Inasmuch as Artpark & Company has made a concerted effort to engage and involve the community vis-à-vis "The Odyssey," the show will be shepherded by a strong professional contingent. Working alongside the local talent will be:
•Terence Archie (Odysseus): A native of Detroit, and graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, Archie resides in New York City and has played numerous roles on and off-Broadway and regional theater. Selected credits include: Broadway: "Rocky the Musical" and "Ragtime." International: "Rocky Das Musical" (Hamburg, Germany). Off-Broadway: "Joan of Arc: Into the Fire" (The Public); "The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity" (Second Stage) and "1776" (City Center). Regional: "The Squirrels" (La Jolla Playhouse), "Guys and Dolls," "Twelfth Night" (Old Globe) and "The Odyssey" (Seattle Rep).
A member of member of Actors Equity Association, Archie also has worked on television. Recent TV credits include "The Mysteries of Laura," "Manhattan Love Story," "Madam Secretary," "Elementary," "The Blacklist" and "Blindspot."
•Courtney Balan (Penelope/Circe): Balan has appeared in original Broadway companies: "Falsettos" (2016 revival), "Finding Neverland" (title of show), "Cry-Baby" and "In My Life." She will appear in the upcoming show "The Prom," which is opening this fall. Her Off-Broadway credits include: "Unexpected Joy," "I Love You Because," "Rated P for Parenthood," "The Extraordinary Ordinary," "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" and "The Marvelous Wonderettes." Regional: "The Humans" (Aimee, Pittsburgh Public), "Into the Woods" (Baker's Wife, Alliance Theatre), "Funny Girl" (Fanny Brice, Riverside Theatre), "The Music Man" (Marian, CT Rep), "Company" (Amy, Pittsburgh Public) and "Urinetown" (Pennywise, Theatre Raleigh).
Balan, also a member of Actors Equity Association, is a recent casting addition. She joined the production earlier this month due to the unexpected departure of Emily Skinner.
Terence Archie and Courtney Balan (Photos provided by Artpark & Company)
•Christopher Guilmet (The Singer): Guilmet was last seen performing in Buffalo with Torn Space Theater's production of "The Hairy Ape." His Los Angeles credits include The Duke in "Man of La Mancha" (Reprise), John Proctor in "The Crucible," Celso in "The Malcontent" and George in Noël Coward's "Peace in Our Time." (Antaeus Theater). He was the title character in the musical "The Immigrant" (Colony Theatre - West Coast Premiere) and Roger Hart in "9 to 5." While in New York City, he worked Off-Broadway as Bob Cratchit in "A Christmas Carol" at the Lortel. Other shows include: numerous Fringe, NYMF and Off-Off-Broadway productions. Regional work includes Henry Higgins in "My Fair Lady," Fredrik in "A Little Night Music," King Arthur in "Camelot" - all for Stages St. Louis; The Pirate King in "Pirates of Penzance" and Captain Von Trapp in "The Sound of Music" at Village Theatre in Seattle.
He, too, is a member of Actors Equity Association.
Meanwhile, New York City-based Roger Danforth, a director, producer, educator and arts executive, will helm Artpark's version of "The Odyssey." In his career, Danforth, a member of Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, has served as artistic director of the Drama League Directors Project, acting artistic director of The Cleveland Play House, and literary adviser and producer of the Berkshire Theatre Festival.
Danforth's directing credits include (for the Cleveland Play House) "A Christmas Memory," "Boy Meets Girl" with Jane Krakowski, "The Heidi Chronicles" and his world premiere of Seth Greenland's "Jungle Rot," which received a major grant from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, a Steinberg New Play Citation, and publication in "The Best Plays of 1995-1996."
Additional credits include productions at Berkshire Theatre Festival, Two River Theatre, York Theatre, InterAct Theatre, Urban Stages, NYC & Capital Rep, Florida Studio Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, WPA Theatre, Vanguard Theatre Group (his own company) and the O'Neill Theater Center's National Puppetry Conference (where he serves as directing adviser).
"The Odyssey" is a story of high adventure and true love, and a theatrical celebration for the whole family adapted from the Homer's epic tale. Broadway stars, regional actors, students, regional performance groups and community members will join onstage in an unprecedented area effort of "theater of, for and by the people."
Performances are 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, and 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, inside the Mainstage Theater. Tickets are $25 and on sale now at www.artpark.net, www.tickets.com, by phone at 1-888-223-6000, or in person at the Artpark box office, 450 S. Fourth St., Lewiston.
"The Odyssey" was written by Homer, and conceived and directed by Lear DeBessonet, with book, music and lyrics by Todd Almond. It was originally commissioned and produced by New York's The Public Theatre, and originally commissioned and developed by The Old Globe, San Diego.