By Mia Kweskin of Parkway Central High
A pool of still water sits silently…within an instant the still water erupts in violent waves, no sooner it returns to a state of pure calmness. Such an ever-changing body of water symbolically reflects the transformative nature of mankind. Clayton High School took on the themes of change and love in their production of Metamorphoses.
Based on the myths of Ovid, Mary Zimmerman’s "Metamorphoses" opened on Broadway Feb. 21, 2002. Zimmerman won the 2002 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play. The central pool of water symbolizing change serves to connect a series of vignettes. Each vignette centers on one or two figures of Greek mythology including King Midas, Alcyone and Ceyx, and Erysichthon. In Clayton’s production, actors played several roles. While each vignette tells a unique story, each one holds the same idea of love’s transformative power.
Robbie Love brilliantly portrayed Midas, a king torn between a love of gold and a love of family. His intense energy and emotion only grew as later in the play he took on the difficult role of King Cinyras, a father who is tricked into sleeping with his daughter. Love’s emotional connection to each of his various roles was simply captivating.
Likewise, Katie Warnusz-Steckl did a fantastic job with the role of King Cinyras’ passionate daughter, Myrrha. Warnusz-Steckl handled potentially uncomfortable scenes with great maturity and professionalism. James Kerr, as Ceyx, and Eudora Olsen, as Alcyone played well off one another as the couple lovingly metamorphosed into seabirds after Ceyx is killed. Particularly notable was Alessandra Silva as Midas’ daughter and Hunger. Silva went from playing the jolly and innocent daughter of a king to the terrifyingly creepy Hunger with ease.
While these actors particularly stood out, the entire cast should be commended for their zealous performances and their ability to handle such meaningful themes.
Various technical areas were also praiseworthy. The flawless lighting (Max Treutelaar) and sound (David Blake and Nicholas Parker) cues made the choppy play seem fluid. The lighting served to heightened the effect of the water’s symbolism as it beautifully reflected the water’s waves on to the back of the set.
Lucy Bowe’s special effects and creativity were well done, as actors mysteriously entered and left scenes through the pool.
Despite the superb technical and acting feats, there were a couple overall issues.
The choice of white costumes for numerous characters in a play that’s central setting is a pool, left various actors in see-through clothing. Further, there were a few instances where characters seemed to lose the enthusiasm they had portraying a lead role in one scene as they transitioned to a background role in the next scene. These issues, however, failed to take away from the show’s acting and technical prowess.
Overall, Clayton High School successfully conveyed the play’s core theme producing a goosebump-worthy rendition of "Metamorphoses."
This review was submitted by The Cappies, a program that trains high school theater and journalism students as critics. The students then attend shows at other schools, write reviews and publish those reviews in local news outlets. At the end of the year, student critics vote for awards that are presented at a formal Cappies Gala.