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Chaos ensues when human folly meets divine whim in Douglas College’s production of Tales from Ovid

The follies of humanity have severe consequences in the classical mythology of Tales from Ovid.

Presented by the departments of Theatre and Stagecraft & Event Technology, Tales from Ovid is the retelling of 24 of Ovid’s stories by the poet Ted Hughes, and adapted for the stage by Tim Supple and Simon Reade. Performances run Nov. 2-9 at Douglas College’s New Westminster Campus.

Nine stories will be performed: “Tiresias”; “Echo and Narcissus”; “Semele”; “Bacchus and Pentheus”; “Arachne”; “Myrrha”; “Midas”; “Salmacis and Hermaphroditus”; and “Phaethon.”

In “Tiresias,” the blind oracle is punished by the goddess Juno and turned into a woman for seven years, resulting a unique character who stands between man and woman, human and god, present and future, the seen and unseen. “Echo and Narcissus” and “Salmacis and Hermaphroditus” take unrequited love and obsession to the extreme. “Semele” and “Bacchus and Pentheus” are both lessons in trust and faithfulness. “Arachne” and “Phaethon” warn of the dangers of pride, while “Midas” warns against greed and “Myrrha” against lust.

“They’re magical stories that we have told and retold for thousands of years, so audience members will find many of the plots and lessons familiar,” said Kathleen Duborg, director.

The stories are ones of transformation – both literal, such as humans turning into animals, and figurative, as in one passion becoming another. Many tackle complex emotional landscapes and difficult topics that require a certain amount of “humanness” – empathy and open-mindedness – to understand, Duborg said.

“The actors are encouraged to strengthen their empathetic gaze and more confidently assert their voice as storytellers and people,” she said. “Being able to speak directly to an audience in such an engaging way – it’s an important acting skill that forces them to really be mindful and present.”

Duborg said Tales from Ovid promises a unique experience for theatre-goers.

“We have created a very intimate set up between actors and audience, one that forces the audience to pay attention and absorb the stories. At the same time, the dramatic shifts of the actors from first person, to third person, to choral narrator - and the beauty of the language - will draw viewers in.”

The student cast includes Hailey Connor (Abbotsford), Aidan Currie (Coquitlam), Roisin D’Mello (Surrey), Khyla Granstrom (Port Coquitlam), Jaime Kerr (Vernon), Aysia Ledoux (Port Coquitlam), Ally Ray (St. Albert, Alta.), Juan Somma (Montevideo, Uruguay) and Douglas alum Dayna Hoffman (Surrey).

Performances are held at the Studio Theatre at the New Westminster Campus. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for seniors, students, matinees and Talkback Tuesdays. For tickets and show times, visit talesfromovid.bpt.me.

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Contact

Melissa Nilan
Communications Coordinator
mnilan@dougascollege.ca
604 527 5547