‘Metamorphoses’ cast embraces challenges of playing multiple roles


Bradynn Belcher

The cast of “Metamorphoses” rehearses during fourth block.

Bearden is preparing for a theater performance unlike any past productions. The theater department has decided to change a few things up this time around to best suit their performance of “Metamorphoses.” 

“Metamorphoses” is a play written by Mary Zimmerman, based on a classic Ovid poem. The play is a collection of Greek mythological tales told in the form of short scenes. It showcases some well known mythological characters like Aphrodite, Zeus, and Midas.

This play has over 70 roles, and in order for the theater department to stay true to the original play, each actor will play multiple parts. Some play up to six roles throughout the play. This has been a learning experience for many students, accustomed to usually playing just one or two roles.

“It’s all split up based on our strengths and which scenes we are needed in,” senior Javier Castro said. “For example, I play Erysichthon, a greedy king who is cursed with hunger in scenes four and five.

“I switch my role to a denizen and play a citizen of the underworld, and [later] I become Apollo god of the sun and sing an Italian aria.”

Having several different roles has brought new challenges to the theater department. With so many different roles, actors must stay diligent in remembering what role they are playing in a given scene, as well as being able to quickly change costumes for the next scene. 

“It means having to figure out the movements and understanding each myth to see how your character should play the role,” junior Mason Chugg said. “It can get confusing sometimes – remembering what posture you’re supposed to have and the way you speak as well.”

That’s not the only thing that Bearden will be switching up this time around. Past Bearden productions typically have more straightforward plot lines; however, the upcoming performance is made up of a bunch of small plots (in theater called vignettes) that come together eventually to illustrate the main idea. 

The theater department has also decided to have seating on the stage as well as in front of the stage, making this show more close up than past performances. Senior Campbell Ella said that one reason behind this is to give the audience a better view of the play. 

“This show is seated on the stage,” she said. “It’s a very intimate show with seating all around, so it’s been very interesting to play for everyone. Usually, actors only play to the front only, but this show forces us to play to both sides too.”

“Metamorphoses” will open on April 21.