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Touchstone Theatre Presents A One-Man Production Of Homer's Epic ODYSSEUS

Shows will take place from November 2 – 6, 2022 in Touchstone's 75-seat, black box theatre on Bethlehem's South Side.

Touchstone Theatre presents a brand-new interpretation of the beloved Greek legend, Odysseus: the timeless tale that follows the mythical ten-year journey of one man, struggling to make his way home after the Trojan War.

In a stage production that is at once epic and intimate-with live musical soundscapes performed by percussionist Rob Aptaker-this enchanting new solo work from Touchstone co-founder Bill George with directorial assistance from Gerard Stropnicky is a sensory experience not to be missed. Shows will take place from November 2 - 6, 2022 in Touchstone's 75-seat, black box theatre on Bethlehem's South Side.

While the seeds for this one-man production were planted for George years ago following Touchstone's 2013 tour de force, 15-person production of Ulysses Dreams on the South Bethlehem Greenway, it was the intensified screen-centric nature of communication during the early months of the pandemic that provided George with the impetus to pursue writing his solo adaptation of Odysseus in earnest.

He began by asking himself what he would want and value as an audience member in 2020. The answer? "I DON'T want screens. I want to see the artist, the empty space, the people in the room, the breath and heartbeat of live theatre, unadorned." With a desire to return to something simple, George found himself looking back. "WAY back...2,500 years back," he says. "I wanted to see what this amazing story, made up by many different authors over many different generations, that has lived throughout time, has to offer about what it means to be a good man."

The script, written by George, is drawn primarily from Alexander Pope's 18th-century poetry but is also influenced by several other interpretations of Homer's epic work. George describes the intense process of shaping the text, the set, the performance-all as a solo creator-as a "labor of love" of over the past two years. "I don't know how much longer I'll simply have the physical strength and mental vigor to attack such a project," he says. "It is an extraordinary event, like performing all of Bach's Cello suites or a two-hour Dickens' A Christmas Carol playing all 50 roles." But, he adds, "I have never been bored, or found the labor tiresome."

The story may be ancient, but the themes ring true today-revealing deep insights not just about the psychic relationship between Odysseus and the Divine, but also about fathers and sons, husbands and wives, and the very human relationship to life and death. "It is of the richest and deepest literary treasures we mine when entering this work," says George. "A spectacular performance of an extraordinary work that is as fresh and valuable as the rising sun." Audiences will experience solo-performer George setting the scene and playing multiple characters as the story is revealed over two acts with live musical soundscapes performed by percussionist Rob Aptaker.


As of September 2022, Touchstone has no COVID restrictions in place. Neither masks nor vaccination cards are required to attend performances. Touchstone does encourage all audience members to remain safe and diligent and to avoid coming to shows if they are feeling ill. If guests are unable to attend due to a positive COVID test, the theatre happily work with patrons to figure out the best course of action, including switching tickets to another date or performance. Please contact us at (610) 867 1689 or via email at touchstone@touchstone.org with any questions.

Touchstone's season is supported locally by season sponsor RCN. WDIY provides media sponsorship and Working Dog Press provides print sponsorship. Touchstone also receives support from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Odysseus runs from November 2 - 6, 2022. Shows begin at 7pm Wednesday through Saturday, and at 3pm on Sunday. Tickets are $25, with $15 tickets for students/seniors and the option to Pay-What-You-Will at the door on Wednesday. Group rates are available upon request. Tickets are available at 610.867.1689 or online at touchstone.org.


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