Performing Arts
Gods and goddesses of Roman myth will do battle in the Antioch Amphitheater during this summer’s Yellow Springs Kids Playhouse production, “Superhuman Happiness.” Some of the 49 youth in the show are, from left, Nia Dyer (Helen), Sammie Woolley (Clara), Zoe Williams (Arachne), Chekinah Williams (Ceres), Reese Elam (Juno), Jaylen Mitchell (Jove). “Superhuman Happiness” runs July 10–13 and July 17–20. (Photo by Megan Bachman)

Gods and goddesses of Roman myth will do battle in the Antioch Amphitheater during this summer’s Yellow Springs Kids Playhouse production, “Superhuman Happiness.” Some of the 49 youth in the show are, from left, Nia Dyer (Helen), Sammie Woolley (Clara), Zoe Williams (Arachne), Chekinah Williams (Ceres), Reese Elam (Juno), Jaylen Mitchell (Jove). “Superhuman Happiness” runs July 10–13 and July 17–20. (Photo by Megan Bachman)

‘Superhuman Happiness’ at YSKP

Yellow Springs Kids Playhouse explores the theme of transformation in its new original music, “Superhuman Happiness,” an adaptation of Roman poet Ovid’s magnum opus “Metamorphoses.”

The theme of transformation in “Superhuman Happiness“ is quite literal —a human becomes a screech owl in one story — and is fitting for a show performed by ever-changing youth and for a nonprofit organization getting a leadership change.

“The deeper meaning is the idea of fluidity and adaption as a life skill, and being able to change as they go through life,” the show’s director and playwright John Fleming said of the lesson for child actors.

Meanwhile, Fleming, who founded YSKP in 1995 and is stepping down as artistic director after this summer’s show, can relate.

“I’m going through this big transformation too,” said Fleming, whose successor, Ara Beal, is producing the show.

“Superhuman Happiness” runs Thursday–Sunday, July 10–13, and July 17–20, at the Antioch Amphitheater, 920 Corry St. All shows start at 7:30 p.m. and cost $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students.

Written some 2,000 years ago, “Metamorphoses” is a massive Latin narrative poem that spans 15 books and more than 250 myths. Fleming’s adaptation includes several of its most famous myths, including the story of Persephone’s abduction by Pluto into the underworld and the fated love story between Echo and Narcissus, which ends with one doomed to repeat for eternity and other falling in love with his own reflection.

The central story of “Superhuman Happiness” pits goddess of wisdom Minerva against master weaver Arachne, who competitively “weave” vignettes about the travails of the gods in an attempt to prove whether the gods cause humans more harm or good.

Local artists participating are Migiwa Orimo, who is creating a set piece; musicians Barbara Leeds, Brian Mayer and Meredith Rowe; and muralists Pierre Nagley and Travis Hotaling, who painted an ethereal scene of sky and sea featuring a Roman temple on the 80-foot long amphitheater backdrop.

For more information, call 937-767-7800 or visit www.yskp.org.

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