‘The Minotaur’ puts modern spin on ancient myth

Jun 7, 2024

MARION — As the ancient Greek story goes, the Minotaur was the son of the queen of Crete, half-bull, half-man. He was imprisoned within the maze structure of the Labyrinth, where he fed on humans. Theseus, the prince of Athens, killed him with the help of Ariadne, the princess of Crete.

Thousands upon thousands of years since that tale was first told, a play at the Marion Art Center is recounting the myth of the Minotaur once more. 

In “The Minotaur,” written by Anna Ziegler and directed by Kate Sorensen, the ancient story is portrayed in the setting of a writer’s room, as three colleagues work to create a version of the myth that fits the modern world. 

In doing so, each embodies one of the Minotaur, Theseus or Ariadne themselves — figuring out who the character of the original myth is, what they do and how they would react in the contemporary setting, according to Bethany Whitehead, who plays Ariadne. 

“We’re telling the story and trying to reimagine it at the same time,” Whitehead said.

A teasing, jokey dynamic emerges as the characters — seemingly existing simultaneously as coworkers and the mythological figures of the Minotaur story — interact with one another.

“I think it’s going to be fun to watch, as much as it’s fun for us to do it to each other,” Laura Stevens, who plays Theseus, said.

But while comedic, the production is nevertheless a piece of theater that is “also going to make you think” — a show that for the audience is fun to watch and a “little bit challenging” too, Whitehead said.

“It is at the same time a very funny show that has a very serious point,” Michael Ferron, who plays the Minotaur, said.

Given that, as well as the “hidden easter eggs” on the writer’s room set of the play, the cast and crew is encouraging prospective attendees to see “The Minotaur” at least twice, according to Whitehead.

“The first time [is] really just to observe it for what you get at the surface level, but when you come back the second time, you’re going to pick up on so much more,” Whitehead said.

“The Minotaur” at the Marion Art Center opens Friday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m. with subsequent performances June 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23. Friday and Saturday shows start  at 7:30 p.m. while Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for members and $23 for nonmembers. For more information, visit marionartcenter.org/events/minotaur.