Theater Info for the Washington DC region

St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes High School Metamorphoses

By • Nov 9th, 2007 • Category: Cappies

Catalina Tresky, Chris Forsgren, Paul Funkhouser, Pat Kane &
Chris Luggiero.

The Gods on Mount Olympus themselves would smile upon St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School’s entrancing production of Metamorphoses. Written by Mary Zimmerman, Metamorphoses is a collection of Greek myths based on Ovid’s stories. Some tales are familiar, such as “Midas” and “Orpheus and Eurydice.” Others, such as “Pomona and Vertumnus,” about a young man who disguises himself to woo a maiden, are less well known. 

Metamorphoses is an ensemble piece, and all fourteen cast members were versatile and had consistently high energy onstage. Everyone took turns narrating and playing mythological characters. Natalie Walker was moving as the grief-stricken widow queen Alcyone and winsome as the silent, ill-fated Pandora. Pat Kane performed various roles with finesse, including the egotistical Midas and the bratty teenager Phaeton.

The comic of the night was Chris Luggiero, who played Erysichthon, a chilling psychotic cursed with never-ending hunger, and the charming, lovesick Vertumnus. His old-woman accent was particularly hilarious, and his wink, wink, nudge, nudge attitude toward the audience was engaging. Sophia Gascoyne was also amusing as the yawning goddess of Sleep and heartbreaking as Eurydice. Emily Sellon played the creepy wraith Hunger and the garrulous nymph Echo. Her comic timing as she prattled on about mundane topics in a singsong voice was excellent. 

The set of Metamorphoses is a complicated one, requiring a pool onstage, and designer Kerry Garikes rose to the occasion. A rectangular pool of various depths graced the front of the stage, and actors would wade in, “drown,” or even, in the case of Phaeton, relax in a pool chair. Their costumes, designed by Stephanie Case, were simple and water proof. Everyone wore basic black, primarily leotards, and added layers and accessories, such as blue scarves to designate narrators. 

Sound (Max Krembs, Andrew Groody, Chris Beatley) was flawlessly executed. Lighting was primarily good, though a strobe light used for more comical, Charlie Chaplin-esque scenes in which the actors were silent, such as “Atalanta and the Golden Apples,” was sometimes distracting. To the right of the stage was a subtle performer who added limitless atmosphere to several scenes: Natalie Richards on the piano. She composed music for the production and inspired sorrow, happiness, and excitement. 

Actors and tech combined to produce a fluid, animated, and entertaining performance. Though there were one or two times when the stage became crowded and the dialogue hard to follow, the overall effect was wonderful. Scenes merged seamlessly and actors switched characters with professional quality.

This hour and a half long show was a joy to watch and SSSAS is to be congratulated on its splendid production. 

Metamorphoses is playing next weekend at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes, Friday and Saturday, November 9th and 10th, at 8:00 PM.

by Alexandra Staeben of H-B Woodlawn

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