In 2018, Artpark undertook an intiative
In 2018, Artpark undertook an intiative that gave the spotlight to our Western New York community in a musical theatre production of THE ODYSSEY. 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.
"Artpark's production of "The Odyssey"... delievered... Broadway professionals... grand props... a giant monster, [and] members of the community joining together..."
Niagara Frontier Publications, Joshua Maloni
"... massive mix of professional talent and amateur enthusiasm come[s] together in such a rewarding show."
The Buffalo News, Melinda Miller
"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, audience member
Beginning with local auditions and performance workshops
at community partner locations:
Buffalo Public School Adult Education Division
Lewiston Fire Company No. 1
Iroquois Indian Marching Band
The Slyboots School of
Music, Art and Dance
Mount Erie Baptist Church Choir
Hear From Students
View 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, audience member
“It was a wonderful show!! To see so many people from the community was heartwarming. Congratulations to everyone!”
Tina Auman Bidwell
Written by: Homer
Conceived and Directed by: Lear Debessonet
Book, Music, and Lyrics by: Todd Almond
Apollo Creed in Broadway’s Rocky
Broadway’s Falsettos, Finding Neverland
Duke in Man of La Mancha, Reprise! Theatre in Los Angeles
"His ability and vision have expanded the art of mime."
-- Marcel Marceau
Set & Projections Design
Director of Production
Paschal Frisina III,
Carin Jean White,
Stephanie Klapper Casting,
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
Directed by Roger Danforth
at Artpark Mainstage Theater
Anne-Louise Anstey • Terence Archie • Amelia Arguelles • Tina Baily • Courtney Balan • Joshua Baxter • Courtney Beals • Maun Behzad • Daniel Joseph Bellina • Arianna Billings • Alexandria Biondo • Mary Bliss • Annabella Bogart • Bernice Bones • Eric Borketey Ansuade • Bobby Bradly • Griffin Brady • Ringo Brill • Michael Broderick • Janice L. Brown • Pearl Bruno • Zoe Buck • Dyan Burlingame • Eric Burlingame • Beau Calato • Patricia Calback • Karon Cavalleri • Dan Cecere • Brandon Ciccone • Sonia Clark • Alison Cleary • Ella Colbus • Terry Collesano • Tamara Colvin • William Conroy • Mike Crymes • Morgan Cudney • Britini D’Angelo • Darin Dawson • Francine DelMonte • Toni Dentico • Mohamed Diaby • Michele Dier • Sarah Dolan • Kaitlyn Dulski • Tim Dyet • Allison Failing • Mia Fasanello • Robin Faulring • Caitlin Fox • Dave Fox • Gabriel Frisina • Liliana Frisina • Paschal Frisina III • Mark Gardner • Finn Gardner-Puschak • Addie Garvey • Maeve Garvey • Abey Gavadin • Jeannine Giffear • Kristin Gilmet • Jennifer Giolando • Kendalynn Goeddarz • Peter Gold • Gregg Goldston • Jeremy Granger • Joe Greenan • Mary Alice Groat • Christopher Guilmet • Bernice Hague • Cee Cee Hague • Richard Hague • Jake Hayes • Derrick Haynes • Maria Hays • James Heffron • Clare Heron • Ronald. D. Hicks • Keelin Higgins • Danelle Hillman • Robert D. Hillman • David Hobba • Sean Johnson • Jessica Joncsyk • Athalie Joy • Jacob Jurewicz • Sabrina Kahwaty • Bethany Kasperek • Maureen Kellick • Brett Klaczyk • Stephanie Klapper • Adam Kreutinger • Danny Laster • Nicole Laster • Daryl Laster Sr. • Dale Lawrence • Jon Lehrer • Sydney Leszczack • Melissa Levin • Jame Levy Jr. • Taylor Lewandowski • Gabriel Lichte • Jessica Linderman • Elizabeth Lopez • Kennedy Lucinski • Germain Ludwig • Katie Lupica • MacKenzie Lynch • Richard Manuel • Sandy Maselen • Connie Matthews • Jackie McGrath • Charles McGregor • Andrew McLaughlin • Justin McMullen • Marsha McWilson • Ozng Yz (Daisy) Meng • Elaine Meranto • Jon Mercado • Mariangela Mercurio • Mike Merrell • Gay Meyers • Angelina Milkie • Jessie Miller • Katie Miller • Tanner Miller • Dorothy Mouve • Becky Napoleon • Melissa Niemiec • Caitlin O’Neil • Nancy Osborne • Alec Otmecki • John Palesh III • Norma Passino • Tommy Passino • Julia Penchaszadeh-Robert • Glonda Perez • Sydnie Perkins • Maya Pliss • Laurie Podsiadly • Liam Post • Barbara Pressley • Fred Pytlak • Declan Rapp • Kathy Recchione • Gregg Renford • Tanya Renford • Gabrielle Rich • Paulette Rinrer • Clinsel Rivera • Colette Rosier • Lesley Rudin • Bret Runyon • Anthony Salvo • Esme Schaus • Adriana Scheidle • Sofia Scribner • Jason Smith • Cleveland Spencer • Terry Spencer • Colin Sperrazza • John Stamm-Philipps • Cammie Stamp • Christian Steib • Jack Stillman • Susan Stimson • Kayla Storto • Christian Streb • Madison Sullivan • Randy Sykes • Primo Thomas • Jared Tinkham • Megan Tinney • Brendan Tom • LayLay Too • Patrick Towey • Chelsea VanBuren • Peter Vasko • Elijah Vazquez • Carrie Veltri • Mariska Villnave • Kim Vincent • Kaitlyn Virgilio • Keller Vogelsang • Phil Wackerfuss • Jordan Walker • Roy Walker • Marshuan Walton • Dave Wedekindt • Stephen Weisenburger • Carin Jean White • Tatyana Wilds • Lynne Williams • Diane Willmott • Nick Winger • Tanis Winslow • Anthony Woods • Jack Wrobel • Tim Wrobel • David Wysocki • Anna Zakarian • Steven Zehler • Nicole Zvorsky
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.
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.
“Our ESL students benefit from participating in Artpark theater workshops for a variety of reasons. Many of our students come to us having very little previous opportunity to speak English and even fewer opportunities to participate in an artistic endeavor. Engaging students through theater helps them develop public speaking skills, gain confidence, and provides them with team-building opportunities, all of which in turn helps students cultivate a richer understanding of the English language.”
Jason Guzzetta, M.S. Ed Coordinator, BPS Adult Education Division
“I think it's great that they included people with disabilities, because people with disabilities do matter, and it's very important in the society that we live in that people with any kind of disability can be included in stuff that they love to do.”
“I think it was a great opportunity for everyone involved because it was unique in the way it was structured and the collaboration was just an overall joy to be a part of. It was a great opportunity, my professional debut, and I hope to do more collaborations with Artpark in the near future.”
“I think it's a great opportunity for me, for my future, and to be a successful actor. Performing with other people, and getting to know people too. I was very friendly with everybody, and I liked the whole team who worked together.”
“The Odyssey project, I really really liked the show, and my favorite part, it was singing. I feel like I am very happy to be on stage with Broadway actors.”
“It was incredible and magnificent because it inspires me to be in the community with other people. The crowd and the fans loved the performance. The best experience of theater, it inspires me to do anything I put my mind to!”
“I was very impressed on how well my people did going on stage to preform. Its something they never did before. They were so nervous. But when they got on the stage you would of never known how nervous they were! The Art Park staff were so wonderful and accommodating to our peoples needs.”
Empower Job Training & Day Programs
“I got to meet new people. The people who shared our dressing room were really nice.”
“I liked doing the play with my friends and meeting the Actors and Actresses.”
“I liked preforming on stage. It was something I never did before.”
“I liked the songs and being with everyone on stage.”
“I enjoyed being on stage and preforming. It was something I wanted to do for a long time.”
“I liked performing on stage with so many different people.”
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
THANK YOU TO OUR
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