Scenes from THE ODYSSEY by Homer
Adapted and originally directed by
Mary Zimmerman
Adapted from the translation of “The Odyssey” by Robert Fitzgerald


August 2-4 and 9-11, 2019

This dramatic adaptation of Homer’s myth begins with a modern young woman who is struggling to understand Robert Fitzgerald’s translation of The Odyssey. A classical muse appears, and the young woman becomes the goddess Athena–a tireless advocate for Odysseus in his struggle to get home. With her trademark irreverent and witty twist on classic works, Zimmerman brings to life the story of Odysseus’s ten-year journey, depicting his encounters with iconic characters such as Circe, the Cyclops, Poseidon, Calypso, the Sirens, and others.

“Not of one age but of all ages. . . . This Odyssey is grand theater.”  – Philadelphia Inquirer
“Mary Zimmerman can tell classic stories onstage, brilliantly. Part of [her] success emanates from her unique amalgam of deep intelligence and respect for the text, on the one hand, couple with her wild, sensual imagination on the other. Once she understands a great work, she plays with it.”
Wall Street Journal
The Odyssey is a smart, singular example of Mary Zimmerman’s unique work in the theater — vivid in imagery, rich in imagination, witty, and thoughtful in its lively adaptation of a classic work for a contemporary audience.” – Richard Christiansen, critic and author of A Theater of Our Own: A History and a Memoir of 1,001 Nights in Chicago


Friday, August 2, 2019 at 7:30pm  (Opening Night Reception)
Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 7:30pm
Sunday, August 4, 2019 at 2:00pm (Post-show Discussion)
Friday, August 9, 2019 at 7:30pm
Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 7:30pm
Sunday, August 11, 2019 at 2:00pm

Venue:  Northfield Arts Guild Theater, 411 Third Street West, Northfield.

Tickets: $17.00 adults, $12.00 seniors/students

Consider joining us for our
Opening Night Show and Reception
or First Sunday Post-Show Discussion

Directed by Marc Robinson

Marc Robinson is a professor of Russian at St. Olaf College who specializes in contemporary Russian theater.  He has directed a number of shows at the Guild over the years including  Death of a Salesman, Dracula, The Importance of Being Earnest, his own play, The Singer Sisters, and Cabaret.  Marc’s interest in Russian physical theater inspires him to look at new approaches to classic theater.


Jonathan Larson as Odysseus
And the following as ensemble:
Frank Blomgren
Dick Brown
Birch Carlson
Kevin Chapman
Susan Dunhaupt
Esme’ Elzi
Alex Gaya
Elly Garrity
Ben Jorenby
Libby Klein
Dean Lamp
Steve Lawler
Bridgette Loraine
Courtney Mastin
Elin Odegaard
Larry Tolle
Jill Watson

The Odyssey is presented by special arrangement with Bret Adams Limited.
Originally produced by The Goodman Theater, Chicago, Illinois on September 17, 1999.

Odysseus and Penelope: The Long Journey showcases the work of Kari Halker-Saathoff, who has always been fascinated with stories of adventure.  In creating her interpretation, Kari fashioned images on ceramic vessels that represent Penelope’s remarkable story, while her illustrations tell the story of Odysseus. For many, even those who have not read Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus’ adventures are part of our cultural knowledge. Given this familiarity, Halker-Saathoff depicts his journey within the mythological time period while reimagining the timeless and transcendent story – a story that has stayed with her throughout the years.

While many of the illustration titles are inspired by the text of The Odyssey, in contrast, the titles accompanying each of Penelope’s vessels are inspired by the Women’s March of 2017, as well as current news stories.  Halker-Saathoff has purposely chosen to align Penelope’s heroic journey within the present context of female struggle and empowerment. Her ambition for this show is to illuminate the many parallels between the present and 650 B.C.E.

Special exhibition at the Guild Theater

Many thanks to our 2018-19 Theater Season Sponsor:

Thank you to our Production Sponsor: