Contact: Allison Benner, College Relations Associate – Media, 610-740-3790



For this Contemporary Retelling of Greek and Roman Myths, the College Builds 2,500 Gallon Pool Onstage — and Sends Acting Troupe into the Water to Learn their Roles 

Allentown, PA (October 10, 2006) – When the Cedar Crest College Stage Company presents Mary Zimmerman’s Tony Award-Winning play, “Metamorphoses” from November 9 – 12, the group is not only staging a Lehigh Valley premiere, but it is also launching the most technically challenging production in its history.

With a giant pool of water as the centerpiece of the play, the actors, director and designers of “Metamorphoses” are faced with a unique set of challenges — particularly, what happens when you submerge an entire theatrical production in water?

In this adaptation of Ovid’s classic epic poem, the action takes place in and around designer Roxanne Amico’s 12 x 16 foot, 2,500 gallon pool. Amico’s set is designed to allow for actor entrances and exits via the water.  Amico has also built in other special water effects including onstage rain.

"We've never done anything like this at Cedar Crest before, but water is essential to the theme and setting of each myth," says Tim Brown, director of the show.  "From the costumes to makeup and everything in between, "Metamorphoses" is an amazing exercise in theatrical creativity."

Based on Ovid's Latin text that describes the transformation myths of the Greek and Roman gods, Metamorphoses brings a sampling of those stories to life as theatrical vignettes.  Despite the ancient origin of the subject matter, the play draws on contemporary situations and dialogue, yet remains faithful to the lesson of each myth.  The water serves a specific function in each tale – as a mirror for Narcissus, a river for Orpheus to cross, and a luxurious pool for King Midas to own – while symbolically reinforcing the idea of mutability that runs throughout the play.

"The myths that Zimmerman chose for Metamorphoses focus on universal themes of change, rebirth, love and death.  When set in a modern context, Ovid's poem takes on a new life that connects with today's audience on an emotional level – at times it can be funny and at other times tragic," says Brown.

To prepare the ten member cast for more than sixty roles, Brown has been conducting rehearsals in the College's Rodale Aquatic Center while the set is being completed.  "Acting in water is a whole new experience for these students.  They need to become comfortable with how they move in the water and how that will ultimately project to the audience."

(Go to http://metamorphosesandbeyond.blogspot.com/, to check out the director's blog which includes pictures and comments about the rehearsal process.)

The cast of Metamorphoses includes Cedar Crest students Chealsea Anagnosan (Maine, NY), Amy Bailey (Slatington, PA), Samantha Hyson, Allison Kazaras (Westminster, MD), Megan Schroeder (Wescosville, PA), Katherine Stevenson (Hoosick Falls, NY) and Michelle Tetreault (Southampton, NJ) along with Justin DePaul (Lyndhurst, NJ), Mike Febbo (Bethlehem, PA) and Davis Serfass (Bethlehem, PA).

The show runs November 9, 10 and 11 at 8:00 p.m., and November 12 at 2:00 p.m. in the Samuels Theatre in the Tompkins College Center.  Admission is $15 each or four for $40 for adults and $10 for students and seniors or four for $20.  For more information, please contact the Cedar Crest College Box Office at 610-606-4608.

Photo, video and interview opportunities are available as the cast prepares for this unique theatrical experience.  Contact the College Relations Office for more information at 610-740-3790.




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