances are August 4th at 8:00pm and August 5th at 1:00pm in the Mainstage Theater. Tickets are $25 and on sale now at artpark.net, tickets.com, by phone at 1-888-223-6000 or in person at the Artpark Box Office. Should one still wish to participate, Artpark is accepting participation from non-professional adult participants. Those interested may call (716)754-9000 x 142 or email keelindhiggins@gmail.com for schedule and information.

THE ODYSSEY was originally adapted with music and new lyrics by Todd Almond, and conceived and originally directed by Lear deBessonet. It was originally commissioned and produced by Public Theater, NYC's "Public Works" program. Artpark's production is led by distinguished director Roger Danforth** along with an accomplished professional production team and stars: Broadway's Terence Archie* as Odysseus (reprising his role from Seattle Rep's 2017 production of THE ODYSSEY); Emily Skinner* as Penelope / Circe; Christopher Guilmet* as The Singer; and noted mime Gregg Goldston as Cyclops.

A unique aspect of this production and the Public Works concept is that it blends both professional and non-professional performers and community volunteers through a series of extended rehearsals and workshops. Community partners include: People Inc.; Empower; Buffalo Public Adult Education Division ESL Program; Artpark Volunteer Corps; Lewiston Fire Company No. 1; Iroquois Indian Band; The Slyboots School of Music, Art & Dance; Mount Erie Baptist Church Choir; and Buffalo Gay Men's Chorus, among others.

"For us, this era-spanning, epic poem written a couple of millennia ago viewed through the contemporary lens, is a story illuminating the often invisible members of our society who grow, heal and get celebrated in the process. It is also a journey of the new creative team coming together through collaborations that span our entire state." says Artpark Executive Director, Sonia Clark.

THE ODYSSEY is partially funded by The Charles D. and Mary A. Bauer Foundation and sponsored by: Niagara Falls Coachlines; Modern Corporation; Benderson Development; DiMino TOPS Lewiston, NY; and The Donald F. and Barbara L. Newman Family Foundation. Special thanks to the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce.

Visit www.artpark.net for more information on THE ODYSSEY.

Full Creative Team: Directed by Roger Danforth, Choreography by Jon Lehrer, Music Direction by Patrick Towey, Set & Projections Design by Tatyana Wilds, Costume Design by Bret Runyon, Puppet Design by Adam Kreutinger, Lighting Design by Dyan Burlingame, Sound Design by Eric Burlingame, Director of Technical Production & Production Stage Manager: Susan Stimson*, Associate Directors Paschal Frisina III, Carin Jean White, Katie Lupica***; Associate Choreographer Toni Dentico; Casting by Stephanie Klapper Casting and Kate LoConti.

Professional cast: Terence Archie*, Emily Skinner *, Christopher Guilmet *, Gregg Goldston, James Heffron, Annabella Bogart, Stephen Weisenburger, Sydnie Perkins, Britini D'Angelo, Kayla Storto, Marsha McWilson, Jake Hayes (with more to be announced). *member of Actors Equity Association.

Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy

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