Odysseus at the Pig Iron Studio
Bill’s bold, ceremonial tour-de-force, “Odysseus”, is coming to the Philadelphia Fringe.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Kingfisher Theatre presents a fresh and intimate interpretation of the eternal Greek legend, The Odyssey: the timeless tale that follows the mythical ten-year journey of one man, Odysseus, struggling to make his way home after the Trojan War. In a stage performance that is at once epic and “breath taking”—with live musical soundscapes performed by percussionist Rob Aptaker—this enchanting new solo work from Touchstone Theatre co-founder Bill George, with directorial assistance from Gerard Stropnicky (co-founder of Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble) is a sensory experience and a once-in-a-decade theatre event not to be missed. Performances will take place from September 6 – 10 at Pig Iron, Studio B, 1417 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, @ 7 pm Wednesday through Saturday and at 2 pm on Sunday.
While the seeds for this production were planted for George years ago during Touchstone Theatre’s 2013 Ulysses Dreams on the South Bethlehem Greenway, the hot-house environs of the intensified screen-centric months of the pandemic spurred George to pursue writing this solo adaptation. He began by asking himself what he would want and value as an audience member. The answer? “I want to see the actor alone, the people in the room armed with only the power of their imaginations, the breath, heartbeat and danger of live theatre, unadorned.” He found himself looking back. “WAY back…2,500 years back,” he says. “I wanted to see what this amazing story, made up by so many different souls throughout century after century, has to offer us about what it means to be a good man today, in these turbulent times.”
The script, written by George, is drawn primarily from Alexander Pope’s 18th-century adaptation but is also influenced by several other translations of Homer’s epic work. “I don’t know how much longer I’ll have the physical strength and mental vigor to attack such a project,” he says. “It is an extraordinary event, like performing all of Bach’s Cello suites or a two-hour Dickens’ A Christmas Carol playing all 50 roles, and yet in the months and years of work to realize this vision, it has never ceased to reveal wonder after wonder.”
The story may be ancient, but the themes ring true today—revealing deep insights not just about the psychic relationship between us all and the Divine, but also about fathers and sons, husbands and wives, and the profoundly human braiding of life and suffering in our lives. “It is one of the richest and deepest literary treasures, ever revealing to us greater gems,” says George. “It’s a spectacular performance of an extraordinary work that is as fresh and valuable as the rising sun.” Audiences will experience solo-performer George setting the scene and playing scores of characters as the story is revealed over two acts, with live musical soundscapes performed by percussionist Rob Aptaker.
For tickets see Fringearts.com, reserve through firstname.lastname@example.org or purchase tickets at the door.
Odysseus runs September 6 thru 10. Shows begin at 7pm Wednesday through Saturday, and at 2 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $25, with $15 tickets for students/seniors and the option to Pay-What-You-Will at the door on Wednesday. Group rates are available upon request, call 610-570-1335 or email email@example.com.