The Westfield High School Theatre Department presents Metamorphoses, the award-winning play that brings classic myths and legends to life in an entirely new and mesmerizing way. Each of the show's stories and themes -- from the greed of King Midas to the love of Eros and Psyche -- takes places in and around a large pool of water built into the stage.
Metamorphoses will be presented on the main stage of Westfield High School, located at 550 Dorian Road, Westfield, on Thursday, November 14 at 4:00 p.m.; Friday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m.
The show is based on Ovid's epic poem Metamorphoses, considered one of the most influential works in Western literature.
"The show offers morals on the importance of love and humility, while also reminding us why the myths themselves retain importance and relevance. It is, in many ways, an exploration of the transformative power of love," said director Daniel Devlin, the drama teacher at Westfield High School.
Metamorphoses features an ensemble cast of talented Westfield High School students, each of whom plays multiple roles.
The cast (in alphabetical order) is as follows: Elena Arida, Colin Barry, Sarah Boyle, Catherine Bruno, Daniel Coelho, Jackie Daaleman, Lauren Echausse, Nicholas Gabuzda, Isabella Gelfand, Frank Guerriero, Victoria Guerriero, Maddie Hudelson, Katherine Ko, Julian Mone, Emmanuelle Nadeau, Abbie Paone, Megan Pinna, Michael Poyntz, Jill Rosenfeld, Madi Rosenthal, Kim Roth, Lisa Simon, Fraser Weist, Connor Wynne and Jesse Zimmermann.
Throughout the show's vignettes, mortals interact with gods and deities, and undergo transformations that reflect their internal traits. Many of the classic stories, including “Orpheus and Eurydice,” “Midas and the Golden Touch” and “Narcissus", are retold with a modern twist.
For the cast and crew of Metamorphoses, one of the most challenging aspects of the show is the pool, which emphasizes the role of water in mythology and the stories' themes of renewal, passion and transformation.
Designed by Roy Chambers, a Westfield High School art teacher who is also the head set designer, the 17-by-20-foot pool is the focal point of a multi-level set built on site by a team of students led by Chambers and assistant technical director Hannah Mackenzie, a senior.
Encircled by a 3-foot wooden deck, the pool will contain approximately 1,500 gallons of water that can be illuminated in various colors by overhead lighting.
Senior Samantha Gruskin, the show's stage manager, said Metamorphoses "is like nothing we've ever done before." Having a pool on stage -- and actors moving in and out of the water -- presented unusual challenges. "The water affects the props, the costumes, the lighting, the sound -- every aspect of production," she said.
The show's technical crew also includes Matt Binkowitz and Mary Kate Miller (lighting and sound); Alexa Derman (hair and makeup); Maddie Kevelson (costumes); Ellie Smith (props) and Alex Pallatucci (graphic design).
Westfield High School's Theatre Department has been recognized as one of the top high school theater programs in the state. The school's spring musicals have been multiple winners of the Paper Mill Playhouse's prestigious "Rising Star" awards, and many Westfield High School graduates have gone on to attend some of the country's most selective college theater programs.
Tickets for Metamorphoses, which are general admission, are $10 each and can be purchased in advance by emailing WHStickets@Westfieldnjk12.org. Any tickets not sold in advance will be available for sale at the door on the night of the shows.
Written by American playwright Mary Zimmerman, Metamorphoses debuted on Broadway in 2002 and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Drama. Audiences are advised that while Metamorphoses draws from classic literature, the show contains some mature themes.