Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Review of Forks & Hope's A Hero's Journey

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called A Hero's Journey. It was written by Christian Stokes and the Forks & Hope ensemble. It was directed by Aileen McGroddy. It was about the stories of many heroes all put into one fabulous play. I thought this was a super moving show that was funny at the same time. It is one of my favorite Forks & Hope shows. I thought it was great how they incorporated their own life stories with the heroes' stories. I actually felt some tears near the end. I really loved this show and there is only one week left to see it.

Two kings had a very important part in the story: Arthur (Andrew Bailes) and Sejong (Josh Mattingly). King Arthur, as you probably already know, formed the Knights of the Round Table and was a King of England and he was very successful in his endeavors. Of course he had problems, like his wife having an affair with his best friend, which was not great for him. I really liked the use of props in the Arthur story. They didn't have a fancy sword for him to pull out of the stone. They had an umbrella, which I thought was really cool, because the entire show was like a bunch of friends talking about their lives. No one would have a glowing sword at a campsite, but they might have an umbrella. King Sejong was the other king who was king of Korea and he simplified the way to write the Korean language. That made it so poor people could be poets and send each other letters. I really liked the letter movement section of this story where everyone was writing invisible letters in the air and talking about what Sejong did for the world. Both kings had their bad times, but they still both were very good for the country that they ruled.

I really liked the Greek mythology characters. I've always really liked Greek myths and I like seeing the characters portrayed on stage. Both Odysseus (Errol McLendon) and Psyche (Kelsey Shipley) have stories that seem really real even though they are myths. They are both prone to temptation; both go on a journey for someone they love; and both find their loved one after trials in spiritual realms. I thought the feather scene with Psyche was very moving. It begins with Psyche under a sheet tossing and turning, deciding if she was going to look on her husband. The light was shining so you could only see her shadow and feathers falling. The feathers are from her husband Cupid's wings. She decides that she is going to look at him and that doesn't work out very well because when she finally sees him he flies away. And when she picks up the feathers Kelsey tells her real life story, which is heartbreaking and hopeful. Odysseus' story is all about his mother and trying to get back to her in time and so was the actor's. He talked about losing his own mother which was very sad. It was also about going on an adventure and leaving his home in Mississippi. Both the character's and the actor's stories are about leaving what you know behind to move forward.

Two of the stories were fables. One was about a Maiden (Casey Pilkenton) who lost her hand but still found her way. The other was the story of an Armadillo (Austin D. Oie) who couldn't speak but still found his song. They were both about finding your way in difficult situations. The Maiden's story was one of my favorites because there were actual very hard real-life situations in the story even though it was a fable. Casey's personal story was also very sad, but it applied to the Maiden's story because she was feeling left alone in the world and the person she depended on the most hurt her. But there is still hope in the stories. The Armadillo's story was about sacrificing everything to find your song. It was kind of about how hard it is to be a musician, which I do believe is true. I really liked the song at the end. I thought it was very moving. It was about finding your song and the pain you have to go through to get that, but it is all worth it.

People who would like this show are people who like beautiful real life stories mixed with folklore, feathers, and armadillos. I think people should definitely go see this show. I had so much fun. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It was really amazing.

Photos: Candice Conner,

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