by Haley Flanders, dramaturg

Our show opened Friday, June 2 and the audience and actors are enjoying every minute of this incredible production. To read an article about the show from BYU’s newspaper, The Daily Universe, entitled, “BYU’s Argonautika Displays a Creative, Collaborative Effort” click here.

To read a critique by Russell Warne of the Utah Theatre Bloggers Association (UTBA), entitled, “An Adventurous Argonautika at BYU” click here.

Our show runs from now until June 17. Be sure to get your tickets and venture with us to Greece to help Jason and his loyal Argonauts seize the Golden Fleece!

On your way in and out of the Pardoe Theater, be sure to examine our two lobbies and perhaps even take part in the activities available for you. Let’s examine each lobby display a bit more closely.

NORTH LOBBY:

NORTH LOBBY

The back wall of the north lobby display features 30 of the costume renderings (by designers Hanna Cutler and Juliette Lewis), along with Greek pillars, pottery, a bust, a map of the constellations and character affiliations, a list of 18 books on Greek mythology (refer to the south lobby display), and a craft center for making your own golden fleece puppet to take home.

ARGONAUTIKA SOUVENIRS:

On the craft tables, there are materials for you to design and take home your own Golden Fleece stick puppet. There are gold crayons, yellow colored pencils, glue sticks, tape, scissors, and wooden sticks, along with three different types of rams to choose from:

As a game, hide your puppet in your house somewhere, and have a friend or family member go on a scavenger hunt to try and find it, just like Jason and the Argonauts do in the play!

Some people have been making puppets and hiding them around the lobby display. Can you see the puppet in this picture?

This bust could represent many different male characters in Greek mythology such as Zeus or Poseidon. Yet I like to think is a depiction of Apollonius, the Greek poet who first wrote down the epic poem “Argonautica” in 3rd century B.C. Do you see the resemblance?

CONSTELLATIONS: The north lobby display also features a massive painting of the constellations. At the end of the play, we learn that the characters of Argonautika were preserved in the stars above, watching over us as we sleep. The relationship between the characters and the constellations are mentioned in the play, and a few are featured in a “connect the dot” activity in the program study guide. Here are some of the constellation patterns whose names match up with the play:

Taurus the Bull represents the two fire-breathing bulls that Jason must yoke as his first challenge from King Aeetes in order to reach the Golden Fleece. Aries the Ram (featured to the right of Taurus) resembles the Golden Fleece.

Virgo is featured upside down in the painting and has been flipped so you can see her. Virgo the maiden represents Princess Medea.

Andromeda is the princess that is rescued by Hercules and Hylas, after being tied up by a Sea Monster. She grants Hercules horses for his bravery. She is the daughter of the Aethiopian king Cepheus and Cassiopeia.

Hercules is Sagittarius, the archer. Here, he is strangling serpents, which were sent by Hera to kill him in his crib when he was two years old. This is mentioned in the play, since Hercules reminds Hera of her husband Zeus’s “wayward ways.”

Gemini are the energetic twins Castor and Pollux, sons of Zeus who travel on the Argo with Jason.

SOUTH LOBBY:

SOUTH LOBBY

In the south lobby display, the same craft corner is featured, where children can build their own Golden Fleece puppet. More Greek pillars and pottery can be found as well. Yet what makes this lobby special is the glass case containing 18 Greek mythology books from the Harold B. Lee Library right on campus. Most of these stories feature Jason and the Argonauts, and/or Medea. Here is a closeup look at the book case:

On the back wall is a decorative Greek plate, which features the light blue and white colors and patterns found on the borders of the program study guide. These are meant to reflect the Greek flag and popular ancient Greek design. These patterns are also seen in red and brown on the Argonautika set. The female bust in the center of the top shelf is meant to represent Medea, wrapped in the Golden Fleece.

BOOKS: Let us zoom in (from left to right, top to bottom) and look at the books in the display more carefully. There are also sheets with all 18 books listed so that you can take it home and research these books more fully, and perhaps even check them out at your local library. Many are from the Young Adult series, Percy Jackson, by Rick Riordan. There are some graphic novel versions of these books featured in the book case as well.

  • Mythology: The Gods, Heroes, and Monsters of Ancient Greece by Hestia Evans
  • Warriors and Witches: Myths and Legends of the Greeks and Romans Brought to Life with a Wild Text and Awesome Facts by Stewart Ross

 

  • Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan
  • Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

 

 

 

 

 

  • Tales of the Greek Heroes by Roger Lancelyn Green
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (The Graphic Novel) by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti

 

 

  • Jason and the Argonauts by Bernard Evslin
  • (This book also has a tiny porcelain Argo ship next to it!)

 

 

 

 

 

  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse (The Graphic Novel) by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Vendetti
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

 

 

  • Jason and the Gorgon’s Blood by Jane Yolen
  • Heroes of Olympus by Philip Freeman, adapted by Laurie Calkhoven
  • Strangers Dark and Gold by Norma Johnston
  • The Heroes of Olympus: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

 

 

  • Jason and the Golden Fleece by Francis Mosley
  • (I read that book to my 1-3rd grade students and they loved it! It is good for that age group of 6-9 year olds.)
  • The Dawn Palace: The Story of Medea by H.M. Hoover

 

 

 

 

  • The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

 

 

Well, there you have it! Happy reading, exploring, and viewing of this incredibly exciting adventure of Jason and the Argonauts, and the numerous versions of other Greek myths as well! These will all be returned to the Harold B. Lee Library June 19, if you have access to the campus library and would like to check them out for yourself!

Post-show discussions will take place this Thursday, June 8 and next Thursday, June 15 after the performance, if you would like to stay and ask questions of the cast. Our final blog post next week will highlight these discussions, and provide insight to the cast and audience’s experiences, now that the show is open! Stay tuned, and be sure to get your tickets. You’re not going to want to miss this show!

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