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  Play Details

Crown of Shadows: the wake of odysseus

Round House Theatre - Bethesda
4545 East-West Highway Bethesda

Penelope and her teenage son Telemachus struggle to maintain control on Ithaca while waiting for Odysseus to return. As Penelope navigates the political waters of countless suitors, Telemachus, in his turbulent youth, chafes against both the bombardment of potential usurpers and his father’s legacy. With pressure for a successor mounting, they battle two outsiders for control over the island, with a shocking ending that can’t be found in Homer’s saga.

Thru - May 6, 2012


Running Time: 1 hour 55 mins with 1 intermission

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  Review Round-Up

Washington Post - Recommended

"... As a result, “Crown of Shadows: The Wake of Odysseus” — a title with an unfortunate “Release the Kraken!” sound to it — snaps and crackles tantalizingly, but never pops. The contemporary tension Platt imparts to the relationship between Telemachus and his clotheshorse of a mother, Deborah Hazlett’s serenely elegant Penelope, is not sufficiently replicated in the play’s other scenes, especially those pertaining to Penelope’s myriad suitors, all played by Jefferson A. Russell."
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Peter Marks


Talkin Broadway - Somewhat Recommended

"...Playwright Jason Gray Platt had a promising idea: use the story of Odysseus' return from the Trojan War, and the effect of his absence on his wife and son, to parallel the life experiences of contemporary military families. It's a shame that Crown of Shadows: the wake of odysseus, receiving its world premiere at Round House Theatre in Bethesda, Maryland, isn't more interesting or engaging."
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Susan Berlin


City Paper - Recommended

"... There’s a fun element of pop-culture commentary in Crown of Shadows: What’s it like to date a teenage celebrity? The paparazzi might tail you at the county fair, for starters. But Platt is more interested in driving the political machinations toward a violent, convoluted end. That includes tossing in a confusing subplot about Calliope’s missing mother that’s worthy of Law & Order SVU: Ithaca. By the time the pool is soupy with blood at the end of Act 2, it’s not just some characters who are dead. The play’s competing premises have canceled each other out."
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Rebecca J. Ritzel


Washingtonian - Recommended

"... As with Shakespeare and other time-honored works, the source material here has been mined and warped, told and retold for centuries, and writers and directors are still finding ways to channel Homer's endlessly relatable characters and universally human themes through their work. Platt's interpretation is fresh enough to distinguish itself from other iterations, taking liberties and paving enough new plot paths to keep things interesting and thought-provoking. But drawing from those dramatic ancient Greeks also means that by the show's end there are mouthfuls of character names, tangled relationships, and vendettas to keep straight, and without at least a cursory knowledge of Homer's original stories, motives and meanings can get confusing. The play's sudden shift from merely ominous and haunting to dark, violent, and bloody is startling, which may have been the intended effect, but a more delicate build-up that gave the tension time to simmer might have been more powerful."
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Gwendolyn Purdom


DCTheatreScene - Highly Recommended

Crown of Shadows: the wake of odysseus is a rare play that works well on many levels. All of the characters are mixtures of love and ambition in ways that encourage ambivalent feelings. Is Telemachus an innocent man-child or an increasingly power-hungry yet childish man?
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Steve McKnight


MD Theatre Guide - Highly Recommended

"... Crown of Shadows: the wake of odysseus at Round House Theatre is a must see for people who are interested in Greek mythology and for those who like seeing new playwrights work. I hope Platt is not a one hit wonder because if this play is any indication of his capability as a playwright he has a very promising career ahead of him. When you add in the great cast and Robison’s tight direction gives Greek Mythology a good kick. I wish Robison all the best in his new job in Cincinnati and thank him for the wonderful work he did for the DC area while at Round House Theatre."
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Elliot Lanes



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