Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Bard's Bus Takes The Odyssey on Tour Throughout Southern Ontario to August 18, 2013

From a media release:

The Bard's Bus
Driftwood Theatre Presents
The Odyssey
on tour throughout Southern Ontario
to August 18, 2013


Twenty mortal years Odysseus. No matter what graces the gods heap upon you, you can’t believe you’ll find your home as you left it.

• A full list of performance dates and locations is available at the link

In celebration of William Shakespeare’s birthday, Driftwood Theatre proudly announces the 2013 Bard’s Bus Tour: THE ODYSSEY, adapted from Homer by Rick Chafe. THE ODYSSEY tours across Ontario this summer from St. Catharines to Bobcaygeon, from London to Kingston - and all stops in between - on a new classic journey filled with suspense, adventure and excitement! The Bard’s Bus Tour will kick off July 11th, 2013, and tour Southern Ontario with PWYC performances through August 18th, 2013.

“We’re thrilled to be sharing this exciting story, adapted by wonderful Winnipeg playwright Rick Chafe, as The Bard’s Bus Tour’s first departure from the work of William Shakespeare,” offers Artistic Director Jeremy Smith, “We’re exploring Driftwood’s larger mandate of classic theatre - and where better to start than the most epic story of all time?”

Odysseus – the great General of the Trojan war – has been missing at sea for twenty years. His wife, the Ithican Queen Penelope, struggles to maintain the safety of her kingdom, her son and herself in the face of an increasingly hostile hoard of suitors. When a stranger arrives offering the fantastical story of her missing husband does she dare hope that he might still be alive? This summer, Driftwood Theatre takes you on the greatest journey of love, adventure and the search for home ever told: THE ODYSSEY.

Dive into the stories of Odysseus’ adventures in Rick Chafe’s (The Secret Mask; Shakespeare’s Dog) contemporary adaptation of Homer’s classic tale – a wild ride populated with myriad mythical characters and creatures. Gods, Sirens and Cyclops are all brought to life by Driftwood Theatre’s talented ensemble under the guidance of Jeremy Smith (Memorial, Next Stage; Northern Lights, Eastern Fire, Canadian Sinfonietta; 18 seasons, Driftwood Theatre) in this new production, rich with imagery, movement, a cappella song and puppetry.

Joining Mr. Smith on the creative team are Dora award-winning costume designer Melanie McNeill (Madhouse Variations, Eldritch Theatre; Shakespeare’s Nigga, Obsidian Theatre; Les Fourberies de Scapin, Théâtre français de Toronto), composer and musical director Tom Lillington (ten seasons, Driftwood Theatre), sound designer Verne Good (Hirsch, Stratford Festival; The Normal Heart, Studio 180), and movement & fight directors Clare Preuss (two seasons, Driftwood Theatre; Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, Blyth Festival, Nightwood Theatre) and Richard Lee (Macbeth, Driftwood Theatre; carried away on the crest of a wave, Tarragon Theatre; ching chong chinaman, fuGen).

THE ODYSSEY features an ensemble cast of some of the finest emerging and established actors in the country, including Christopher Darroch (four seasons, Driftwood Theatre; Gone With The Wind, Manitoba Theatre Centre; A Man of No Importance, Acting Up Stage), Sedina Fiati (Queen Marie, 4th Line Theatre; Wise.Woman, b current), Chris George (Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare by the Sea; Macbeth, Hart House), Janick Hebert (Macbeth, Driftwood Theatre; Scorched, Tarragon Theatre), Lori Nancy Kalamanski (My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, Mirvish; e-Dentity, Theatre Gargantua/Mirvish), Tim Machin (two seasons, Driftwood Theatre; The Gift Horse, Caravan Theatre; Frankenstein, Catalyst Theatre), Sarah Machin Gale (two seasons, Driftwood Theatre; The Penelopiad, Citadel Theatre; To Master The Art, The Grand Theatre; Imprints, Theatre Gargantua), and Andy Pogson (Macbeth, Driftwood Theatre; Calendar Girls, Grand Theatre; Skin Flick, Theatre Collingwood/Bluewater). The production will be stage managed by Sandi Becker (two seasons, Driftwood Theatre; three seasons, Grand Theatre).

The Bard’s Bus Tour is generously sponsored by Ontario Power Generation. Driftwood gratefully acknowledges the support of The Ontario Arts Council through their Operating, Touring and Arts Investment Fund granting programs, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

The Driftwood Theatre Group, founded in 1995, is Ontario’s first and longest running outdoor touring theatre tradition. Working with the best emerging and established artists today, Driftwood celebrates the work of William Shakespeare and other classics through its annual Bard’s Bus Tour, touring to parks and heritage sites and focusing on communities with little or no access to professional theatre. 2013 marked the 10th anniversary of Driftwood’s hugely successful Trafalgar 24 play creation festival in Whitby, Ontario, and the second year of their associated play development program, Beyond The Castle.

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