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Event Series Event Series: The Penelopiad

The Penelopiad

22 June @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Written by: Margaret Atwood

Directed by: Kristen Telfer

Synopsis:   “The Penelopiad” by Margaret Atwood is an adaptation of Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey”, told from the perspective of Odysseus’ wife Penelope.
Long after the events of the story are over, Penelope tells the audience her story from the afterlife, from her miraculous birth and childhood as the daughter of a king and a water nymph to her marriage to the renowned and wily Odysseus. The complacent idyll of Penelope’s life as a married noblewoman is shattered when news arrives that her sister Helen has absconded from her own marriage and run off with a young prince from an enemy state. Odysseus leaves his wife and young son to do his duty, and Penelope’s ordeal begins.

After Troy is sacked, Odysseus fails to return home. As the years pass, Penelope finds herself surrounded by a crowd of would-be suitors, eager to lay claim to the widow and her considerable wealth, whose encroachments on her hospitality becomepushier by the day. Greatly restricted in her means to deal with this threat, Penelope relies on the support of her loyal maids in her bid to ward off the unwanted attentions until her husband returns. But these same Maids are also with Penelope in the afterlife, to observe and participate in her narration of the events of her life… and remind her of the role she played in the tragic
ending to theirs.

Character Descriptions:

Roles: Penelope, Telemachus, Odysseus, and twelve Maids

Gender: Undefined       Stage Age: 18+

Genders given are of the characters. Non-binary identifying people are invited to audition for all roles.

PENELOPE (F, 40+)
The daughter of a king and a water nymph, wife of Odysseus. Knows how to present as the model noblewoman and wife. Intelligent, articulate and observant. An eternity in the afterlife has given her the benefit of hindsight. The actor will play Penelope from her teens through to the end of her long life.

ODYSSEUS (M, 30s-40s)
A Greek warrior and petty king. Ambitious and savvy, renowned for his cunning and charisma. The actor will play Odysseus from his early 30s through to the end of his life.

TELEMACHUS (M, 18-early 20s)
The beloved only child of Penelope and Odysseus. The actor will play Telemachus as a precocious five-year-old in one scene, and as a moody youth frustrated at being left at home while his father goes to war for the rest of the play.

THE MAIDS
The backbone of the play, Penelope’s twelve Maids act as a Greek Chorus as they observe Penelope telling her side of the story from the afterlife and remind her of the role she played in their fate. Every actor cast will play a Maid as well as other characters (see below), and will have both individual and collectively spoken dialogue. There will also be some chanting and unaccompanied singing to simple melodies.

MELANTHO (F)
One of Penelope’s younger maids. Naive, excitable, loyal. The actor will also play a Suitor, Sailor and possibly other roles.
TANIS (F)
One of Penelope’s younger maids. Naive, excitable, loyal. The actor will also play a Suitor, Sailor and possibly other roles.
KERTHIA (F)
One of Penelope’s younger maids. Naive, excitable, loyal. The actor will also play a Suitor, Sailor and possibly other roles.
KLYTIE (F)
One of Penelope’s younger maids. Naive, excitable, loyal. The actor will also play a Suitor, Sailor, an Oracle, and Penelope’s mother-in-law Anticleia.
IOLE (F)
One of Penelope’s younger maids. Naive, excitable, loyal. The actor will also play a Suitor, Sailor and possibly other roles.
CELANDINE (F)
One of Penelope’s maids. The actor will also play a Suitor, Sailor, and Penelope’s Naiad mother.
SELENE (F)
One of Penelope’s maids. The actor will also play an Ithacan maid, Suitor, and Odysseus’ loyal housekeeper Eurycleia.
ZOE (F)
One of Penelope’s maids. The actor will also play a Sailor and Antinous, the ringleader of Penelope’s bullying swaggering Suitors, and Penelope’s father Icarius.
ALECTO (F)
One of Penelope’s maids. The actor will also play a Suitor and Penelope’s sister Helen (the future Of Troy).
CHLORIS (F)
One of Penelope’s maids. The actor will also play a Sailor, Suitor, Ithacan maid, and Penelope’s father-in-law Laertes.
PHASIANA (F)
One of Penelope’s maids. The actor will also play a Sailor, Suitor and Ithacan maid.
NARCISSA (F)
One of Penelope’s maids. The actor will also play a Sailor, Suitor, and Ithacan maid.

Auditions are booked via https://www.trybooking.com/CSLKH

Actors auditioning for Penelope who also wish to audition for the Maids ensemble must also attend one of the group auditions.

Actors auditioning for Penelope, Telemachus and Odysseus are requested to prepare a short (no more than 3 minutes) monologue of their choosing they feel relates well to the character.

Scenes from the play are provided to familiarise yourself with ahead of time. You may be asked to read from any or all of them, or possibly other scenes. You do NOT need to learn these scenes by heart.

Ability to work well as an ensemble is integral to the roles of the Maids. These auditions will therefore be held in groups. As well as reading scenes from the play, there will be some improvisation exercises. We want to see not just your abilities as individual performers, but ability to collaborate, support and play with others in a scene.

Auditions for the Maids will be in 45-minute blocks and individual auditions (15 minutes) can be booked close to these group sessions.

 

Details

Date:
22 June
Time:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Series:
Event Category:
Website:
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Organiser

The University of Adelaide Theatre Guild
Phone
(08) 8313 5999
Email
theatreguild@adelaide.edu.au
View Organiser Website

Other

Genre
Drama
trybooking_id
CSLKH

Venue

University of Adelaide – Little Theatre, The Cloisters
Victoria Drive
Adelaide, South Australia 5000 Australia
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