CCU Theatre stages poolside production
ABOVE: This piece was published in the fall 2014 issue of Coastal Magazine.
The stage directions on the first page of the text are explicit: “The stage is entirely occupied by a square or rectangular pool of water, of varying depth, bordered on all four sides by a wooden deck approximately three feet wide.”
Consequently, CCU Theatre’s fall 2014 production of Metamorphoses involved the total metamorphosis of the Edwards Theatre in the Humanities Building. Mary Zimmerman’s 1998 play, based on Ovid’s ancient poem, is a series of vignettes that offer contemporary interpretations of famous Greek myths. Most of the stories have a thematic connection to water, such as the “creation of the world” and the tale of Narcissus, who saw his reflection in a pool.
Gregg Buck, technical director of the theatre department, designed the pool and directed the construction – which was done mostly by students. At 30 feet by 30 feet, it was fully constructed in a campus warehouse before being broken down, moved and reassembled in the Edwards Theatre.
The unique thing about this pool is its depth: it is 36 inches deep and holds 13,000 gallons – that’s 120,000 pounds of water.
“I’ve seen other productions of this play, and they had only shallow wading pools,” said Ken Martin, chair of CCU’s Department of Theatre, “This pool passed all sorts of official safety regulations and had its own lifeguard, a theatre student who is a certified pool manager.”
The show’s director, Ben Sota, is CCU’s first physical theater instructor. A lifelong circus performer and an advocate of the commedia dell’art tradition, Sota designed a very active production that drew sold-out crowds.
ABOVE: A look at when the stage became a pool.