About Myths and Hymns
Myths and Hymns paints an emotional landscape of faith and yearning. The lyrics were inspired by Greek mythology and a nineteenth-century Presbyterian hymnal; the musical vocabulary sweeps from romantic art song and rock to Latin, gospel and R&B. Adam Guettel’s song cycle elucidates our fantastic desire to transcend earthly bounds and our intrinsic need to connect with something or someone greater than ourselves in our quest for meaning and community.
- The performance on Saturday at 2 pm will be open-captioned.
- Myths and Hymns explores some mature themes and situations.
“Children of the Heavenly King” / Pandora + Ensemble
“There’s a Land” / Ensemble
“Saturn Returns” / Prometheus + Ensemble
“Icarus” / Icarus & Daedalus + Ensemble
“Migratory V” / Hero
“Pegasus” / Bellerophon, Pegasus & Gadfly
“Hero and Leander” / Leander
“Sisyphus” / Sisyphus + Ensemble
“Build a Bridge” / Ensemble
“Come to Jesus” / Emily & Matthew
“How Can I Lose you?” / Narcissus
“Awaiting You” / Leander
“The Great Highway” / Ensemble
“At the Sounding” / Ensemble
“There’s a Shout” / Prometheus + Ensemble
“Life is But a Dream” / Pandora
“Saturn Returns (Reprise)” / Prometheus + Ensemble
The myths behind the songs include the following stories:
Prometheus, the Titan god of fire and a supreme trickster, created humanity from clay. He defied his fellow gods by stealing fire and giving it to humankind.
Pandora and Hope
As punishment for Prometheus’s transgression, Zeus commanded the gods to create Pandora and send her to humankind. They sent Pandora with a box and instructions never to open it, but her curiosity got the better of her. She opened the box and set free all the evils and atrocities that walk the earth. She closed the box just in time to hang on to Hope.
Icarus and Daedalus
Daedalus, a brilliant mind, designed the infamous labyrinth in Crete that captured the terrible Minotaur. Daedalus built wings for his son, Icarus, to help him escape their island prison. Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too close to the sun. Icarus ignored his father’s warning. He fell from the sky when the wax that fastened his wings melted due to the sun’s heat.
Bellerophon, Pegasus, and the Gadfly
Bellerophon, a great hero and slayer of monsters, famously captured the winged horse Pegasus. He attempted to ride Pegasus to Mount Olympus to join the gods. Unhappy with Bellerophon’s audacity, Zeus sent a gadfly to sting Pegasus, causing the horse to buck and to throw Bellerophon back down to earth in disgrace.
Hero and Leander
The young Leander fell in love with Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite, who lived in a tower on a faraway shore. Leander would swim across a strait every night to meet her, guided by a lamp that Hero would light at the top of the tower. One night, when a storm blew out the light, Leander lost his way and drowned at sea. Upon discovering his body washed ashore, Hero threw herself out of her tower and took her own life.
Sisyphus, the founder and king of Ephyra, was punished by Hades for cheating death twice. Hades forced Sisyphus to roll a boulder up a hill, only for it to roll down every time it neared the top. Sisyphus was cursed to repeat this action for eternity.
Narcissus and Echo
A hunter known for his beauty, Narcissus rejected all romantic advances and eventually fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water, staring at it for the remainder of his life. After he died, in his place sprouted a flower bearing his name. Echo was a mountain nymph whose hopeless, unrequited love for Narcissus made her fade away until all that was left of her was voice and the power of song.
The cast in order of appearance:
PROMETHEUS: TJ Staten
PANDORA: Reilly Grace
HOPE: Marilyn Wilson
ICARUS: Isaiah Henry
DAEDALUS: Collin Mekyel Milfort
BELLEROPHON/MATTHEW: Alex Daspit
PEGASUS: Cali Bella Noack
GADFLY/EMILY: Parnassus Funk
HERO: Daisy Held
LEANDER: Josh Hoon Lee
SISYPHUS: David Papel
NARCISSUS: Sara Leste
ECHO: Mia Rose Perritt
Cover (Polyhymnia): Wylie Godleski
This production of Myths and Hymns has been made possible by our generous supporters:
David P. Weiss
A Note from the Director
The thing I love most about working in theatre is that you inherently become a lifelong student. Every new role or position you take on and every new production is an opportunity to learn and grow and widen your circle of collaborators and fellow artists along for the journey.
That circle is the second thing I love the most about working in theatre. Our work is done in process, together. What you see onstage today is the product of months and weeks of creative collaboration, research, drawing, sketches, conversations, planning, execution, tossing out ideas and trying new ones. It doesn’t exist in isolation. Theatre is an art form that literally exists because a community of committed individuals decides together how they are going to tell a story. You can’t create it alone in your room--you have to create it together.
Myths and Hymns brought these two loves together for me in a powerful way and expanded my own view about what it means to be an artist, a teacher, and a lifelong student. I’ve learned, I’ve grown, and I’ve created in process right alongside my students. This talented ensemble of artists has been a delight and joy every step of the way. The process has given me--in a word--hope.
I am so excited to share this world we’ve created with you.