May 25, 2017
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Get Out: Tremper unveils ‘Argonautika’

Studio show features classic Greek myths with a twist


8
BY JEFFREY ZAMPANTI
jzampanti@kenoshanews.com


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A modernized retelling of classic Greek mythology arrives in an intimate setting as Kenosha Unified opens “Argonautika” tonight (May 18) at the Tremper High School Studio Theatre (Room 120), 8560 26th Ave.

It’s the final show of Kenosha Unified’s 2016-17 season. The lineup included nine main-stage performances and six studio acts.

“Some of these shows, you’re jumping from one to the next and usually there’s an overlap,” Tremper drama director Nic Cicerale said. “At the end, you can’t believe it all happened in one year.”

“Argonautika” is an adaptation of a novel by Mary Zimmerman. Her story is based on the 3rd century B.C. Greek epic poem “Jason and the Argonauts” written by Apollonius of Rhodes.

Jason (played by Mikey Kok) goes on a quest to capture the Golden Fleece, bring it back and inherit the kingdom. The story is narrated by Greek goddesses Hera (London Roysden) and Athena (Renata Orth).

Cicerale said the plot flows smoothly without ancient Greek drudgery. Fifteen cast members play roughly three dozen characters. While the opening act features entertaining stunts and silly jokes, the final scene is emotional and intimate.

“The dialogue flows like modern-day conversation,” Cicerale said. “It’s an adventure story. There’s a lot of comedy and drama. Every time we stage the ending portion of it, the students get very emotional about it. It’s affecting the senior students a lot. Being their last production, it’s getting them every single time.”

Kok, a Tremper junior, said he has embraced playing a Greek hero.

“(Jason) is very resourceful,” Kok said. “He brings together this group of people to bring back the fleece. There’s nothing super special about him. He’s not super strong like Hercules. He’s more strategic and thinks about what he can use with this crew and how he can utilize their skills in the best way.”

The two-hour show is set on a thrust stage with the audience positioned on three sides. Cicerale said he enjoys the intimacy, the connection with the audience and the challenge for the actors with a studio play.

“It’s why I enjoy working in studio situations much more than large-scale productions,” Cicerale said. “You’re so separated from the audience in something that’s gigantic and there’s an opportunity to hide. You almost cheat the audience. When you’re close to them and surrounded on three sides, there’s no chance to hide at all. They can’t make a mistake or check out what they’re doing. No matter what angle they’re facing, somebody is going to see them.”

If you go

What: Kenosha Unified’s “Argonautika”

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday (May 18-20). Show continues May 25-27.

Where: Tremper High School Studio Theatre (Room 120), 8560 26th Ave.

Tickets: $12 (senior citizens $10, students $5)

More information: www.kusd.edu/finearts


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