Arts and Culture Featured Imgaes

A ‘Metamorphoses’ in Pinewood’s Theater

SARAH FENG

ARTS & CULTURE EDITOR

As the lights go up, a flurry of red fabric swirls onstage. A chandelier overhead illuminates the clear pool below as the actresses arrive, lower their feet into the water, and begin to speak.

The Pinewood Performing Arts department is scheduled to present “Metamorphoses” 7-8:30 p.m., Oct. 25-28.

For the past two months, a team of actors, managers, tech theater students, and teachers have been working tirelessly to present a a seamless play adaptation of Ovid’s myths about transformation, reality, and love written as a satire of political leaders in the day.

Director Katie Linza talked about how much she appreciated its emotional power.

“All mythology aside, the play is just about human resilience and the transforming power of love. These myths… they’re kind of a vehicle for us to talk about what it’s like to survive things,” Linza said.

In addition, the theater also underwent an enormous metamorphosis with the construction of a 10 ft. by 20 ft. swimming pool.

Doug Eivers, the director of the technical aspect of the play, worked closely with facilities to build and maintain it, even consulting Leslie Pools in Mountain View for information on how to treat the water.

Despite the difficulties, it was widely agreed upon that the pool was worth it.

“I loved how we really challenged ourselves by building and acting in a pool,” said senior Carolina Rodriguez Steube, whose varied roles include Lucina and Baucis.

Senior Jack Ahrens, who plays Zeus, Eros, and other roles, agreed. “It is amazing to work with that element that we have never used before in a Pinewood Performing Arts production,” Ahrens said.

But not all was a walk in the park. Several actors experienced troubles with projecting, as microphones are a commodity exclusive to dry land. “I have been working on breathing deeper, so I can have more power and volume in my voice. Ms. Linza taught us the Suzuki method, which helps actors project while they are doing other actions,” Rodriguez Steube said.

Linza employs other methods as well as the Suzuki method, where actors squat in different positions and read out text as emotionally accurate as they can. In the first week of rehearsal, Linza taught the cast the viewpoints method, in which actors are encouraged to supplement their performances by emphasizing certain elements of metaphysicality — for example, kinesthetic response or dynamic. She cites the viewpoints as one of the main elements that helped bring “Metamorphoses” to life.

“I absolutely love our viewpoints work,” said senior Nicole Saltzman, who plays Erysichthon’s mother, among other roles. “I loved being able to bring [a] collaborative, image-based training into my work on ‘Metamorphoses.’”