Written by Betsy Abraham, email@example.com Thursday, 17 April 2014 00:00
There’s a lot you can do in 99 minutes. You could cook dinner, play a non-stop soccer game, watch a romantic comedy or hang out with Odysseus, Achilles and Hercules. If you chose the last option, Hicksville High School’s upcoming theatre production of The Iliad, The Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less is the place for you.
The mouthful of a title says it all. The cast will take on over 80 characters as they speed through all of Greek mythology, including popular tales such as The Iliad and The Odyssey, in a little over an hour and a half.
Director Caitlin Cassidy says she chose this play because it allows students the opportunity to show-off their comedic sides.
“It’s a real ensemble piece and showcases the students in a different way,” Cassidy says. “We have a funny group of students so I thought I would grab the chance to do a comedy.”
She describes the play as similar to a sketch comedy show, in that it is always changing and very fast paced. And while some may think Greek mythology is boring, this play puts a modern, comedic twist to classic stories.
“Everything in the play moves along really fast. It takes something classical and modernizes it. There’s lots of pop culture references that anyone can understand. It’s going to be a show a lot of people will be attracted to,” said senior Kalene Speranza, who plays several roles in the play.
Assistant Director Caroline Parlewicz agrees saying that though she has seen the show several times, it still makes her laugh.
“There’s a lot of new things people can relate to and it incorporates new references,” she said.
In addition to the 26 student cast, Cassidy also recruited the help of three student Assistant Directors. The role of Assistant Director usually consists of taking attendance and running lines, but this time, Cassidy also asked them each to direct their own scene.
“I’ve known these students for several years and I know what they’re capable of, so I wanted to give them an opportunity to be creative,” she said.
Senior James Stamos wasn’t expecting to take such a hands-on role in the creative process of the play, but says he loved directing his scene, “Choices.”
“It was a cool experience," says Stamos. “I loved being able to have my opinion and views heard and the cast seemed to like it so I’m satisfied.”
Senior Sara Christopher usually does sound for the plays, and says being assistant director allowed her more interaction with the actors.
“When I did sound, I was very used to watching the show from the audience’s point of view,” she said. “Being an assistant director is very different because now I have input on their acting style.”
This is the theater’s company’s last play of the year and it will be done “theater in the round” style, which means that the audience is seated in a circle around the cast, allowing for a lot of cast-audience interaction.
The Iliad, the Odyssey and all of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less comes to the high school gym April 24-26 at 7 p.m. To find out more call 516-733-2201. Togas are not necessary.