By SARAH JOHNSON
This weekend, a play derived from “The Metamorphoses of Ovid” will grace the stage of Plainville High School. “Metamorphoses” will be performed by students at Plainville High School under the direction of teacher Jeffrey Blanchette.
Blanchette explained more about the history and themes of the play. “As it’s title suggests, Metamorphoses is an exploration of transformations of all kinds, from the obvious to the oblique,” he wrote in a statement. “The play began as an epic 15-book poem by Ovid, based on the ancient Roman and Greek myths.” Written over 2,000 years ago, and since translated and adapted for the stage, even an ancient play can touch on subjects relevant to our time. “All of the stories [in this play] capture the essence of Ovid’s meditation on love,” Blanchette continued. “… it’s power and fragility, its cruelty and whimsy, its ability to nurture and destroy.”
“Metamorphoses” is unique in that the student actors will each play multiple characters throughout, sometimes even within one scene. Scenes will take place as a series of short vignettes within the larger play, beginning with an introduction and progressing through the various stories.
The set is interesting and different, too, to match the ever-changing drama unfolding. It is a pool of water and a deck, with a curtain behind. The decking was designed by CT Stage Supply Co. and put together by PHS students in the Tech Theater Club. Jeffrey Blanchette explained the symbolism behind the set. “The pool of water is a metaphor, suggesting the chaos of creation and both the life-giving and life-threatening qualities of water, from a single tear to a vast ocean.”
Students from all class years at PHS are acting in “Metamorphoses.” Mei-li Cellino-Jacques is a sophomore. She is playing Myrrha, Iris, and Hunger, to name a few parts. “Myrrha is my favorite part,” Mei-li said. “The scene is so intense, and the writer really conveyed strong morals through her part of the story.”
April Pavano, a junior, feels that her role as Psyche is her most challenging. “That role requires the most acting out of all of mine. I do more narrating. I have to do some very physical things, like burn another actor with candle wax,” she laughed.
Richard Hanson is a senior and plays Ceyx as one of his roles. “I really like that I get to be in an action-packed scene as Ceyx,” he said.
Chris Theriault, a sophomore, plays a character named Vertumnus. “It’s fun,” he said, “Because I wear multiple disguises to get the character of Pomona to like me back. I get to be four different characters in that scene.”
Tyrah Green is the lone freshman in the production but didn’t shy away from acting because of it. “I was always interested in acting,” she explained. “There wasn’t any opportunity for me to try at the middle school, and when I saw the description of this play, I was drawn in and auditioned. It was very vague and that interested me.”
Chris Marinelli is a senior. He plays Erysichthon and other in the play. “It’s my second year in theater and I wanted to do this particular play after acting and directing for the fall production. Some of my friends pushed me to try out. We are all really close friends in this group. I’m glad they pushed me. Acting is something I really love.”
On Thursday, March 14, Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16, there will be 7:30 p.m. performances, with an additional performance at 2 p.m. Saturday, all in the school’s auditorium. Plainville High School is located at 47 Robert Holcomb Way. Tickets are $5 each.