The Boise State theater department's upcoming production of Metamorphoses is almost as ambitious as Ovid's 15-book mythological poem. Scenic designer Michael Baltzell and technical director Fran Maxwell created a 650-square-foot, 2,700-gallon pool, complete with surrounding deck, which was assembled in the Danny Peterson Theatre at the Morrison Center.
"The play is a contemporary adaptation of Ovid, and it is set very specifically in water ... water is a symbol of life, of transformation," explained Richard Klautsch, department chair of theater arts at Boise State.
Written by Mary Zimmerman, Metamorphoses originally premiered in 1996 under the name Six Myths at Northwestern University before going on to open on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre in 2002. The play features nine different stories taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses, including the story of King Midas and his golden touch; Orpheus and his underworld quest for Eurydice; and Baucis and Philemon, who unknowingly host a feast for Zeus and Hermes.
"The pool is used differently as we go through the progression of the nine stories," said Metamorphoses director Ann Price. "Sometimes it's used quite realistically and we stage a shipwreck, and other times it's used symbolically, as characters transform. The water is part of that process of evolution and change."
This production--which used more lumber in a single show than the department usually goes through in a year--premieres on Thursday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m.
"We don't want people to think that they're going to come in and see a bunch of old dusty myths, stories of the gods," said Klautsch. "It's a very, very contemporary play, and all of the stories have to do with the power of love and the power of transformation."
Thursday, March 25-Saturday, March 27, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, March 28, 2 p.m. $15 general, $12 seniors, military, non-Boise State students and Boise State alumni, Danny Peterson Theatre at the Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane, 208-426-1494 or idahotickets.com. For info on additional performance dates in April, visit theatre.boisestate.edu.