The Odyssey

The Odyssey

Inspired by the historical pageantry movement of the early 1900s—known for blending mass spectacle with community engagement—this final work in deBessonet and Almond’s grand trilogy reimagines the Greek epic with Public Works’ signature blend of professional actors, community members and special guests. Man-eating Cyclops, a sorceress that turns sailors to beasts and the deadly sweet song of the Sirens explode onto the stage with spectacular numbers in this joyful, larger-than-life musical about finding your way home—no matter where fate may lead you. Conceived and directed by Public Works Director, Lear deBessonet, the premiere production of The Odyssey showcased 200 New Yorkers from all five boroughs, who shared the stage with professional actors and community partners.

 

NY Time Review

Broadway World Review

The Odyssey is Homer’s epic of Odysseus’ 10-year struggle to return home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus battles mystical creatures and faces the wrath of the gods, his wife, Penelope and his son, Telemachus stave off suitors vying for Penelope’s hand and Ithaca’s throne long enough for Odysseus to return.

THE ODYSSEY

Book, Music & Lyrics by Todd Almond Conceived and Directed by Public Works Director Lear deBessonet

Originally commissioned and produced by The Public Theatre

Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director

Patrick Willingham, Executive Director

ODYSSEUS (M): King of Ithaca. Hero of the Trojan War

*The following two characters can be played by the same actor:

PENELOPE (F): Odysseus’ wife

CIRCE (F): Beautiful witch goddess

CYCLOPS (M): One eyed giant, living in a cave. Cannibal

THE SINGER (M/F): Narrator along with CALLIOPES (back-up singers)

CALLIOPES: (M/F): Back-up singers. Usually with THE SINGER

TELEMACHUS (M): Odysseus’ son. Prince of Ithaca. Early 20’s

ATHENA-CHOIR (M/F): Goddess of war (A mixed gospel choir)

ANTINOUS (M): mean-spirited suitor vying for PENELOPE’s affection and the throne, assuming ODYSSEUS is dead

EURYNOME (F): Nurse-maiden to PENELOPE

PRINCE (M): Of the Phaecians. Brother to PRINCESS NAUSICAA

PRINCESS NAUSICAA (F): Princess of PHAECIA, Sister to PRINCE

ODYSSEUS’ men/companions:

ELPENOR:

DANIEL

NEOPTOLEMUS

PERICLYMINUS

POLYPHIDES

HALITHESUS

THEOCLYMINUS

PHILOCTETES

ICMALIUS

Optional Cameo Groups:

Gospel choir

Drum corps

Youth Symphony (orchestra parts available upon request)

Children’s theatre group

Hip-hop dance crew

Flamenco dance group

5 Civilian Cameos: In the original production these were Firefighters, Pizza delivery men, Park rangers, Taxi Drivers

DUDE (m): Random man with PRINCE & PRINCESS, Plays guitar

MENTOR (m): Mentor to Odysseus

LITTLE GIRL

5 Musicians

Piano/Conductor (Keyboard 1)

Bass (Electric)

Guitar 1 (Mandolin, Acoustic, Electric)

Guitar 2 (Electric, Acoustic)

Percussion (Drum set, electric drum pad, hand drums)

*OPTIONAL: Clarinet in Bb, Soprano Saxophone, Trumpet I & II