Gonzaga Presents Theatre for Young Audiences: The Odyssey

A cartoon of two characters underneath the words The Odyssey

March 11, 2024
Gonzaga University News Service

On March 22, 2024, Gonzaga University Theatre opens “The Odyssey,” based on the epic poem by Homer and adapted by Blake Anthony Edwards.

“The Odyssey” is an irreverent retelling of Homer’s epic poem, reimagined as a piece of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA). Odysseus and his faithful servant Dumbocles must complete their long, winding journey home after the Trojan War, but many pitfalls await.

Full of twists and turns, this fun theatrical performance is sure to keep all audiences engaged! Whether you are two, 22, or 202, “The Odyssey” is full of humor and outstanding design elements from lighting to costumes that will capture your imagination. Wild adventures on the sea and battles with Cyclopes and Greek gods will bring your inner child, and actual child, on an adventure.

“Gonzaga Theatre is launching a new TYA initiative with this production,” said Blake Anthony Edwards, a GU theatre professor and director of this production. “We'll be putting on a TYA show regularly as part of our upcoming seasons, and this show seemed like a good one to start with. It holds appeal for many different demographics, it features a lot of memorable characters, and it's actually proving to be a good challenge for Gonzaga's actors and designers.”

Though not actually in the middle of the ocean, this adaptation of “The Odyssey” will bring you right into the story in the Magnuson Theatre.

“This play focuses on the island-hopping adventures of Odysseus, which is actually only four of the 24 books that make up Homer's epic. But it's the part of the story that people tend to remember,” Edwards said.

“All of the characters in this play come straight from Homer, with the exception of the role of Dumbocles. He's the character I created to be Odysseus's shipmate, and I hope people will be entertained by his shenanigans.”

Because this is a special Theatre for Young Audiences opportunity, Gonzaga Theatre is holding several performance options, including educational matinees.

“This is the first time that Gonzaga Theatre has hosted educational matinees at the Magnuson Theatre,” said Leslie Stamoolis, theatre program chair. “We are excited to continue this grand tradition that regional theaters often have, which is to invite people who may not come to the theater to see a show during their school day for free. We are going to be hosting schools from Spokane District 81 as well as Medical Lake School District. It's an exciting chance to bring young students to Gonzaga's campus to get an idea of the college experience and also to see a pillar of Western literature done in an approachable, extremely funny staged version.”

However, if you are interested in seeing the show with friends and family, there is a show time for you, too.

Public Performances will take place Friday, March 22, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 23, 2 p.m.* & 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, March 24, 2 p.m.* Tickets are $10 for students/youth and $15 for adults. Special group pricing is available for groups of 8+. The 2 p.m. shows are relaxed performances with house lights partially up, families welcome to move, exit, re-enter and whisper as needed.
Educational Matinees for school, community and homeschool groups will take place March 22, March 25, March 26, and March 27 at 10 a.m. For more information on educational matinees, email theatre@gonzaga.edu.

Theatre for Young Audiences: “The Odyssey” will be at the Harry and Colleen Magnuson Theatre at the East Entrance of College Hall on the Gonzaga University campus, 502 E. Boone Ave. Tickets are available at https://bit.ly/TicketCenterTheatre or through visiting the Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center Box Office (211 E DeSmet Ave.), Monday-Friday noon-5 p.m. or by calling 509-313-2787. Tickets will also be sold at the door but are not guaranteed if the performance sells out.

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