In 2018, Artpark undertook a fresh iniative that gave the spotlight to our Western New York community in a musical theatre production of  THE ODYSSEY by Todd Almond and Lear Debessonet.  This groundbreaking community collaboration involved over 200 participants including theatre professionals, volunteers and community organizations. Broadway stars joined community actors, students and volunteers. Supporters graciously donated food, rehearsal space and monetary contributions. Months of workshops, rehearsals and artistic collaboration came to a triumphant presentation at Artpark's Mainstage Theater on August 4 and 5, 2018.


Photo: THE ODYSSEY Musical Theater Production & Community Collaboration; Written by Homer, Conceived & Directed by Lear Debessonet; Book, Music & Lyrics by Todd Almond; Directed by ROGER DANFORTH; Featuring: Terence Archie; Courtney Balan; Christopher Guilmet & Gregg Goldston; dress rehearsal photographed: Saturday August 4, 2018 at Artpark Mainstage Theater; Lewiston, NY Photograph by RICHARD TERMINE © 2018 RICHARD TERMINE


"Everyone at Artpark deserves a standing ovation for producing an incredible event. I have never seen a show so diversified and inclusive. You could tell all on stage were so proud to be performing and felt the love from the audience. If only our world could learn from what was represented on your stage. I am so happy I attended. Your presentation will forever be a cherished memory!" - Karen Konecko, an audience member




Our Story

Photo Gallery: Rehearsal to Stage
Show Program: The Odyssey

Beginning with local auditions and performance workshops
at community partner locations



Group rehearsals on stage


Rehearsals with director Roger Danforth and choreographer Jon Lehrer


Working with Broadway stars

Terence Archie* and Courtney Balan*

with Christopher Guilmet* and Gregg Goldston

Providing Artpark Theatre Academy students the opportunity to

collaborate with their local community




Thank you to local businesses for providing their support

DiMino Tops Lewiston - Food donations throughout the rehearsal process

St. Paul's Church- donation of rehearsal space

Niagara Falls Coach Lines

Bringing the community together


Performance Photo Gallery

The Odyssey Show Program


"This show was so touching and gave a message of coming home and inclusivity! Thanks to everyone, it was truly heartwarming!”

- Sheri




“It was a wonderful show!! To see so many people from the community was heartwarming. Congratulations to everyone!” -Tina Auman Bidwell




Written by



Conceived and Directed by

Lear Debessonet


Book, Music and Lyrics by

Todd Almond


Originally commissioned and produced by The Public Theatre

Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director

Patrick Willingham, Executive Director

Originally commissioned and developed by The Old Globe, San Diego, California

Louis G. Spisto, Executive Producer







Terence Archie*


Apollo Creed in Broadway’s Rocky

Courtney balan*


Broadway’s Falsettos, Finding Neverland

Christopher Guilmet*

The Singer

Duke in Man of La Mancha, Reprise! Theatre in Los Angeles

Gregg Goldston


"His ability and vision have expanded the art of mime."
-- Marcel Marceau 


Directed by

Roger Danforth**

Executive Producer

Sonia Clark


Jon Lehrer

Music Director

Patrick Towey

Set & Projections Design

Tatyana Wilds

Costume Designer

Bret Runyon

Lighting Design by

Dyan Burlingame

Sound Design

Eric Burlingame

Props by

Megan tinney,
roy walker

Puppet Design

Adam Kreutinger

Associate Directors

Carin Jean White,
katie lupica

Associate Choreographer

Toni dentico

Guest Artist Casting by

Stephanie klapper



Movement Coach

Gregg Goldston

Western NY Casting by

Kate loconti

Stage Manager

keelin higgins

P Technical Director & Production Stage Manager

Susan stimson*

BHair & Make Up/Associate Costume Designer

Keirsten thomas

Promotions & Public Relations by

David Wedekindt

Community Relations

Tanis Winslow

Business Manager

Katie miller



*The Actors appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
**Director is member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union.



Based on the model built by New York City’s prestigious The Public Theater, this program and production are truly theatre of, by, and for the people, celebrating the diversity of our region in a spirit of collaboration and inclusion.

Program supervision by Artpark’s Director of Family Programming, Tanis Winslow.

Special thanks also to Francine DelMonte and Paschal Frisina III. 



Artpark Theatre Academy was co-directed by Paschal Frisina III and Toni Dentico
A 4-week intensive for ages 10-18, which explored workshops in all aspects of musical theatre culminated in 2 performances of Artpark's The Odyssey! 


We were so pleased to share the stage with our community partners!
Thank you to all participants



Special thanks to Veterans One-stop Center of WNY for participating in our workshops

Artpark Volunteer Corps
Francine Delmonte, Coordinator

Lewiston Fire Company No. 1

Iroquois Indian Band

The Slyboots School of Music, Art and Dance

Mount Erie Baptist Church Choir

Random Ninjaz



Thank you to our Odyssey sponsors!


The Charles D. and Mary A. Bauer Foundation

The Donald F. and Barbara L. Newman Family Foundation


With special thanks to: 


St. Paul's Episcopal Church 

The Odyssey was presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW), 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036 (866) 378-9758