Courtney Balan to Replace Emily Skinner In THE ODYSSEY

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Courtney Balan to Replace Emily Skinner In THE ODYSSEYArtpark announces a casting change for the upcoming production of THE ODYSSEY. Accomplished Broadway actress Courtney Balan will replace Emily Skinner in the role of Penelope / Circe due to a family emergency.

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.

THE ODYSSEY was written by Homer, and conceived and directed by Lear deBessonet, with book, music and lyrics by Todd Almond. It was originally commissioned and produced by New York's The Public Theatre (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director- Patrick Willingham, Executive Director) and originally commissioned and developed by The Old Globe, San Diego, California (Louis G. Spisto, Executive Producer).

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; Courtney Balan* as Penelope / Circe; Christopher Guilmet* as The Singer; and noted mime Gregg Goldston as Cyclops.

In a review of The Public Theater's 2015 production, The New York Times stated: "What makes these productions such a lively treat is the manner in which the performers come together to create a vibrant theatrical tapestry. Mr. Almond's 'Odyssey' is really more homage than adaptation; this is a populist version of the Greek legend, not a classical one." The reviewer concludes, "...in this mostly upbeat, spectacle-splashed production, witnessing Odysseus's treacherous journey around the Mediterranean, and the deaths of all his men along the way, has an eerie, heart-rending resonance today."

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.



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