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AMSA Drama Society entertains with classic adventure

The+Argonauts+as+they+embark+on+an+adventure.
The Argonauts as they embark on an adventure.

The Argonauts as they embark on an adventure.

Clarice Pavlak

Clarice Pavlak

The Argonauts as they embark on an adventure.

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Ancient Greek mythology is a common source of action and adventure tales that never fail to entertain. Timeless stories of mythical beings and glorious conquests testing the strength and courage of mortals draw attention from audiences of all kinds. On Dec. 10, the AMSA Drama Society successfully put on its own version of an enjoyable production called Jason and the Argonauts.  

The play is based on a myth about a young, inexperienced man named Jason who needs to reclaim his rightful inheritance of the throne of Thessaly. The current king, his uncle Pelias, requests that he bring back the Golden Fleece in exchange for the throne. Jason forms a team of heroes, nicknamed the “Argonauts,” to guide him on the mission.

The AMSA Drama Society offered a fresh new twist on this traditional mythological tale, turning an action-adventure story into a comedy with a light and fun atmosphere. The performance was full of modern elements and references that appealed to students and parents alike. The incorporation of modern jokes blended well with the atmosphere of the play.

Unlike the action-filled myth, this performance focused on the idea of friendship and Jason not only constructing a versatile team, but also forming priceless bonds with his comrades. Shifting the fundamental theme of the story from justice and conquest to the power of teamwork added a message that is more fitting for today’s society.

If you read the actual Jason story, especially the parts with Medea, it turns very sad and violent which I also wanted to avoid,” said Joe Gianoni, who wrote the play as part of his senior project as a student at Suffolk University. “My original vision was to tell the Jason story in a way that was an homage to Monty Python.

Clarice Pavlak
Junior Owen Clarke portrayed the lead in the production.

 “I think AMSA Drama Society did a fantastic job with seeing the bigger picture of the show and delivering on the concepts I had imagined,” added Mr. Gianoni, who attended college with the drama society’s artistic director, Ryan Gonor.

The acting of the main characters is really what made the play enticing. There was a great display of emotions and interpersonal connections that made the characters’ journey more personable. Some of the humor was a little forced, but the actors truly seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Not all scenes of the play matched the lively performances of the main characters. Many of the minor characters were lackluster and seemed out of place, with the exception of the young girl who said, “Have a nice day!” as she was sent to be executed, which was a hilarious touch.

In several scenes, the quality of the acting likely muddled the audience’s understanding of essential plot elements. Although many of these characters had minor roles, their lines contained valuable information. The play became hard to follow because the actors turned their backs to the audience and mumbled very quickly and quietly.

The acting in the opening scenes in particular detracted from the establishment of the plotline. Chiron, a wise centaur narrating the story, was explaining the reason for Jason’s adventure along with other minor characters. The other minor characters did not project their voices and were very difficult to understand.   

Despite the rough start, the rapid character development of the Argonauts, and especially Jason, helped to pick up the pace. The vibrant and naturally comedic personalities of the characters also helped by drawing the audience’s attention to the rest of the events in the play.

Some of the costume choices were slightly unconvincing. The classic Greek toga-like clothing with flip-flops was a combination that, while interesting, didn’t quite work. Some of the prop choices were a little peculiar, but the jug of chocolate milk carried around by Heracles added some extra humor.

“Amazing; I could not be more thrilled,” Mr. Gonor said. “We got every single thing we wanted to do originally.”  

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AMSA Drama Society entertains with classic adventure