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Common Sense

the student newspaper site of Cedarburg High School, Cedarburg, Wisconsin

The student news site of Cedarburg High School

Common Sense

The student news site of Cedarburg High School

Common Sense

“The Odyssey”: Preparing to set sail

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“The Odyssey: A Play” will premiere Nov. 9-11 at 7 p.m. at the CPAC. A 2 p.m. matinee will be held Nov. 12. This year’s fall play, by Mary Zimmerman, chronicles ancient Greek war hero Odysseus’ perilous 20-year long journey to return home.

English teacher and director Kristen Mickie said, “Mary Zimmerman actually adapted it from the same translation that we use at Cedarburg High School, the Robert Fitzgerald translation,” so students who read it for class should be familiar with the plot. 

However, she said the performance will be anything but the typical fall play experience. Mickie said to expect “a lot of things with lighting, a lot of things with sound, a lot of things with more suggestive type staging.” Puppetry and “shadow-work” are just two features in store for the show, according to Mickie. 

This more stage effect-centered style of production will present both actors and crew members with new methods and challenges. “It is very minimalistic, it is very different from what we normally do,” senior actress and stage crew member Allison Springer said. “Our school is very well known for our crew work, like we get awards for it.” 

According to art teacher and technical director Chris Behrs, past shows put on by the school have won Jerry Awards for outstanding scenic design, lighting and sound. Minimalism is quite a departure from the life-sized sets and moving parts of performances such as “Mamma Mia!” and “You Can’t Take It With You,” he said, so the bold special effects and distinctive visuals are planned to ensure the show is appealing to the eye. 

“Mrs. Mickie chose this show purposely to challenge us,” Springer said, referring to the set design. “It’s less about what the set looks like and more about the atmosphere.” 

The technical simplicity doesn’t only apply to the stage itself; stage makeup and attire will be relatively minimal, too. Junior Sharon Chumlea said the cast is used to makeup and costume aiding them in “getting in character,” but in this production, there will be more emphasis on the way that the actors move and “present [themselves] on stage.” 

Springer said, “Every show is challenging in its own way.”

And for those who claim The Odyssey wasn’t their book of choice in English class, Springer said the idea they will find the show dull and hard to understand simply isn’t true. Many “boring scenes” were cut, she said, and while the dialogue can be a little archaic, the actors are working on ways to deliver it in a way the audience can easily understand. 

To both those coming to see the play and those involved in its production, Springer said, “just keep an open mind because it might not be what you expect it to be, and I think it’s worth it to see for yourself instead of making an assumption before it’s even out yet.” 

This year’s fall play is bound to be unique while still showcasing the talent and hard work of the cast and crew.  “It’s different,” Mickie said, “and I think people will really enjoy the spectacle of it… that’s my hope, that’s my goal.”

The cast includes seniors Izzy Fyfe, Sarah Gleed, Emily Hoepfner, Ruby Holtgrieve, Brady Holzer, Allison Springer; juniors Keaton Blake, Sharon Chumlea, Izzy Heilgendorf, Sam Neill, Natalie Reitz, Lucia Sammarco, Robbie Thao, Josie Witte; sophomores Caroline Kelley and Jillian Wilde.

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