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odysseyOdyssey actors during a dress rehearsal.
Last weekend SUNY Plattsburgh students and faculty put together a performance of The Odyssey, directed by Shawna Mefferd Carroll. I had a chance to interview Dr. Carroll about the process of putting together this show.
MLPBS: Can you tell us what Odyssey is about?
Carroll: The Odyssey is a timeless tale of a soldier’s return home from the war. It is a story of strategy, of humility, of love and of community. It is a hero’s journey, but, more importantly, it asks us the bigger question: how do we mend our lives after the terrors of war?”
MLPBS: This show is very visually appealing, what was your vision?
Carroll: Our vision was to create an abstract environment that transports us from different locations, but also reminds us of the source of the story. When our process began, images that cropped up were those of libraries, coastlines, and abstract art. Each of those were influential in guiding the development of the world of the play.
MLPBS: What was your favorite part about directing this show?
Carroll: The creative process of rehearsals – creating a space wherein actors can play and devise for themselves.
MLPBS: Why did you choose to direct this show?
Carroll: It was a play that kept beckoning me to read it again. It is an ensemble show that requires a lot of creative collaboration on the parts of the designers, directors, and actors in creating the world of the play.
MLPBS: Can you tell us about what we have to look forward to in the Spring?
Carroll: The department will be producing two great shows in the spring. Kim Hartshorn will be directing Lisa D’Amour’s thriller Red Death. I’ll be directing an ensemble contemporary production of William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.
MLPBS: Is there anything else you'd like to tell our readers?
Carroll: Thank you for supporting the arts.