Odyssey Theatre cancels Theatre Under the Stars, launches innovative online theatre series

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Odyssey to bring its creative magic to the virtual stage

OTTAWA — Odyssey Theatre has made the difficult decision to cancel this summer’s Theatre Under the Stars production in Strathcona Park due to the global health crisis. Rather than going dark, Odyssey will launch A Virtual Odyssey – an innovative digital theatre series to captivate audiences with creative and interactive online programs for families, youth, adults and artists.

“While we are disappointed not to present our 35th season, the safety of our audiences and artists comes first. But I am thrilled to launch an exciting online theatre series that will bring Odyssey into the homes of our patrons, and reach new audiences across Canada.  People can help support our artists while enjoying Odyssey in a whole new way.” says Artistic Director Laurie Steven.

Bringing Professional Theatre Directly Into Your Home

Steven, an award-winning director and playwright, along with a talented team of actors, designers and playwrights, are creating entertaining online programs that will offer something for everyone.

A new podcast series is sure to enchant audiences. Odyssey’s Wondrous Tales is an 6-episode podcast where tricksters and sages, villains and heroines will transport you to far away mythic worlds. Writers and actors will perform new Canadian versions of diverse folktales from around the world.

Don’t miss a rare chance to join actors and writers for a sneak peek of future seasons, with live, interactive readings of three plays: Sheridan’s comedy classic, The School for Scandal being adapted for mask and movement in a neo-Goth style; a new translation and adaptation of Molière’s satire on medicine, The Imaginary Invalid, by Ottawa’s David Whitely; and, Steven’s own The Blue Demon, an original mythic fantasy in collaboration with Sri Lankan artists.

Odyssey is adapting its successful Youth Apprenticeship Program by offering online workshops for youth.  Aspiring theatre artists will join professional artists to explore acting, directing, writing and stage management. They will create their own online performance showcasing the talents of the next generation of theatre talent.

A webinar series, Commedia Talks will offer an in-depth look at the art behind Commedia dell’Arte, the Renaissance Italian theatre form that inspires our award-winning work. Through scenes, commentary, and interviews with actors, writers and designers, we will share 35 years of creating contemporary theatre featuring mask, movement, puppets and music.

A live mask-making workshop with Odyssey’s mask designer Clelia Scala is also in the works.  People of all ages can learn to make stunning theatrical masks from objects found around the house.

A Virtual Odyssey premieres for the public on May 7, 2020 at 3pm with a live streaming, interactive reading of The School for Scandal. Look for mask-making in June. Odyssey’s Wondrous Tales premieres in July and youth apprenticeship workshops begin in August.  Look for Commedia Talks later this fall.

About Odyssey Theatre

Odyssey Theatre is Canada’s award-winning mask and Commedia dell’Arte theatre.  For over three decades we have stirred imaginations with extraordinary plays that include epics, comic fantasies, satires, tragedies, and madcap comedies.  Our stunning performances weave masks, puppets, music, dance and ritual.  Behind the scenes we create original plays, train professional artists and reach out to the community to introduce new audiences to the magic of live theatre. 

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