Odyssey: The Homecoming, the newest multimedia theater production conceived, designed and directed by Theodora Skipitares, is the second part of her puppet trilogy on the Trojan War.
Skipitares' trilogy takes on the legend of the Trojan War in its entirety, including the prewar and postwar periods. Last season, Skipitares' Helen, Queen of Sparta dealt with the battle for Troy. This year's Odyssey: The Homecoming will tell the war's aftermath. Next year, Skipitares will do a piece about the prelude to war, based on Euripides' Iphigenia in Aulis.
The multimedia production transforms the 24 chapters of the Odyssey into several individual shadow "screens" and other projection surfaces, taking the audience through a physical journey of space and time. Odysseus is treated as a returning combat veteran, traumatized and unable to "find his way home." Using the writings of Boston psychiatrist Jonathan Shay (Achilles in Vietnam, Odysseus in America), who has worked with Vietnam veterans for 30 years, the play will constantly bring us to our own "post-war" situation and to an examination of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The production features 50 shadow puppets, several "video puppets," projections of documentary war footage, and other styles of puppetry and masks. The character of Odysseus is a five-foot Bunraku style puppet. The score is a strongly percussive soundscape by Arnold Dreyblatt (with Tim Schellenbaum).