Jewell Theatre Company takes a step forward with “Metamorphoses”

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First-year Danika Bryant as King Midas’ daughter. Photo by Chandler Eaton
Mary Zimmerman’s “Metamorphoses” is a live adaptation of Ovid’s epic of the same title. It was first performed in 1996 and recently put on by Jewell Theatre Company. The play is made up of a several vignettes, much like the original work, that tell the stories of classical characters such as King Midas, Orpheus and Eurydice and Eros and Psyche as well. Each vignette is a discussion of how love can affect individuals and eventually lead to a transformation of who they are.

I would like to commend all of the actors who performed in this play for their work. It was wonderful. The beauty of a play of vignettes is its ability to shift from one emotion to another in a short amount of time, and I think the actors caught on to this. Whether it was Brett Stone, junior English and political science major, who was able to capture the identity of a spoiled adolescent demigod or Molly Ingram, junior nursing major who seemed to truly understand Alcyone’s loss of Ceyx, the character work was brilliant.

The most interesting scene by far was that of the story of Erysichthon, Bruce Rash, junior international relations major. Erysichthon is a man with no god who chops down a tree that is sacred to the goddess Ceres, Kati Watts, sophomore accounting and theatre major. Ceres then sends Hunger, Danika Bryant, first-year communication major, to take control of Erysichthon. Erysichthon eventually spends all of his gold on food and even sells his own mother in order to eat more and more. In the end, Erysichthon is so overwhelmed by Hunger that he eats himself. While this was a very disturbing scene, the way Rash and Bryant portrayed their characters was incredible. Bryant looked near death and crawled around the stage like a sort of animal, using a harsh whispering voice, and Rash depicted a man who truly had lost all control. He screamed as someone who was in real pain would as the lights when down on him cutting into his own leg.

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Photo by Chandler Eaton

This performance was not simply a successful show but much more. It is the first Jewell Theatre Company show directed by Dr. Chris McCoy, assistant professor of theatre and stage director for Jewell Theatre Company and is a step forward for the company. While Jewell has had a successful theatre department before, this play marks a continued progression for the company that I believe McCoy and Nathan Wyman, associate professor of theatre and producing director Jewell Theatre Company, will continue to maintain.

Jewell Theatre Company will have one other main stage show, “Godspell,” Apr 14, 15 and 16. Individuals seeking more information on the department should visit the website for Jewell Communication and Theatre. Those wanting to know more about non-main stage shows that the company will be presenting should refer to their season announcement.

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