Audience members will experience something unique at North Springs Charter High School’s production of “Metamorphoses,” this month. For starters, they won’t have their normal theater seats. The audience will be seated on stage, surrounding a pool built by the student technical design team.
“It’s definitely the most challenging and exciting set we have built,” said junior Jacob Alexander, who lives in Roswell. The tech design major brainstormed the entire pool structure.
The 12 foot by 18 foot plywood structure contains 4,000 gallons of water. The set is not yet complete.
“It’s a very physical show,” said Marty Aikens director and drama teacher, “A lot of movement a lot of swimming. This is just a classic piece of theater. We have a four year tech [design] program, so I’m constantly looking for challenges for the tech kids.”
Each year, Aikens chooses a few technical students to attend the United States Institute for Theater Technology conference, a forum where designers from universities, Broadway, and only three high schools attend.
“Metamorphoses” by Mary Zimmerman includes eight Greek myths, all with water symbolizing transformation. The work is adapted from the Ovid poem by the same name.
“There are these powerful myths that are wrapped in these kind of riddle stories with moral lessons,” Aikens said.
There’s “Pomona and Vertumnus.” Aikens explained, “Vertumnus keeps trying to disguise himself to have Vertumnus fall in love with him, and it’s when he shows his true self that she falls in love.”
In “Phaeton,” Aikens said, “It’s the story of jealousy and the disconnect between father and son.”
And there’s “Orpheus and Euridyce,” where “Orpheus was the world’s greatest musician, and his bride steps on a snake on their wedding day and dies,” Aikens added. “Orpheus is literally where we get the phrase, ‘I’d walk through hell…’ Because he literally descends into hell and demands from Hades that he get his wife back. And that is sort of the Greek myth of how the power of love is so palpable to us, that we’d be willing to give up our own soul to be with the one we love.”
“Metamorphoses” runs Jan. 13-21 at North Springs High School. Tickets are $10-$20.