James Clemens Theatre builds pool for its ‘Metamorphoses’

The technical crew of "Metamorphoses" surrounds the on-stage pool. Show dates are April 16-18 at 7 p.m. in the James Clemens High School auditorium. (CONTRIBUTED)
The technical crew of “Metamorphoses” surrounds the on-stage pool. Show dates are April 16-18 at 7 p.m. in the James Clemens High School auditorium. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – James Clemens Theatre Department has put a modern spin on ancient myths — and built a pool — for their production of “Metamorphoses.”

“Metamorphoses” show dates are April 16-18 at 7 p.m. in the James Clemens auditorium. Student directors are Kayla Braxton and Shelby Billman. Stage manager is Kaitlin Bailey.

“Metamorphoses,” modernized by playwright Mary Zimmerman, “is a modern retelling of ancient myths including King Midas, Orpheus and Eurydice,” artistic director Amy Patel said. “Even though the stories are 2,000 years old, they’re timeless. Characters experience the same emotions we experience today: grief, love, anticipation, fear, death.”

One central ‘character’ is a pool, which technical director Clint Merritt and his advanced, intermediate and beginning technical theatre classes have built in the orchestra pit. Mark Eccleston designed support structures with joists of bolted 2-by-6s and braces of 2-by-8s.

“The playwright intended the pool (as) a major part of each scene. The Greek word ‘metamorphoses’ means transformations; all myths in this play involve transformation,” Merritt said.

“The water becomes part of the play … a character within the play and source of inspiration for characters during their voyages,” Merritt said. Cliff D’Alessandro with Spartan Pools assisted in pool installation, along with engineering teacher Greg Ennis and art/film teacher Mason Overcash.

Patel is pleased that the play challenged the actors. “Acting in water … was brand new territory,” she said.

“Metamorphoses” is an ensemble piece, without lead actors, Patel said. Seniors on stage will be Abbie Chatelain, Chase Clemmons, Nadia Harden, Kyrie Jobb, Lexi Mecikalski and Derek Santiago.

A grant by Alabama State Council on the Arts allowed David Harwell, theatre professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, to design the set. Harwell also advised on lighting, painting techniques and ARENA 4 video software for backdrops. UAH student Clay Anderson supported videography.

Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults. For tickets, visit showtix4u.com or pay at the event.

For more information, visit Facebook/James Clemens Theatre.

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