The Reviews are In! Argonautika is a Wonder Worth Witnessing
June 15, 2017 11:14 PM
Haley Flanders, dramaturg
Welcome to the final Argonautika blog post! We cannot thank you enough for your support of our production, and taking the time to read more about it. The show closes this Saturday, June 17 and it has been one wild ride. We hope that if you were able to attend the performance, that you learned much more about Greek mythology, and enjoyed the messages, the spectacle, the humor, and the chance to experience truly extraordinary live theatre.
To end our blog, here is a collection of reflections from various sources: from the online media, from BYU theatre professors who saw the show, and from cast members: Also, enjoy our a collection of production photos, courtesy of Michael Handley.
FROM THE MEDIA
The Daily Universe (BYU) review by Rebecca Sumsion:“BYU’s Argonautika Displays a Creative, Collaborative Effort”. To read, click here.Quote: "BYU’s Department of Theatre and Media Arts’ spring production of “Argonautika” uses creativity to share stories of Greek mythology to family audiences. [...] The cast’s creativity comes through the 16 actors who play more than 50 characters throughout the production. Sobeck Knighton said student creativity was a large part of the rehearsal process and allowed students to take ownership of the way the story is told. 'I try to create a rehearsal room where anyone’s idea can be thrown into the table and we’ll try it,' Sobeck Knighton said."
Utah Theatre Bloggers Association (UTBA) review by Russell Warne: “An Adventurous Argonautika at BYU”. To read, click here. Quote: "Fight scenes, monsters, political intrigue, humor, and a love story make Argonautika a show that has something for everyone. [...] I appreciate this show as an unvarnished introduction to Greek mythology, complete with flawed heroes, gruesome actions, and spectacular monsters." FROM BYU THEATRE FACULTY
Professor Teresa Dayley Love (theatre for young audiences, theatre education): "The very definition of ensemble work with all players sharing equally in the hard work of acting and creating imaginary world. I kept thinking I wanted to watch the show backstage because I know how complicated and coordinated but looks like very simple storytelling technique can be backstage. Wonderful commitment to the material to the effort to communicate well with an audience and makes up stories enjoyable relevant meaningful thoughtful."
Professor Megan Sanborn Jones (theatre critical studies and artistic director): "The thing I like most about Argonautika is the powerful female characters who don’t just contribute to the quest, but are revealed to be the most powerful figures. Unlike most contemporary narratives, where the women serve as a one-dimensional foil to a powerful mail character who is learning and growing, the opposite happens here. Jason, the “hero,” is the one-dimensional character who is manipulated by the goddesses Hera and Athena. The quest is only successful because of the intelligence, creativity, and magic of the girl Medea. Throughout the story, other women rise up as fabulous, flawed, powerful, engaged, and wise. This is the kind of theatre I’m so glad my children can see."
Professor Shelley Graham (dramaturgy, theatre studies): "Argonautika was a delightful experience for my whole family. My kids (ages 8, 10, 13, and 15) all loved it. They loved the anachronisms, like a giant who knows how to dab and a goddess who eats popcorn as she watches earthly events unfold. They had fun hiding golden fleece souvenirs in the lobby and meeting actors (who they recognized from mask clubs they had seen) in the Argonautika cast after the show." FROM THE CAST
Ian Buckley (Tiphys, Apsytros): "The raw creative power of this cast, the willingness to try anything, is what has made this show what it is, and what has made it such an amazing piece to be a part of. This show has love and fire in it, and the way each cast member works with every other member is fantastic."
Jordan Peterson (Hylas): "This show was a blast to rehearse and prepare as a cast. This show has become a gift to perform for everyone who comes to see it. The two best things which have come from this show, for me, are the loving relationships I have been able to develop with the cast and crew and the wonder and magic I have seen in the eyes of those who got the opportunity to come watch."
Olivia Ockey (Medea, Pelias's son, Dryope): "I love every single person in the cast so much. The bonds we've formed both on and offstage have meant so much to me. My favorite part of performing has been seeing individuals in the audience light up. I love seeing the smiles on people's faces and knowing that I was able to help make that happen. Using this show that's brought me so much joy to bring joy to others has been a beautiful experience."
Dylan Wright (Jason): "This has been an experience to last time and eternity. I have been uplifted by the quicksilver talent of these unapologetic actors and creative co-conspirators. My mind has been enlightened and my system has been filled with light as a result of the relationships I have developed with the people in this show, and with the show itself. It has been an honor to work with such talent, and to learn from such master-class actors. My favorite part of performing is being able to connect with my co-actors, and to discover new things every time we perform. There is something exciting about the little moments of elevated humanity and connection in this show that encourage and inspire me."
Costner Henson (Idmon, Aeson): "Everyone involved in this show came together and created a whole new world. It has been so fun to create and explore this world together and to make meaningful relationships in the process. One of the most rewarding things is to hear people say that they became more invested in the show than they expected. I love discovering and developing my characters more and more each performance and enjoying the world we created together while continually adding to it." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ That wraps up our 2016-2017 mainstage theatre season at BYU. Thank you for reading our blog, learning more about this fantastic Mary ZImmerman interpreted of an epic Greek myth, and we look forward to you returning to our blog to read all about our 2017-2018 season. Our coming season is featured below! Visit https://arts.byu.edu/byu-theatre-2017-18-season/ for more information. Get excited!
One of the first things many people think of when they hear the word Christmas is gifts. Gifts and Christmas have been interchangeable for a very long time in our world’s history. But over time, what people think of as gifts has shifted. Each new era or generation defines it differently. There were monetary gifts such as gold, frankincense, and myrrh in the days of Christ, when all things were handcrafted and only the wealthiest of people could have precious ore or spices from distant lands. Or perhaps, during the great wars of the twentieth century, a gift of war bonds was precious when patriotism and the survival of the world made things like toys seem trivial to many. Now, everyone wants the latest iPhone or the newest technology. Throughout our lives, what we want also changes. Gifts shift from toys, games, and candy to technology or clothes–all inconsequential things that provide short-term entertainment. However, all of these things fade and have less impact on our true joy. Joy can really be found in the simple things of life.
During planning for Christmas Around the World, Jeanette reached out to people who had the opportunity to tour and represent the United States this summer. I had the opportunity to go to tour in Spain with American Rhythm and the opportunities we had to meet people and learn about their cultures and their experiences, were truly incredible. We were asked about our experiences with meeting other people and what it was like to share cultural gifts with them. These questions were used to get answers from dancers and their answers were in the videos and audio you will see and hear throughout the show. These are the more detailed versions of my personal answers.
Throughout our time in Spain we had the opportunity to meet so many people from all around the world. From Mexico, Poland, Bulgaria, and of course Spain, we were able to meet so many amazing people and make so many amazing connections. We didn’t all speak the same language, many of them didn’t speak English and we didn’t speak many of their languages. So relying on the power of song and dance, we were able to connect through different aspects.