Department of Drama presents ‘Fables,’ based on Aesop
An imaginative retelling of Aesop’s Fables has been created by students and faculty in the Department of Drama in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA). The work, titled “Fables,” combines acting, pantomime, music, dance and puppetry. Performances begin Sept. 25 in the Black Box Theatre at Syracuse Stage, 820 E. Genesee St. Free seating can be reserved by emailing SUDramaFables@hotmail.com or by calling (315) 443-2102 starting Thursday, Sept. 17.
Director Felix Ivanov likens the work to street theater. “It is rhythmic and dynamic–one story is told with hip-hop, one in the style of Chinese theater, and built in there are moments of improvisation,” Ivanov says. “It is eclectic, an opportunity for students to explore many different styles of performance and broaden their skills.”
The fables included are “The Monkey and the Mirror,” “The Fox and the Crow,” “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” “The Lion and the Girl,” “The Cat and the Acrobat” and “The Donkey, the Man and the Son.” Original music for “Fables” has been composed by senior acting major Matthew Tolstoy.
The collection of stories known as Aesop’s Fables has been credited to a slave living in Ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BC. Two different masters owned Aesop before his freedom was granted, as a reward for his wit and intelligence. As a free man, it is believed that Aesop became involved in public affairs, traveling and telling his fables along the way. Eventually, Aesop was offered a residency at the court of King Croesus of Lydia. For some of the fables, exact authorship is not clear, but thanks to the tradition of storytelling, countless generations have enjoyed the moral lessons and human truths evident in Aesop’s Fables.
The cast includes Alex Alcheh, a junior acting major from New City, N.Y.; Farasha Baylock, a sophomore acting major from New York City; Stella Berg, a senior acting major from Istanbul; Phil Blechman, a sophomore acting major from Fishkill, N.Y.; Sean Coyle, a sophomore acting major from Collingswood, N.J.; Mara Dale, a sophomore acting major from Chicago; Marie Eife, a sophomore musical theater major from Philadelphia; Amanda Gardner, a senior acting major from Columbus, Ohio; Melissa Gonzalez, a senior acting major from West Hartford, Conn.; Holly Hart, a senior acting major from Stamford, Conn.; Jessica Jaros, a senior musical theater major from Smithfield, Pa.; Becky Leifman, a senior acting major from Chicago; Milly Millhauser, a sophomore acting major from Miami; Sean Murray, a junior musical theater major from Portland, Me.; Shawn Nabors, a sophomore acting major from Brooklyn; Christopher Pesto, a junior acting major from Katonah, N.Y.; Tess Polachek, a sophomore musical theater major from Winona, Minn.; Erik Sords, a sophomore acting major from Cleveland; Jana Stambaugh, a senior acting major from Clarksville, Md.; and Tolstoy from Moorestown, N.J.