Ovid’s drama transforms stage

By Jordan Lewis

Olivet students are stepping out of the myths.

Green Room’s spring play, Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” is a collection of stories with mythological roots that focuses on love and transformation.

The play is produced entirely by students. Junior Shelby Van Buren is excited about directing the performances, which began March 29.

Junior Katie Norman practices her part in Green Room's production of "Metamorphoses." Photo by Morgan McCririe

Students interested in directing presented their ideas to Green Room at the beginning of the fall semester. The club then chose Van Buren’s play to be performed in the spring.

“It’s both nerve-racking and very exciting,” she said. “This is the biggest play I’ve ever done.”

Van Buren spent a good amount of her summer deciding what she wanted to direct and preparing for when she would pitch the idea to the rest of the team in the fall.

She eventually chose “Metamorphoses,” a play in which she previously acted and for which she served as assistant choreographer.

“I’ve always loved this play; it is completely different from anything Olivet has ever done,” she said. “That was a big reason why I wanted to do it here, because it is so different.”

The differences lie largely in the way the story is told. Instead of a linear plot line, the show features many vignettes.

These vignettes, created by Ovid, represent the history of the world until the time of Julius Caesar.

“The play [involves] people sitting by the fountain in Greece, swapping stories,” Samuel Cullado, freshman cast member, said.

The language used in “Metamorphoses” is also different.

“The thing that’s interesting about this play is it [uses] older types of language, but it’s been rewritten … so it’s got a blend of very poetic language … mixed with everyday language,” Cullado said.

Cullado said he is impressed with both the play and the director.

“It’s been the first play I’ve done with a student director, but Shelby is very, very competent,” he said.

Hannah Williams, sophomore cast member, also praised the cast and director.

“The cast works really hard, and Shelby is flexible, but at the same time, pushes us when we need it,” she said.

The play has given cast members a way to meet new people and make friends. “We like to laugh a lot. It can cause rehearsals to be inflated, but I do like the camaraderie that’s come of it,” Cullado said.

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