It's funny, easy to produce, tells a classic story and gets a ton of kids on stage. In other words, it's the show you've been looking for. It's ARGONUTS! A cast of 17 girls and 12 boys play nearly 40 characters to tell a creative, innovative, and truly hilarious version of the ancient Greek myth of Jason and his heroic quest for the Golden Fleece.
The story is loosely based on the epic poem “Argonautika” composed by Apollonius of Rhodes in the 3rd Century BCE. The staging described in this script - i.e., the extensive use of blackouts and spotlights, the “god” and “king” platforms, etc. - reflects the first production. Simpler or more elaborate stagings are certainly possible.
A CHORUS OF ANCIENT GREEKS AGREE!
"The funniest show I never saw!" - Homer
"Full of surprises!" - Ulysses
"Soared beyond my highest expectations" - Icarus
"Amazing! I couldn't believe my eye" - Cyclops
"Even more wonderful than me!" - Narcissus
"Don't myth it!" - Zeus
NOTE ON COSTUMES/PROPS: The centaur can be created very effectively by simply
renting a two-person horse costume and skipping the head part. Medea’s
costume must be sleeveless for the love potion injection bit. Talos
should be as thoroughly bronzed and robot-like as possible. If he is
masked, his voice can be provided from a mic offstage. The Skeleton
Soldiers can wear skeleton bodysuits and masks, i.e., store-bought
Halloween costumes. If the backs of their costumes are solid black, they
can “disappear” by facing upstage and then serve as kurogos for the
Poseidon Rising scene. The Old Ram can be either a person in a ram
costume (easy to construct out of woolly material and a black hooded
sweatsuit) or a ram puppet operated by a kurogo (tricky). The Argonauts’
oars can be constructed with narrow, pointed paddles so they can also
serve as spears.
NOTE ON THE SNAKE: The snake puppet can be constructed in
various ways. In the premiere, its body was made from a series of 6” X
8’ and 8” X 8’ flexible aluminum ducts, painted green and bent into
shapes that fit neatly around the DS sides of the god platform. The
pieces came apart easily so stagehands could strike them quickly during a
blackout. The snake’s neck was an 8” X 8’ duct with a PVC pipe running
through it that had a lightbulb attached at the top. Its head was
crafted from chicken wire and its eyes were red gels. By connecting the
light to a dimmer, the snake’s eyes glowed, then dimmed and went dark as
it fell asleep during the lullaby. A puppeteer hidden behind the god
platform held the protruding end of the PVC pipe to raise, move, and
lower the head/neck unit.