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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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'The Odyssey' to get encore local performance

"Odyssey” on stage Monday as Kennedy Center preview.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance News Release [3-31-11]

In advance of its taking the show to The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will present an encore performance of Homer’s classic journey tale, “The Odyssey,” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 18, in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Performing Arts Center.

All tickets are $10 and available online at or by calling 507-389-6661 or visiting the Theatre & Dance Box Office in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday.

This production has been on an odyssey of its own. Following its original November run at Minnesota State Mankato, “The Odyssey” was remounted and performed at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival’s Region V conference in Ames, IA, on Jan. 19. The KCACTF National Selection Team then designated it as one of four productions from the 1,500 presented throughout the nation to be invited for performance at the national festival. It will be presented in Washington at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 21.

This is the first time Minnesota State Mankato has taken a production to The Kennedy Center since 1976, during the Ted Paul era, when it presented “Round Trip Ticket.”

The epic story mainly centers on the Greek hero Odysseus (or Ulysses, as he was known in Roman myths) and his 10-year journey home following the 10-year Trojan War. In his absence, it is assumed he has died, and his wife Penelope and son Telemachus must deal with a group of unruly suitors competing for Penelope’s hand in marriage. This classic tale is vibrantly brought to life in this 2006 retelling from the author of “Metamorphoses,” which Minnesota State Mankato presented in 2004 in a pool of water created in the Andreas Theatre.

“The Odyssey” is directed by Paul J. Hustoles, Chair, who also directed “Metamorposes.” Also back from that original creative team are faculty emeritus Tom Bliese, scenic designer, and MSU Masters in Music graduate Michael Croswell, music composer and performer. The title role is played by senior BFA Acting candidate Clayton Rutschow of Red Wing, who at the Region V Festival also claimed First Alternate honors in the KCACTF Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition.

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