Wednesday afternoon, students in The Arts Castle’s Drama Camp adventured to Beanbag Books (formerly Fundamentals) in downtown Delaware to hear about Greek mythology as they prepare for their production of “The Odyssey,” which will take place at 5 p.m. Friday on the lawn at Ohio Wesleyan University.
Students have been practicing and memorizing their lines all week under the tutelage of Director Candace Mazur-Darman. Mazur-Darman said she chose the story because it’s evergreen and has much for students to learn from.
“I think kids need the classics,” she said. “We also did ‘Ode to a Grecian Urn’… There’s a reason (these stories) last hundreds of years. We are doing all of his adventures.”
Mazur-Darman said all of the drama camp students have taken a liking to the project and have got involved in creating the sets, costumes, or memorizing their lines.
“The kids find their own voice,” Mazur-Darman said. “They like the brutality of the story. I think mastering the memorization is a very powerful embodiment of who they are. Being able to share it with an audience of friends and family is transformative.”
Brynn Drewyor, a sixth-grader from Galena, plays the hero of the story, Odysseus, as he journeys home after the Trojan War.
Drewyor said Wednesday that she was a fan of mythology before the drama camp and already enjoyed the story of “The Odyssey.”
“I really like all the adventures,” she said. “(Odysseus and his crew) stick together and don’t blame each other. I liked meeting all the new people and acting with them.”
Drewyor added she learned to breathe from her stomach, not her throat, when she’s onstage to better project.
Lheo Gonzalez, a Delaware sixth-grader, plays old Odysseus at the climax of the story.
Gonzalez said he knew about the story beforehand but enjoyed putting on the production.
“I like practicing scenes,” Gonzalez said. “I’m having a lot of fun learning about ‘The Odyssey.’”
On Wednesday, students made an odyssey of their own, albeit much shorter than Odysseus’ journey home, as they walked to downtown from The Arts Castle and had stories from Greek mythology read to them by Beanbag Books store owner Jody Everett.
Everett said her son is in the production as Poseidon, the God of the Sea, and said she was happy to help the students learn about mythology.
“It’s a great opportunity to share with the community,” Everett said.
Everett read stories about Athena, Apollo and Arachne. She added it was more challenging than she expected.
“I was a little nervous of pronunciation,” Everett said. “It was a great time.”
The Arts Castle will also be putting on a production of “Midsummer Night’s Dream” from July 8 to July 12. The production will also be director by Mazur-Darman.
Spectators planning to attend the Friday production at OWU are asked to bring their own lawn chairs.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.