Theatre department presents “Metamorphoses” Oct. 11-14

MC Theatre Department to present “Metamorphoses” Oct. 11-14

Sept. 10, 2018 

The Maryville College Theatre Department will present “Metamorphoses” Oct. 11-14.

Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. Oct. 11-13 and 2 p.m. on Oct. 14 in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Haslam Family Flexible Theatre.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for seniors (ages 60 and older) and students. Admission is free for Maryville College faculty, staff and students, but a printed ticket is required. To purchase tickets, please call the Clayton Center Box Office at 865.981.8590. Due to adult content (one scene has brief nudity), this play is intended for mature audiences.

“Metamorphoses,” written by Mary Zimmerman, is based on the poetry of Ovid and set in and around a large pool of water (literally – a 10-by-15-foot pool filled with water will be constructed as part of the set). The play underscores the persistence of transformation in all aspects of life. Told as a series of vignettes that blend the ancient with the contemporary, Zimmerman’s play highlights universal themes such as longing, grief, and suffering— but ultimately affirms the transformative and healing powers of love.

Scenes include: Cosmongony; Midas; Alcyone and Ceyx; Erysichthon; Orpheus and Eurydice; Pomona and Vertumnus; Myrrha; Phaeton; Eros and Psyche; and Baucis and Philemon.

“The play brings these ancient stories to life in really engaging and surprising ways,” said Dr. Heather McMahon, MC associate professor of theatre and the show’s director. “Naturally, the novelty of the pool will be fun for audiences, but beyond that, I think the play’s stories are powerful, funny, endearing, tragic and uplifting— they run the gamut of human emotion. The play itself is constantly shifting and keeping the audience on their toes and entertained. Zimmerman is a master storyteller, and this play is a great example of that.”

McMahon said she selected the play because it has a beautiful and timeless message.

“It’s a reminder about the power of love,” she said. “The play premiered off Broadway in 2001—and transferred to Broadway just after the September 11 attacks. At the time, audience members found the redemptive and uplifting nature of the play to be especially poignant and healing. I suspect that these days we could all use a little of the same balm for our own troubled times.”

More than anything, though, McMahon is excited to take on the challenge of working with the pool. From the design to the directing to the acting, the pool impacts every aspect of the production, she said.

“I think it will be a new and possibly unique challenge for the whole production team,” the director said. “How will the pool impact the actors’ movement? What will the water do to the lighting design? How will we keep the backstage area dry? Who will wash all those towels? These are just a few of the questions on my mind as we move into production—and as scary as it is to take on so many challenges, I think that’s part of what keeps us on our toes as artists. We need new challenges. I certainly look forward to the process.”

The ensemble cast features Maryville College students and alumni, as well as community members. All actors play multiple roles, including: Caitlin (Campbell) Clark ’14 as Aphrodite; Anna Dieter ’19 as Pomona; Riley Hamant ’21 as Lucina; Lenny Lively ’18 as Midas; Matt Lyscas ’15 as Orpheus; Allison Parton ’20 as Ceres; Lilly Potter ’22 as Myrrha; Christopher Rodriguez ’21 as Vertumnus; Ben Row ’22 as Hades; Julianna Sanderson as Alcyone; Kara Van Veghel as Baucis; Cole Vermilyea ’22 as Apollo; Caston Weeks ’22 as Narcissus; and Joshua Woods ’22 as Sleep.

For more information on the play, contact Deborah Boling at 865.981.8150 or

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the Fall 2018 semester is 1,154.