‘Argonautika’ at Howard Community College by Lisa Carol

Hurry to the nearest port to set sail with Jason and his Argonauts before it’s too late! Catch Howard Community College’s Theatre Program production of Argonautika, which only has three performances left!

Cast members of 'Argonautika.' Photo by Bruce F. Press Photography.
Brandon Furr (Pollux) as he celebrates defeating a giant. with cast members of ‘Argonautika.’ Photo by Bruce F. Press Photography.

Argonautika by Mary Zimmerman, directed by Jenny Male, is a true standout in every respect. Far too often we are presented with theatre around the globe that leaves us flat and wondering, but the cast and crew at HCC have pulled out all the stops. Jenny Male has left no stone unturned and no pathway unexplored in her directing efforts and the success is apparent in the production the audience gets to be a part of. And the multi-talented ensemble delivers!

After I was greeted by pleasant staff members and guided into the Studio Theatre to take my seat, I was immediately struck by Samina Vieth’s intricate set, with “Argo” – the ship of legend – at its center, which provided the diverse and unique backdrop for the entire voyage. The ship itself is as much an important character as any of the 19 actors that make up this incredible ensemble piece.

With characters like Hera (Sierra Young), Athena (Taylor Purnell), Jason (Daniel Ayoola), and Medea (Rachel Mackall), one may assume the other stellar performers will somehow shine less brightly, but you would be very mistaken. Bobby Henneberg’s Hercules, Katie Krull’s Aphrodite and each of the other goddesses, lovers, monsters, demigods, warriors, and adventurers kept me completely enthralled and entertained for the entire performance.

While there is no denying that it is difficult for such a large group of actors, set and lighting designers, and the other members of the technical crew, to truly mesh and draw an audience into their tales, this bunch does it flawlessly. With the addition of Kristin A. Thompson’s clever lighting, Peter Boyer’s smart masks and puppetry, daring battle scenes coordinated by Bobby Henneberg, and well-placed sound effects by Seth Schwartz, colorful costumes by Robert Croghan and, Carl Randolph’s excellent makeup design, the Argonauts tell a complete story that is not to be missed!

Cast members of 'Argonautika.' Photo by Bruce F. Press Photography.
Cast members of ‘Argonautika.’ Photo by Bruce F. Press Photography.

Far too often a production like this goes unseen and unsung….like so many of the heroes and heroines of great mythology. Don’t let this one sail away from you. Audiences of all ages will find the rolling waves of laughter, lyrics, love, and loss a treasure like only the Gods could conjure up.

Running Time: Two hours and 30 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission.

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Argonautika has three more performances on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday November 19, 20, and 21, 2015 at 7:30 PM at Howard Community College’s Studio Theatre – 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, in Columbia, MD. For tickets, call the box office at (413) 518-1500, or purchase them at the box office, or online.

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Here is the The Company:

Sierra Young (Hera)
Taylor Purnell (Athena)
Daniel Ayoola (Jason)
Rachel Mackall (Medea, Rumor, and Harpy)
Bobby Henneberg (Hercules, and Apsyrtos)
Brooke Linsalata (Hylas, Cepheus, Dymas, and Girl of Thrace)
Brandon Furr (Pollux and Bull)
Warren Harris (Castor, Asterion, Voice of Boreas, and Bull)
Katie Krull (Aphrodite, Tiphys, and Girl of Thrace)
Christian Preziosi (Idmon and King Pelias)
Ashe Frost (Andromeda, Woman of Lemnos, and Goddess)
Diego Esmolo (Meleager and Man of Lemnos)
Robert Highsmith (Meleager’s Uncle, Eros, and Fury)
Sydney McShan (Dryope, Woman of Lemnos, and Goddess)
Elyse Moody (Atalanta and Girl of Thrace)
Jordan Irby (King Aeetes and Phineus)
Wesley LeRoux (Zetes, Amycus, Styrus, and Achilles)
Chania Hudson (Woman of Lemnos and Meleager’s Mother)
Lacy Hall (Singerand Ensemble)

RATING: FIVE-STARS-82x1555.gif

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Lisa Carol is a resident of Columbia, Maryland and has been involved in local theater for over 40 years as a director, producer board member, and actress with several area performance groups, and remains a lifelong fan of the arts.