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Theatre Information

Clayton High School Metamorphoses

By • Nov 8th, 2012 • Category: Cappies, Missouri

The only thing better than a show in a black box theatre, is a show in a black box theatre with a giant vat of water in the middle of it. There was a definite feeling of sheer excitement and awe in the intimate setting of the black box as the characters waded through the water during Clayton High School’s matinée production. The cast and crew demonstrated a precise attention to detail in every aspect of the play, and provided an overall extremely enjoyable afternoon of Metamorphoses.

Adapted from the classical Roman poem by Ovid, Mary Zimmerman wrote this play with the theme of change in mind, especially change implemented by love. The show premiered in Chicago at Northwestern University and Lookingglass Theatre Company in 1996. It went to New York in 2001 at an Off-Broadway theatre, and then moved to Broadway in February 2002. One year later, after 400 performances, Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses closed on February 16, 2003.

Robert Love, acting as the first character from Roman folklore to hit the stage, definitely set the standard for an afternoon of spectacular theatre. As Midas, he was convincing in portraying the character’s greed and, later, grief. Later in the play, as the God of music Apollo, Love drew laughs from the engaged audience by singing his lines. In one of the most powerful scenes of the performance, Eudora Olson displayed a true talent for conveying emotion as Alcyone when her character’s husband died at the hands of the ocean.

As the meddling Goddess Aphrodite, Sarah Lerwick wonderfully exhibited a façade of stubbornness and excessive pride. Katie Warnusz-Steckl flawlessly and passionately rendered the conflicted Myrrha in the seventh scene. Alessandra Silva demonstrated an impressive exercise of both acting ability and muscle strength as Midas’ daughter who turned to gold, mid-embrace, and later in the show as the eerie and unnerving Hunger. James Kerr gave the character Vertumnus a lovable touch through his facial expressions and fantastic portrayal of being in love with Pomona, portrayed believably by Emma Riley.

The use of the pool (Lucy Bowe) as the primary set piece was unique and sensational. It added to the overall experience of the show momentously. The lighting (Max Treutelaar), as it reflected the ripple of the water on the set, was beautiful. In the first scene, when Midas would touch things, gold light flooded the area, effectively adding to the illusion. Every technical cue seemed to be exactly right.

Although the cast shined as each had their individual spotlights, at sometimes in supporting roles they lost energy. A few times, the actors would speak so quickly that it was difficult to catch every line, but overall the delivery was spot-on. During the last scene, there was some visible confusion at times that perhaps could have been hidden more effectively, but it didn’t detract from the scene.

Clayton High School put on a play on Sunday that was sure to impress. Through a cast of terrific actors and a crew of obvious merit, Metamorphoses drew striking conclusions of change by love and greed. The intimacy of the theatre paired with the rarity of the water vat on set created a show that went swimmingly.

by Kari Leigh Brinkley of Holt High School

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