Sep. 13—PLATTSBURGH — Adirondack Regional Theatre presents “The Iliad, the Odyssey and all of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less” Sept. 15-17 in the Community Room at the YMCA on the Oval in Plattsburgh.
“I found this play through some research when some community members told me that they wanted more plays to be done,” Director LeAnn Yelton said.
“And I really enjoy Greek mythology just as whole, so when I saw this, I read it, and I fell in love with it instantly because it’s very, very funny and very easy to follow. You don’t need to know anything about Greek mythology at all really because it explains everything. So I really liked that it was accessible, funny, and just a good time, and also a straight play and not a musical.”
“The Greek Play” is a mashup of well-known Greek myths given a contemporary twist — zippy, silly, and secretly an educational play with a time limit.
The cast speeds through all of Greek Mythology on a simple stage with the clock ticking in front of everyone’s eyes.
The Gods walk the Red Carpet. The Creation of Mankind is a botched subcontractors job. Witness Pandora’s fateful decision to open that ominous box. Love stories are a dating show and the Greek Tragedies are sports highlights.
All the silly decisions, the absurd destinies, and the goofy characters are presented lightning fast with hysterical results as the clock is stopped with only seconds to spare.
“It’s really cool to see them do as much as they do in such a short amount of time,” Yelton said.
“I think the fastest time so far has been 92 minutes.”
Yelton decided to do the play in March and started auditioning in May.
‘We started the process at the end of July,” she said.
“The whole process is probably about six months, but the cast has only been in it and involved really for about three. So, a pretty short turnaround.”
A cast of 12 portray all of the Gods, humans and everything in between.
“This is a slapstick farce that has made rehearsing the most fun I have ever had working on a show,” Yelton said.
“Inventive staging, physical comedy and ridiculous characters make this show a great choice for the whole family.”
“The action is literally set against a ticking clock as the Greek myths are quickly reviewed in rapid succession with humor in a production resembling the comedy of Monty Python, Saturday Night Live and Mel Brooks,” according to Producer Tom Lavin.
“The set is pretty bare bones,” Yelton said.
“We were fortunate to get the Community Room at the YMCA. Justin Ihne, who runs the main branch on Brink (Brinkerhoff Street), is a really big supporter of the theater. So, he suggested the space and we’ve added curtains to it. We’ve added a bunch of props. It’s a very prop-heavy show. The cast is actually wearing little togas. There is some costume, but it’s really all about the action of it and the hilarious comedy between the lines and the 135 characters that the cast plays. It’s a lot.”
“The Greek Play” cast and crew: — M1 — Gina Lindsey and Kristin Campbell — M2 — Brett Arthur and Mia Young — M3 — Tiana Saroj and Mark Preston — F1 — Debra Stevenson and AnonYmous — F2 — Marie Folley and Jesse Cote — Narrators — Cat Wagner and Jazzy Ouellette — Stage Manager — Sam Seymour
“The cast has been wonderful,” Yelton said.
“I think really it’s been getting all the props together to make sure each character has their own distinguishing feature. Each cast member plays roughly 10 to 30 characters. It’s been a challenge on my part to give them enough direction that they can be distinguishable, but the cast themselves are so incredibly talented that it has not been difficult to work with them. I would say I’ve had very few challenges besides the traditional scheduling and all those kinds of things.”
Yelton started directing in 2018 at SUNY Plattsburgh as well as children’s plays, “Aristocats Jr.” and “Storyville” most recently in August. Other than directing, she’s done costume design, acting coach, actor, singer.
“So I kind of do everything in the theater,” she said.
“I’m also the secretary for ART, so I do a lot on the company side of things. I’m very involved in the community.”