METAMORPHOSES Comes to Folger Theatre Next Month

Performances run May 7 – June 16, 2024.

By: Apr. 10, 2024
METAMORPHOSES Comes to Folger Theatre Next Month
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Folger Theatre will conclude its homecoming season with Mary Zimmerman’s Tony Award®-winning play, Metamorphoses. Directed by Psalmayene 24 (Tempestuous Elements at Arena Stage and Good Bones at Studio Theatre), this captivating play situates the timeless tales of Ovid in a modern-day setting. Through a series of interconnected vignettes, the play showcases the transformative power of myths through a rich tapestry exploring themes of love, loss, and the human experience. Folger Theatre’s production sets these stories among the African diaspora, layering in points of connection for audiences among the universal themes of the play.

Metamorphoses is on stage at Folger Theatre from May 7 – June 16, 2024. Tickets are available online at www.folger.edu/meta or by calling the Folger Box Office at (202) 544-7077.

For the first time in Folger Theatre’s history, the production features an all-Black cast. “This production aims to celebrate Black life—and culture—through the protean lens of Mary Zimmerman’s marvelous script,” says Psalmayene 24. “My decision to cast this production with an all-Black ensemble was precipitated by the police killing of Tyre Nichols. His death shattered me. If Mr. Nichols’ unjust and brutal killing reveals anything, it’s that the mechanisms of American power still devalue Black life. My hope is that through this interpretation of Metamorphoses, DC audiences will gain a greater awareness and appreciation of the universal commonalities that bind us all.”

“Zimmerman’s gorgeous adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses has always poetically centered on the particularities of being human, says Karen Ann Daniels, Folger Director of Programming and Performance and Artistic Director of Folger Theatre. “Psalm’s vision takes it to a new level. By pulling together an all-Black ensemble, he uplifts and celebrates the humanity of black people, our potential for renewal and rebirth, while exploring our collective transformational journey as human beings.”

The extraordinary ensemble of actors in this 90-minute production of Metamorphoses includes familiar Folger faces, as well as a number making their Folger Theatre debut. The cast of gods and mortals features Edwin Brown III, Renea S. Brown, DeJeanette Horne, Yesenia Iglesias, Billie Kirshawn, Manu Kumasi, Miss Kitty, Jon Hudson Odom, Kalen Robinson, Gerrad Taylor, and Renee Elizabeth Wilson

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The creative team bringing these tales to innovative life includes scenic designer Lawrence E. Moten III (Chicken & Biscuits on Broadway), costume designer Mika Eubanks (Flex at Lincoln Center Theater), Helen Hayes Award-winning lighting designer William K. D’Eugenio (Tempestuous Elements at Arena Stage), composer and sound designer Nick Hernandez (Folger Theatre’s Our Verse in Time to Come and Nollywood Dreams at Round House Theatre) and choreographer Tony Thomas (Tempestuous Elements at Arena Stage). The team also includes Faedra Chatard Carpenter (dramaturg), Kaja Dunn (resident intimacy director and cultural consultant), Jeanette Christensen (assistant costume designer), Deb Thomas (props designer), and Lauren Pekel (production stage manager). 

“Metamorphoses is a compilation of myths that touch the deepest and most elemental parts of our humanity,” adds Psalmayene 24. “These stories remind us of the unchanging nature of human existence. Our love, greed, foolishness, lust, kindness, stubbornness, creativity, violence, and generosity—the things that unite people across the eons—is reflected back to us through the prism of this play.” 

Mary Zimmerman originally created Metamorphoses with students at Northwestern University and the play had its first professional production in 1998. Following a tour at several regional theaters across the country, Metamorphoses was produced on Broadway in 2002, garnering a Tony Award® for ‘Best Direction,’ as well as numerous other awards.  




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