WMU News

'Metamorphoses' is a unique theatre experience

Oct. 7, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Winner of the 2002 Tony Award for Best Director, "Metamorphoses," as adapted by Mary Zimmerman, runs through Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 16, at Western Michigan University.

Unusual in many respects, the production takes place entirely in a specially constructed 2,500-gallon swimming pool, with the audience seated around the pool. Patrons in the front row may expect to get a little wet and will be provided with towels. "Metamorphoses" is a collection of Greek and Roman myths and emphasizes the moments of change that influence life the most, using an often humorous and contemporary sensibility.

The stories of Midas, Orpheus, and Phaeton are instantly recognizable, but fully half of "Metamorphoses" deals with lesser-known myths that match and even surpass tales about the golden touch or the hypnotic power of music. This hit Broadway play combines such clever storytelling with memorable stagecraft that it "has been reducing calloused New Yorkers to sobs," according to the New York Times.

As with the original version, this production of "Metamorphoses" contains nudity.

Playwright Zimmerman teaches performance studies at Northwestern University, and has made similar adaptations for the stage of "The Arabian Nights" and "The Odyssey." Her production of "Metamorphoses" was also nominated for Tony Awards in the categories of Best Play and Best Scenic Design in 2002. She was in Kalamazoo for a short residency with the cast of the WMU production during rehersal..

WMU's production of "Metamorphoses" is directed by D. Terry Williams, chair of the theatre department. The cast includes WMU seniors Kristie Kelley, Nylda Ria, John Mark, Sarah Scanlon, Allen VanHouzen and Colin Woodside; juniors Christopher Mark DeYoung, Amanda Galmiche, J. Steadman and Christine Werny; and sophomore Ryan Patrick Welsh. The designers include students Joe Wilhelm (sound) and faculty members Kevin Abbott (projections), Wendy Cornish (lighting), and Tim Hanson (scenery).

Performances in the Gilmore Theatre Complex begin at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 7-9 and Oct. 14-16, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10. An opening night reception sponsored by Millennium Restaurant Group will take place after the Oct. 7 performance, and a post-show discussion with the director and cast is scheduled for Oct. 14.

Tickets for "Metamorphoses" may be purchased by calling the University Theatre Ticket Office at (269) 387-6222, open weekdays noon to 5 p.m. All seating is general admission and tickets are $16. WMU faculty, staff and students receive discounts on tickets to all University Theatre productions. Tickets are also available through the box offices at Miller Auditorium and the Epic Center in downtown Kalamazoo.

The 2004-05 University Theatre season is made possible through a partnership with Millennium Restaurant Group.

Media contact: Patrick Donnelly, 269 387-6222, patrick.donnelly@wmich.edu

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