Yes, that’s Ancient Greece, not ancient grease.
There was no way we’d pass up a chance to be featured in Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Public Works Seattle production of The Odyssey. Especially when a goddess of magic would deliver one of our pizzas on stage. In the play, Circe, played by Tipsy Rose Lee, local performer extraordinaire, stunned the room by conjuring up a Pagliacci pizza. The stunt produced a fabulous reaction from the crowd. A collective murmur passed through the room as people recognized the box. Then plenty of chuckles at having a Seattle icon appear in a show set in Ancient Greece.
This fast-paced musical adaptation of The Odyssey was staged at the Bagley Wright Theatre earlier this September. It featured an 80-person community ensemble cast anchored by professional actors and regional musicians—including the Seattle Seahawks’ Blue Thunder drumline. Nearly 3,000 audience members enjoyed the four performances—free of charge.
For those of you who don’t know about the Public Works Seattle program, it is Seattle Rep’s ongoing major initiative to expand arts access and engagement through long-term community-building partnerships.
Over the last few years the Rep has cultivated supportive relationships with five local nonprofits: the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County (North Seattle and Southwest locations), Centerstone (Central District), Jubilee Women's Center (Capitol Hill), Path with Art (Pioneer Square), and Sound Generations (Ballard NW Senior Center). Clients of these organizations are invited to free weekly theater-based workshops in their neighborhoods and to attend shows and community events at the Rep. The culminating event this year was The Odyssey, the inaugural Public Works Seattle stage production.
Director Marya Sea Kaminski held competitive auditions for parts, drawing from those who’ve spent the year building their theater skills in Public Works Seattle classes. The newly-developed talent, passion, and joy the citizen artists brought to the production had the audience on their feet.
Each rehearsal of The Odyssey began with a statement of Public Works’ values—equity, imagination, joy—and ended with a shared meal. Pagliacci donated pizza and salad for one of those meals—feeding 200 people. Partnering with Seattle Rep for its Public Works Seattle production of The Odyssey brings us great joy. We’re proud of all the talented actors and musicians who worked hard to create a powerful and professional show. And Circe, if you’re ever looking for work we’re currently hiring drivers. Those capable of time travel get the best routes. Ancient Greece is waiting for you!
More information on Public Works Seattle can be found here: http://www.seattlerep.org/Programs/PublicWorks