Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A new kind of Odyssey

This month Patel Conservatory Theater (PCT) students are taking on Homer’s classic Greek myth, The Odyssey.
Odyssey cast members, including Jessica Jacobs, front row, left.

The epic tale has been adapted into a play by Mary Zimmerman and will incorporate original music written by Heather Blalock, with music student Parker Wilkson accompanying. The material is certainly challenging, but the Patel Conservatory students are taking to it brilliantly. 

For PCT student Jessica Jacobs, these past few weeks have been all Odyssey, all the time. While rehearsing for the play, she is also reading The Odyssey by Homer in her AP Literature class at Blake High School. 

The 17-year-old says she “is doing great on tests” because it is easier to remember the many character names and plot events when you’re also working on the show. She has even been able to help her classmates at Blake with pronouncing the character’s names.

Jessica has been performing at Conservatory since fifth grade. Her favorite past productions at the Patel Conservatory were Pirates of Penzance and A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Odyssey requires a lot out of the PCT students because most of the students have multiple roles. Director Ami Sallee has been working with the students on acting movement in rehearsals to help them enhance their character development.

Jessica appreciates the movement training because in The Odyssey she plays a much older character, Odysseus’ mother.

“I need to move like an 80-year-old woman when I’m actually 17,” said Jessica.

Sallee’s movement based warm-ups and exercises help Jessica transform into different characters, she said.

Jessica and the entire cast can’t wait for the performances, and are excited to bring new life to this classic tale. 

Tickets are $10 through Sept. 29; and $15 as of Sept. 30. For tickets, call 813-229-7827, click here, or visit our box office in person. 

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