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The Core No More

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Odysseus: The Original Big Pimpin'

The LitHum department has been brewing something special this year: Homer’s Odyssey in the style of Sleep No More, performed throughout Hamilton.  There are two free performances on Friday April 20th and Saturday April 21st beginning at 8 pm in Hamilton lobby.  Bwog talked to Darragh Martin, a preceptor in LitHum completing his PhD in Theatre and one of the heads of the performance, about what to expect, the perilous Hamilton elevator, and Odysseus’s most difficult decision. The production is seeking original student writing inspired by The Odyssey In can be about any event in or around the story or can retell it in a different time period/setting in any form (short story, poetry, film, limerick, etc.), but shouldn’t be longer than 2 pages.  There are no rules, so be creative and go crazy.  The pieces will be displayed as part of the performance and can be displayed anonymously if desired.  Send all submissions to columbia.odyssey@gmail.com by Monday April 16th at 5 pm.

Bwog: Tell us the basic information about The Odyssey.
Darragh: It’s somewhere between a play and an installation (a similar style of theatre to Sleep No More). It starts in Hamilton with lots of different classrooms transformed into spaces from The Odyssey and then some of the characters lead the audience on their own journey through campus. There are two free performances on Friday April 20th & Saturday April 21st—the show begins at 8 pm in Hamilton lobby.

B: How long have you been preparing for this?
D: We’ve been planning the event since last Fall and rehearsing since February.

B: Will we have to wear masks like at Sleep No More?
D: No masks. But you might find chocolate.

B: What different sorts of interpretations should we expect?
D: The general idea is The Odyssey plus Virginia Woolf in a blender. So there’s a loose 1920s setting with Odysseus as a shell-shocked WW1 soldier and his adventures as hallucinations. For the first part, the audience can choose what to follow. So if you follow Telemakhos or Penelope you’ll see most of the scenes. Or you can hang out with Helen of Troy and wait for Telemakhos to arrive. Or follow a maid and see what her story is. Or sit in a room and read. The nice thing about the show is that it’s impossible for anybody to see all the scenes or have the same experience.

B: Will the infamously slow Hamilton elevator be employed?
D: Yes, the Hamilton elevator does play its part and I think it’s a good one. It’s definitely been the hardest scene to rehearse though.

B: Who are the performers?
D: A mix of students from Columbia College, Barnard, and some alumni.

B: In your professional opinion, would Odysseus give up oral sex or cheese?
D: Our production has five actors playing the master of stratagems, so there’s probably enough alternative universes where he’s making either choice. I want to say cheese, but, to be honest, I think after all his time with Calypso, Odysseus might forgo any kind of sex for a bit of pecorino romano.

B: How will student-submitted work be used?
D: You’ll have to come to see…

B: Does it use all of the original language?
D: We’re using the Robert Fitzgerald translation of The Odyssey (which is the text used by Lit Hum this year, though that’s about to be changed back to Lattimore next year). We’re also using bits of text from other books in Lit Hum (from Lysistrata to Crime and Punishment) so it’s going to be the strangest kind of passage ID you can find (and hopefully less painful).

B: Will it be a good date night?
D: Yes, it’s fun and there’s a lot to talk about after. Plus what says romance better than a night that ends in mass slaughter?

The production is seeking original student writing inspired by The Odyssey.  In can be about any event in or around the story or can retell it in a different time period/setting in any form (short story, poetry, film, limerick, etc.) but shouldn’t be longer than 2 pages.  There are no rules, so be creative and go crazy.  The pieces will be displayed as part of the performance and can be displayed anonymously if desired.  Send all submissions to columbia.odyssey@gmail.com by Monday April 16 at 5 pm.

So many naked babies via Wikimedia Commons

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4 Comments

  • core whore says:

    @core whore this is legitimately exciting

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous The headline scared the shit out of me…

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I hope there’s a naked man wearing a goat head dancing wildly with topless women and a bloody baby doll under a strobe light like in Sleep No More.

  • Darragholic Anonymous says:

    @Darragholic Anonymous Darragh is amazing!

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