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UQ academic morphs into character for Greek tale October 31, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Oceania.

A UQ lecturer will examine modern psychology through ancient mythology in a performance showing at Metro Arts from November 8.

Metamorphoses comprises four selections from Tales from Ovid by Ted Hughes. The play will run from November 8 – 28 at the Sue Benner Theatre, Metro Arts, Edward St, Brisbane city. Performed by the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble, Metamorphoses is a production involving a number of UQ graduates, including director Leah Mercer.

UQ lecturer in Linguistics and Drama and Artistic Director of the ensemble, Dr Rob Pensalfini, is both an actor and voice coach for the production.

“The performance is a stage adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, archetypal Greek tales. The production uses Ted Hughes’ treatment of Metamorphoses to fuse text-driven training with physical theatre approaches,” Dr Pensalfini said.  “In all of the stories, in some way or another, someone transforms, they turn into a different shape.

“I think the idea behind the transformation or the metamorphoses in the classical texts is that it shows us the power passion has to transform us in our lives. It shows that when passion achieves a level that is mythic, it’s huge, and it initiates a physical transformation in a person. “It’s a metaphorical expression of the things we experience in our own lives. It is an exploration of society today. It addresses what we may refer to as people’s shadows.”

Dr Pensalfini said fairytales had appealed to children through the centuries because they always had a deeper meaning. He said the stories in Metamorphoses explored similar deeper meanings about life. It is the appeal of myths over generations.

The UQ-based Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble was created in 2001 with an aim to engage the Queensland community in accessible theatre. The ensemble’s core belief is that performance is most potent when actors train together, exchanging skills, experience and a sense of community.

The group has built its reputation on transforming complex texts into exciting and easily accessible performances, and was heavily involved in the World Shakespeare Congress earlier this year.

For bookings to Metamorphoses, phone 3002 7100 or visit: www.metroarts.com.au.

Related Links > http://www.qldshakespeare.org

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